Your store — be it a hardware shop or a small clothing boutique — is the physical manifestation of your hard work. Whether it's been your lifelong dream to own your own business, or being a storeowner is simply where life directed you, you probably don't take chances when it comes to protecting your business. Unfortunately, the online age has made misinformation a real problem for small-business owners when it comes to business insurance. In some cases, even the most careful storeowner may be inadvertently exposing their store to risks as a result.
For owners of small retail businesses, it only takes one claim from an injured or ill customer to shut down your shop if you don't have adequate coverage. Even then, closing your doors may not be enough to cover a settlement and court costs, which could leave your personal assets vulnerable to collection. Lawsuits aside, you rely on your inventory to keep your business running, and theft is one of the primary risks retail businesses face. Without insurance, you would have to cover the high cost of theft and burglary out of your pocket.
In the spirit of clearing up misconceptions and offering you the facts about business insurance, this page presents the truth behind some of the most common misconceptions retail store owners have. Read on to discover how you can better protect your retail business from uncertainty.
Retail Business Insurance Myths Busted
When shopping around for business insurance, you're bound to find conflicting information from various sources. It seems everyone has an opinion about which kinds of coverage a retail business needs and how much coverage is adequate. To ensure you don't leave your business or personal assets vulnerable to risks, take a look at these prevalent myths regarding retail business insurance.
Business Insurance Myth #1: "I'll just close my business if I have to."
When a lawsuit threatens your business, closing your doors will not necessarily protect you. Generally speaking, courts are not interested in whether your business is currently operational, and should your business be found liable for the claim brought against it, you could be required to cover settlements or judgments with your personal assets. It's always sound advice to remember that you don't have to have millions of dollars to require business protection planning.
Business Insurance Myth #2: "I own such a small business, and I follow all state regulations. My customers or employees won't sue me."
No matter how comprehensive your risk management strategy, the simple truth is that if your retail business lacks adequate coverage — or any at all — it is can be sued and those expenses will come out of pocket. Without General Liability Insurance, even a meritless lawsuit can result in your business paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the income lost while you were tied up in court. The time and money to defend a claim in court can bring your business to a full standstill.
Business Insurance Myth #3: "My retail business is too small to need its own insurance policy."
No business is too small to benefit from the added security of business insurance. The protection it offers your business from liability claims, disasters, and unpreventable accidents alone is worth the investment, especially in a service-based industry where customers walk through your doors daily. Plus, in retail, coverages such as Property Insurance are especially beneficial, since they protect your inventory from theft — one of the major risks in owning a shop. Talk to an Insureon agent — we can help you tailor a business insurance policy based on the exact needs of your retail store.
Business Insurance Myth #4: "Insurance doesn't fully protect my business anyway, so the cost outweighs the benefit."
Though most small-business owners don't have the luxury of spending money on "extras," it's important to see business insurance as a necessity to keep your store protected from lawsuits, theft, and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Your business insurance is a small price to pay for the millions it could provide your business in the event of a covered claim. Plus, when you work with Insureon, your coverage is coming from A-rated insurance carriers — those with the strongest rating in the industry.
Business Insurance Myth #5:"My business insurance policy means I'm completely covered."
Unfortunately, a common misconception is that a single policy covers all your insurance needs. However, no matter how comprehensive your coverage may be, each policy is still subject to its own set of exclusions and fine print. Because no two policies are alike, these exclusions can vary drastically from carrier to carrier. That's why retail business owners are advised to read their policies thoroughly and work with trusted insurance providers. If you're concerned that your coverage isn't enough to meet your business protection needs, some policies will allow you to purchase Umbrella Liability coverage, which extends your General Liability, Employer's Liability, and Hired and Non-Owned Auto limits. Our Insureon agents can assist you if you have questions about a policy.
Business Insurance Myth #6: "My store employees are mostly part-time, so I can probably do without Workers' Compensation coverage."
Depending on where your business is located, you may be required by law to provide Workers' Compensation for your employees, no matter if they are part-time, full-time, or even volunteers. If your state doesn't mandate the coverage, know that temporary employees injured on your business property due to their assigned work can file a lawsuit against your store. Workers' Compensation will kick in to protect your business should an employee sue your business due to a work-related illness or on-the-job injury. By providing coverage for legal fees, immediate medical attention, and the foregone income your employee would have earned while recovering, this policy is a smart safeguard for any business with employees.
Protect Your Retail Store
Ready to give your business the security it needs so you can grow your business? Contact an Insureon agent today. We know the risks involved with your industry and can advise you about the coverages that can adequately protect your business.