As a business owner, you're exposed to certain risks as soon as you open your doors. Your business faces risks even before hiring your first employee. Therefore, you should ensure you carry the right insurance. A catastrophic event or a lawsuit can wipe out your business even before it takes off. Fortunately, you can protect your enterprise by having certain business insurance coverages in place. Here are seven essential insurance policies for any retail business.
You should carry property insurance if your business leases or owns the property. This insurance can cover your building, signage, equipment, furniture, and inventory in case of a disaster like theft, storm, or fire. However, property insurance doesn't usually cover mass-destruction events such as floods and earthquakes. To protect your property from these risks, you should talk with your insurance agent to get a separate policy.
Commercial general liability insurance protects your business if someone is injured on your premises or due to your business operations. For instance, if a customer's hand is broken due to a slip and fall accident on your premises, your will cover their medical expenses. If the customer sues you for the accident, your insurance can cover your legal defense expenses and damages.
If you or your employees use business-owned or personal vehicles for deliveries, errands, or to visit suppliers and vendors, you should get commercial auto insurance. Your commercial auto policy can cover your vehicles for bodily injury, property damage, collisions, and more.
Most business insurance policies include a certain amount of liability coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance offers an extra layer of liability protection to help cover liability costs that may exceed the coverage limits of your existing policies. For instance, say one of your employees causes a multivehicle accident while rushing to make a delivery, leading to several severe injuries. Your umbrella insurance policy will kick in and cover any medical expenses that will exceed the policy limits of your commercial auto coverage.
Retail businesses collect vast amounts of personally identifiable data from customers as well as employees, including checking account numbers, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and more. If that data is stolen or leaked, your cyber and data coverage can cover the expenses of notifying the affected individuals and managing your business's reputation.
To run your retail business smoothly, you likely rely on equipment like point-of-sale systems, heating and cooling equipment, refrigeration equipment, telephones, and more. If your equipment breaks down suddenly and accidentally, your equipment breakdown coverage can cover lost business income, spoiled inventory costs, and replacement/repairs expenses.
You should get workers' comp insurance as soon as you hire your first employee. This policy will cover your workers' medical expenses, lost wages, disability as well as death benefits in case a worker is injured, ill, or killed due to their work in your business. Note that this policy is state-mandated in almost all states for businesses with employees. Workers' comp is important even for workers doing seemingly low-risk tasks because medical conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and Slip and Fall accidents can lead to costly claims.