OBTAIN BUSINESS INSURANCE

Before you can open your doors, you will have to obtain insurance for your store. The lease agreement will specify the types of insurance that you will be required to have. Some of the most commonly required types of insurance include:

BASIC FIRE INSURANCE

Will cover fire and lightening losses to equipment on your premises. Fire premiums will vary widely depending on fire codes, etc.

BASIC COVERAGE

Protects against most explosions, storms, smoke damage, Riots, damage caused by vehicle, etc.

LIABILITY INSURANCE

Pays a claim brought against your business because of bodily injury. An example would be a customer slipping and falling in your store, breaking his/her leg and filing a lawsuit against your store for $100,000. The premium is usually based on your store size. This plan does not cover you or your employees. Liability is a highly recommended, and often required, policy for today’s storeowners.

PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY

Provides damage for property and others. An example would be a store fire starting in your office and damaging the Apparel Store next door.

VANDALISM AND MALLICIOUS MISCHIEF INSURANCE

Theft coverage provides protection from burglary (theft from your closed and locked store) and robbery (theft using force or violence). Check with your insurance representative for discounts given to stores with installed security systems.

WORKER’S COMPENSATION

Unless you live in Texas, companies operating with employees will have to maintain this insurance. It is required in every state except the Lone Star, and covers your employees’ medical expenses and lost wages if they are injured on the job.

Most insurance companies will offer a “business plan” or “umbrella policy” that will give your store each of the above needed policies. Check with landlords and lenders if you go through a bank for any insurance requirements. Insurance companies are competitive, so be sure to compare rates and coverage. The independent insurance agents are highly recommended because they are not tied to one company and can piece together the best insurance policy for your needs and pocketbook. Insurance is an expense, but a necessary part of your business. It is a must that you work with a representative who will constantly evaluate your needs.

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