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Should I consider extra insurance in the busy season?

Q: Should I consider extra insurance in the busy season?

A: Maybe. Because retailers sometimes have huge changes in the value of their inventory and the amount of customers they see, it might be smart to consider flexible business insurance to cover your busy season risks. Here are some of your options:

  • Property Insurance with peak season coverage. You want to insure your inventory, but for most of the year your store only has $50,000 in goods. During the holidays, you have twice that. If you bought a traditional Property Insurance policy, you'd have to pay for $100,000 in coverage for the whole year. Peak coverage allows you to cover your inventory for a lower amount during slow seasons, and then increase your coverage for pre-determined busy months.
  • Property Insurance with value reporting coverage. This policy requires more work from you. You'll have to send monthly, quarterly, or yearly reports to your insurer about the value of your inventory. Based on these reports, your insurer will adjust your policy to cover the fluctuations in your inventory.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance. Some retailers only use their vehicles in certain seasons. Say you run a hardware store. During your busy spring season, you offer a plant delivery service. If that's the case, you may want to talk with your insurance agent about covering your vehicle fleet with a policy designed to cover seasonal drivers.
  • Workers' Comp for temp workers. Many retailers hire seasonal or temporary workers to help them during a busy season. Depending on your state laws, you may need to add these temps to your Workers' Compensation Insurance. If you hire temps from a staffing agency, sometimes the agency will have its own insurance to cover the worker and you wouldn't need to cover them. See "How do I handle temps on my Workers' Compensation policy?" for more information.
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