Taking stock of business insurance for shops

Shops are everywhere – from the village store to the high street and massive retail parks.

Open or closed, shop owners need to make sure their premises, staff, shoppers and the stock inside are protected from accidents and disaster.

Regardless of the shop size, they all need similar shop insurance cover:

  • Public liability insurance –  as protection against claims from customers and visitors who suffer an injury or damage or lose their belongings inside the store.
  • Employers’ liability insurance – A legal requirement for any business employing staff – including shops.
  • Shop building insurance – Leased shops probably have this cover included in service charges. Shop owners with mortgages are likely to have a clause in the borrowing agreement specifying the building is protected for the life of the loan
  • Shop stock and contents – Protects stock, equipment and fittings like tills, counters and displays
  • Business interruption insurance – This cover replaces lost income in the event of a business suffering a disaster – like a flood, fire or the recent riot damage experienced by shopkeepers in some areas of London.

If the shop takes in items for repair for customers, then consider liability insurance that covers loss or damage.

Like any other insurance, shop owners should make sure the policy offers the precise cover required without any ‘hidden’ exceptions or limits on claims.

Decide on the level of cover before thinking about price, because cheaper policies may not pay out in the event of a claim.

Not all insurers offer the same level of cover – many add-on benefits like tracing and fixing leaks.

One key element of business insurance for shops is replacement glass for broken street side windows. Check the sum insured actually covers the cost of replacement or consider shutters that can cut the cost of cover.

Customer service is also an important factor for shops who need a quick response to stay trading. Only around half of insurers have 24-hour claims lines, which can cause problems for emergencies that occur over weekends or out-of-hours.

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