A clothing alteration shop might not sound as risky as an auto body shop, but your customers still rely on you to take an important piece of property from them and turn it into something that fits their body, oftentimes for an important event. Every business faces its own unique risks, and a clothing alteration shop is no different. To protect your business, an independent insurance agent can help.
Business insurance is designed to protect you and your business from a variety of costly events that could occur at any given time. Shopping for insurance can be overwhelming, which is why working with an independent insurance agent makes the process more manageable. An agent that is an expert in finding clothing alteration shop insurance can help you find the right policies to fit your needs.
What Risks Does a Clothing Alteration Shop Face?
Sometimes clothing alterations are as simple as sewing on a new zipper or hemming pant legs. Other times the alteration requires a significant amount of work with equipment like sewing machines and clothing pressers. An alteration shop also needs ample room for measuring and cutting fabrics and usually space where clients can try on their clothes before taking them home.
As the owner of the shop, you have to consider the risks of having clients coming in and out of your shop, measuring clothes while still on a client, and the general risks your business property and employees face.
These are just a few examples of things that could cost you a lot of money.
- A client slips and falls while trying on clothes in your shop and needs medical care.
- An employee accidentally pokes a client with a needle while pinning fabric for the right sizes.
- A fire causes your store to burn down including the materials and client property you have on the inside.
- An employee or third party steals money or inventory from you.
Your Clothing Alteration Shop Needs Property Insurance
Most business owners underestimate the amount of property they have. When it comes to insurance, property means a variety of things. You have your physical business property or building, your personal business property like office equipment, sewing machines, clothes pressers, thread, needles and mirrors, and your client's property, which is the clothing they're asking you to alter.
All of these need to be considered with purchasing property insurance. An independent agent can make sure you have the right property insurance for your business. Here are the options you'll want to consider.
Business property insurance: Also known as buildings insurance, commercial property insurance protects all of the property associated with your business and your income. To put it simply, it protects all the physical stuff that makes up your business. For a clothing alteration shop, this includes all of your equipment, the inventory you keep on hand like fabrics, furniture, office equipment, and your building.
Business interruption coverage: Sometimes an unexpected event like a fire or flooding causes a business to close its doors. If your doors are closed, you're not bringing in your usual income. Business interruption coverage will pay for lost income during the closure until your business is open again.
Flood insurance: If your clothing alteration store is at risk of a tornado or hurricane, then you'll want to look into flood insurance. Flood insurance is not included in any other insurance policy and must be purchased separately. An insurance agent can help you determine if you're located in a flood zone.
Sewer and drain insurance: Sometimes properties flood for reasons outside of natural disasters, like faulty pipes. This type of flooding is separate from your flood insurance and would need sewer and drain insurance in order to be covered.
Earthquake and hurricane insurance: There’s no doubt that 100+ mile-per-hour winds will do some damage to your building. Earthquake and hurricane insurance is not included in general property insurance, so if your business is at risk, you’ll want to make sure to add it.
Picking the Proper Liability Insurance
Property insurance will protect your building and your property, but you still have to worry about a third party getting injured on your property. That's where liability insurance steps in. A good policy will protect you against a potential lawsuit and cover everything from legal fees to medical bills and lost income.
Commercial general liability insurance: Every business should purchase general liability insurance as it covers a broad range of events that could be costly to your business. This includes slips and falls, bodily injury, customer property damage, and anything that a third party might be able to sue you over.
Premises liability insurance: This is a part of your commercial general liability policy that offers bodily injury and property damage coverage related to the ownership or maintenance of business premises. This means that if a third party is injured anywhere on your property, you'd be protected.
Employment-related liability: This is for any wrongful employment practices including fiduciary, discriminatory, and wrongful termination. It is an especially important coverage since you can still be sued even if the claim is false — it is the employee's word against the business owner's.
Cyber liability insurance: This covers the financial burden that may be imposed on your clothing alteration shop in the event that criminals target your computer system and access customer information, including credit card numbers.
Additional Coverage for Your Clothing Alteration Shop
Depending on the size and services that your clothing alteration shop offers, there are a variety of additional coverage options that you and your independent agent might want to consider.
Bailee's insurance: Bailee's insurance, sometimes referred to as bailee's liability coverage or bailee's customer insurance, covers loss and destruction of others' property as a result of theft, fire, burglary, explosions, weather-related events, and more.
Employee theft and crime coverage: This protects you from instances of employee theft, fraud or other crimes against your business.
Workers’ compensation insurance: This is usually required for any business that has employees, and it pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job.
Employment practices liability coverage: This protects you from employee lawsuits related to discrimination and other business practices.
How Much Will Insurance Cost for my Clothing Alteration Shop?
As with any business, the cost of coverage for your alteration shop will depend on a number of factors. These include:
- The size of your business
- The weather and crime risks in the ZIP code where your store is located
- The value of your inventory and other business property
- The number of workers you employ
- The types of business insurance coverage you are purchasing
- How high you need your coverage limits to be
- Your store’s claims history
If you are a sole proprietor with just a few employees, you can expect to pay far less for your business insurance than a multi-location business with numerous employees, a warehouse, and a large and valuable inventory.
A local independent insurance agent can obtain a variety of customized quotes on your behalf. That way, you can be sure that the policies you select are offered to you at a reasonable price.
How to Find the Best Coverage
Clothing alteration shops are unique businesses, and your business insurance coverage should be unique too. You need a customized mix of property and liability protection to make sure you stay in business as long as possible.
With the help of an experienced independent agent who specializes in clothing alteration shops, you can find a business insurance program that addresses:
- The size of your business
- The type of your business
- The number of employees you have
- The products you sell
- The services you provide
Your agent should provide you with multiple proposals from reputable insurance companies who specialize in clothing alteration shop insurance.
The Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Insurance policies can be complex, and searching through options can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. An independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
They’ll make sure you get the right coverage that meets the needs of your sewing machine repair shop. Not only that, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the details, so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And when it comes time to file a claim, you’re not alone. Your agent will be right there to help guide you through every last step and get your life back to where it all was. How great is that?
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.