A Shop Insurance Guide – choosing the relevant insurance
If you own a shop, you’ll understand how important it is to give your customers the best possible service. Providing them with choice and value will boost your business, so when it comes to getting insurance for your shop, it’s no different.
Certain kinds of shop insurance aren’t compulsory by law, but if you want to protect the business you have worked so hard to get off the ground, then you should consider getting quality cover. Shop insurance can cover many areas including employer’s and public liability, business interruption, buildings and money and contents cover.
You must have employer’s liability if you have any staff working for you in your business. Accidents can happen no matter how many safety measures you take, especially in what you hope will be a busy shop. Having employer’s liability cover will protect you against claims your employees might bring against you.
There are range of other options involved in shop insurance and we have put together a guide which will help you understand what you need in your policy,
Types of Commercial Liability Insurance
Employers’ Liability Insurance
If anybody works for you, the law dictates you must have employer’s liability insurance. You could be hit with a large fine if it’s discovered you are operating your business without this.
You may not think that there is a lot of risk involved in working in a shop compared to a building site or factory. However, your staff might be responsible for lots of different jobs in a day and you’d be amazed at the huge number of accidents that can happen in a shop environment.
One of the most common sources of claim in a shop is for repetitive strain injury (RSI). This can affect a person’s wrist, elbows and shoulders if the are operating a till over a long period of time. If a member of staff sustains even a minor injury due to RSI, they could be in line for a claim of at least £2500. For severe neck problems, claims have been known to be as much as £87,000.
Employers liability insurance is essential for the smooth running of your business as it will help you absorb the costs of work-related accidents.
Public Liability Insurance
The sight of customers flooding through the doors will be good for business, but it does carry its own level of risk. If a customer is injured or has their property damaged while in your shop, you could be hit with a hefty claim.
In an example cited on the website of law firm David Phillips and Partners, a customer was paid out £3,700 in damages when she fractured her wrist and bruised her head after falling on a staircase in a shop. That’s enough to wipe out your profits in one fell swoop so having public liability cover will help protect your income and your business.
This is a highly useful part of your shop insurance policy. If your business has to close due to damage caused by fire or flood, business interruption cover will pay you for loss of income as well as other costs, such as temporary relocation.
Buildings, money and contents Insurance
This will cover your for damage to your shop premises, as well as additional structures such as outbuildings you may use for storage, walls, fences, gates and driveways. Your building is where your business operates from, so if it is out of action, you can’t operate. Anything can happen, no matter how bizarre.
The BBC reported the story of a shop owner in Lincolnshire who, earlier this year, suffered a fire in his shop which left him with a bill for damages of £25,000. The cause of the fire was later discovered to have been a lit cigarette. Nothing strange there, right. But the cigarette had been dropped by a bird who was carrying it back to its nest.
This will cover you for the theft of cash from your shop. It will also cover you for other items of monetary value such as cheques, stamps, vouchers and postal orders.
The goods on your shelf are what get people through the door, so if anything happened to them, your business would suffer. Contents cover will also protect shop equipment, machinery, documents and fixtures and fittings.
You can get different levels of contents insurance. Cover is available to protect against fire or perils only or you can take out all risks cover. Having good contents cover is important as it could also help with getting new keys and locks if there has been a break-in at your shop.
Depending on the size or type of your business, you can contents insurance specifically tailored to you needs.
Shop Insurance Add-Ons: Buildings
Loss of Rent
If you rent out part of your business premises to a tenant, this will cover you for loss of rent. This usually occurs when the building is damaged by something covered by your insurance and your tenant cannot operate their business and therefore are unable to pay you rent.
This will not only protect you from loss, but also your tenant who will still be able to operate after the damage has been repaired. You can also take out this cover if the property is unoccupied or is being refurbished or renovated.
Accidental Damage to Fixed Glass
This will come in handy if your shop windows are accidently smashed. It will cover the cost of replacing the glass, damage to window frames and boarding up.
It will also cover fixed glass in doors, counters, shelves and showcases. Non-fixed glass is normally not included in policies, but some insurers can also offer cover which will meet the cost of replacing items outside the window which need to moved to replace the glass.
Property Owners Liability Insurance
This will cover you if a customer or even a passer-by is hurt in an accident connected to your shop. There are varying levels of cover available, but you can normally get cover to a limit of £1million or £2million.
It will also cover medical bills, such as treatment in hospital and ambulance fees which the NHS may claim against you as a result of the injury caused. This is a timely feature as the NHS Injury Costs Recovery (ICR) scheme has just recently come into affect.
Trace and Access Cover
If your shop becomes flooded or damaged by water, you might need to tear up the floorboards or rip up walls to find the source of the leak. Trace and access cover will meet the costs of this work, as well as repairing floors and walls.
The cost of repair the actual damaged pipe is not included and there will normally be an upper limit on how much you can claim.
Shop Insurance Add-Ons: Contents
Theft of Keys
Does exactly what it says on the tin – will cover the cost of replacing keys if they are stolen.
If you take some of your fittings and goods to an exhibition to show them off in the hope of attracting new business and they are damaged while there, this will cover the cost. However, this type of cover will cost you a bit extra and there will be an upper limit on how much you can claim.
Loss of Metered Water
If your metered water supply is interrupted, either by insured damage or a problem at the main, this will cover you. It doesn’t cost much to add this to your policy and the limits are usually quite high at around £20,000.
Other Insurance Extras
Personal Accident & Assault
Whether you have a big or small shop, it is worth giving this cover serious consideration. This normally comes as an add-on to the money cover and will help pay out if one of your employees is injured in an assault as result of the theft or attempted theft of money in the shop.
This cover would usually have a set amount attached to it, normally between £10,000 and £25,000. It will cover death, loss of limbs or sight and permanent disablement,
This will protect you and your business against fraud. With research showing that small businesses are three times more likely to suffer as result of fraudulent transactions than the average resident in the UK, this could prove to be a very valuable feature of your shop insurance policy.
Over 6,000 incidents of business fraud took place in the UK last year according to research by Experian.
If you are in the market for shop insurance, you can get a quick and competitive quote with BusinessInsured.co.uk. If you would like to discuss you business insurance needs with one of our experts, just give us a call on 0800 1073404.
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