Your leather goods repair shop is responsible for repairing, cleaning, and altering everything from footwear, automobile seats, clothing, and handbags to book bindings, fashion accessories, furniture, and more. But being a business owner who is responsible for someone else's property comes with a variety of risks. What happens if a fire burns down your store and all the inventory inside, an employee is hurt on the job, or a customer injured on your property?
The biggest risk facing a leather goods repair shop comes with the inventory and equipment you have inside and the liability of a third party getting injured on your property. An independent insurance agent can help you shop the proper coverage for your property, customers' property, and yourself.
What Risks Do Leather Goods Repair Shops Face?
A repair shop does not normally require as comprehensive business insurance package as, say, a retail store, but it's all dependent on what services you're offering. If your repairs require the operation of equipment like sewing machines, shoe repair machines, a belt/strap cutter and the like, you need to protect your equipment and those using it. However, insuring your leather goods repair shop underlies every aspect of the business, so it should be a priority nonetheless.
Some of the most common risks leather goods repair shops face include:
- The more employees who work at your repair store, the greater the risk of an accident or mishap while repairing goods.
- There is potential for being sued if you damage the client's property while repairing it.
- A flood or fire could damage your building and ruin the property and equipment inside.
- A customer could get injured on your property while dropping off or picking up their leather goods.
- A third party is in your shop repairing one of your pieces of equipment and gets injured.
Having an independent insurance agent in your corner is a great idea to help you understand just how many risks your leather goods repair shop may face. For example, you may offer delivery or on-site repairs, which would require additional insurance protection for you and your employees. Independent insurance agents are experienced with these scenarios and offer unbiased info on the best practices you need to protect your shop.
What Types of Insurance Coverage Do I Need for My Leather Goods Repair Shop?
Generally speaking, most leather goods repair shops can benefit from having coverages like:
- Commercial property coverage
- General liability insurance
- Workers' compensation
- Business owners policy
- Umbrella coverage
Commercial property coverage: Property insurance is for situations where your business needs to be reimbursed following property damage or lost property. This policy covers the cost of replacing your business equipment or other property when lost/damaged by fire, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. Property coverage may include equipment, Inventory, offices/premises, supplies, and tools.
- Example: A fire causes your business to close for three months and a variety of your property and customers' property is destroyed. Someone breaks into your store and steals your equipment and customers' property.
General liability insurance: General liability steps in for any scenarios that could result in your business being sued. It covers legal bills and settlements resulting from personal injury, damaged property, advertising injury, and reputational damage.
- Example: Your belt and strap cutter machine break down and a repairman has to come to your shop to fix it. While fixing the machine, they trip on electrical wiring on the floor and break their wrist.
Workers' compensation: Workers' compensation protects your employees should they be injured on the job. It will cover everything from medical care to lost wages until your employee can be back at work.
- Example: A worker accidentally cuts the tip of their finger off while operating a piece of equipment. They require stitches and are out of work for three weeks.
Business owners policy: A business owners policy, or BOP, is a comprehensive insurance package offered to businesses that encompass a variety of insurance policies.
- Example: You don't need any fancy or rare insurance coverages. Your business is looking for general liability and property insurance and can save money by bundling.
Umbrella coverage: Umbrella insurance increases the liability of existing insurance policies by paying a single premium. This expanded coverage can include general liability insurance, professional liability, or commercial auto insurance. The value of an umbrella is that it pays for any lawsuits that exceed the current limits of your coverage, typically in increments of $1 million for covered events.
What Is Bailee's Coverage?
We've talked about a lot of insurance options so far, but none of these will protect you should the leather goods you're fixing for a customer get ruined or damaged while in your care. If a pipe freezes and your store gets flooded and a customers' handbag and boots are ruined by the water, you're responsible for the cost of those products.
Bailee's insurance sometimes referred to as bailee's liability coverage or bailee's customer insurance helps pay the costs to repair or replace the damaged or destroyed property.
Along with theft and pipe flooding protection, good bailee's insurance policy coverage should also include protection from:
- Wind damage
You can build your bailee's insurance to fit your need with a variety of coverage levels, so make sure to work with your independent insurance agent so you have the proper amount of bailee's coverage.
Important Additional Insurance Coverage for Leather Goods Repair Shops
Insurance doesn't stop at general policies. Any risk that you and your insurance agent need coverage for can find protection through additional insurance options. The following is a list of some other coverages that you should consider for your business.
- Business interruption insurance
- Equipment breakdown insurance
- Cyber liability insurance
- Employee dishonesty coverage/crime insurance
- Earthquake insurance
- Flood insurance
- Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance
- Product liability insurance
How to Build the Best Insurance Package for Your Leather Goods Repair Shop
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.
An agent can help determine all the risks involved with owning and running a leather goods repair shop and can make sure you have the proper insurance.
When it comes time to purchase insurance, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the nitty-gritty so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And should you need 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?
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