Your NY Retail Store Business Insurance Source
Opening, running and maintaining a retail store takes a huge commitment of time, effort and financial resources. You have enough issues to deal with such as online competition, inventory management, employee management including training – retention – recruiting, payroll, advertising, branding, website, customer service, maintenance and upkeep, cash flow, profit margins and on and on.
We so understand the pressures and challenges of owning a retail store and don’t want your insurance to be one of them. Our goal is to make sure that you are protected for your investment.
With decades of experience in business insurance along with direct appointments to the top business insurance carriers serving New York State, we can help your Retail Store with the proper coverage needed and at a price that is very competitive. We love helping business owners.
A Retail Store Policy is typically written as a Business Owners Policy (BOP) and protects your company from liability lawsuit claims as well as covering your business property from damage and loss. A third vital protection included in most BOPs is Business Interruption Coverage.
Let’s look a little deeper into these three vital coverages.
New York General Liability Insurance For Retail Stores
The successful retail store world is dependent on inviting the public in to their location to peruse items for sale and hopefully buy something. The more successful you are, the more people are wandering throughout your establishment, sometimes very focused on merchandise and not so much on where they are walking.
In today’s day and age of sue now and ask questions later, it’s more important than ever to make sure your company is protected against an injury lawsuit. The proliferation of personal injury lawyer ads make everyone aware that a slip and fall accident that causes an injury can mean big bucks to the injured party, especially if the injury occurs on the premises of a business, such as a retail establishment.
Even for store owners with the highest regard and action toward safety and protection for both employees and customers, accidents do happen.
General Liability, also termed “GL” insurance provides a safeguard to your store from these unexpected and often costly lawsuits. So costly in fact, that it can and does place companies in financial peril if they are uncovered or have inadequate limits of protection.
Two Major Protections of New York General Liability (GL) Coverage
1. Claim Settlement or Judgment: Accidents do happen, even for business owners that stress and practice safety standards for employees, customers, vendors, or anyone who may have interactions with that entity.
Say you operate a general merchandise discount store and take safety precautions seriously, provide employee training, and designed your interior retail space to avoid accidental slips and falls. An employee uses a ladder to assist a customer with an item on the top shelf and doesn’t remove the ladder.
A customer’s young child decides to have some fun and climbs the ladder before his mother can stop him and unfortunately falls off and suffers a serious injury.
The child’s parents pursue a claim and you are served with a $1 million dollar lawsuit. You carry only $300,000 general liability coverage on your policy and have no idea what you’re going to do.
2. Defense Against a Fraudulent Claim: Fraudulent lawsuits for fake injuries occur more often than they should. A woman pretending to be a potential customer walks into a retail grocery market and intentionally trips herself on a pyramid beverage display, falling to the floor and acts like she’s in severe pain.
She refuses a call for an ambulance or any medical care and virtually crawls out of the market. The grocery market owner is later sued by the woman for $2 million dollars for an alleged severe spinal injury incurred as a result of the fall. The grocery market owner has only $1 million in general liability protection and begins to lose sleep over the ordeal.
The market owner’s insurance company now begins a defense on the market owner’s behalf proceeding with an investigation into the accident, reviewing the claimant’s medical records which show no sign of injury. The insurer also requests the claimant to visit their own doctors who come to a very different conclusion than the claimant’s doctor as no injury is present.
It’s also revealed that the claimant has personal injury lawsuits pending in several different states. Thankfully for the grocery market owner, he had interior security cameras installed months prior that worked well and clearly revealed that the claimant intentionally tripped herself.
Once the investigation facts were brought to the claimant attorney’s attention, the lawsuit was quickly withdrawn. The market owner felt like a thousand pound weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
Without his policy’s liability protection, the grocer would have had to pay up to tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to mount his defense with no assurance he would even prevail.
The previous examples are for a discount merchandise store and a grocery market but are just as important for almost any retail concern.
Simply put, General Liability is a safeguard against potential costly lawsuits for bodily injury and/or property damage caused by the negligence of your company. Almost every type of retail store has exposure to the risk of lawsuit from an injury to the third party. Liability coverage also provides an additional protection to the insured by mounting a defense,
especially important in fraudulent or frivolous lawsuit actions.
NY Business Property Insurance Coverage
A NY business insurance policy for your store also protects your company’s property against covered perils. Items such as structures or buildings, equipment, tools, furniture, inventory, supplies and fixtures.
Common covered perils may include theft, fire, explosions, burst pipes, storms, vandalism, wind, falling objects and lightning. It’s important that you know which perils are included under your policy, particularly for things that can and do happen in your area and/or business type that cause property losses.
In addition to having the appropriate perils on your policy, carrying proper protection limits is very important to avoid gaps in protection.
Two common gaps that we encounter are buildings that are not insured to value and undervalued business personal property.
Insuring Your Retail Store Building to Proper Replacement Cost Value
NY small business insurance for retail stores is normally a Replacement Cost Policy typically requiring a building to be insured to at least 90% of the structure’s replacement cost, oftentimes at 100%. After a loss, if it’s not insured to the replacement cost value required, a co-insurance penalty is applied.
For instance, you own a $1.5 million building (replacement cost) with a 100% co-insurance clause and a $5,000 deductible and insure it for $1.1 million. There’s a fire that causes $700,000 in damage. The penalty would be assessed by dividing the actual insured amount by the amount that was required ($1,100,000/$1,500,000) or .73.
The loss of $700,000 x .73 = $511,000 less $5,000 deductible = $506,000 paid by the insurer and $194,000 paid by the insured out of pocket to repair the building.
Unfortunately in so many instances, owners are unaware that they are underinsured. This can be due to a rise in the price of materials and labor, miscalculated initial reconstruction cost estimate, subsequent improvements to the structure unaccounted for, among others.
This is why it’s so important to connect with your insurance agent annually to review your policy and re-run reconstruction cost valuations.
Carry Adequate Limits For Your Business Personal Property (BPP)
We often find company owners who are underinsured for their business personal property, also known as BPP. Everything owned by a company that is not attached to the structure is typically termed as BPP, items such as inventory, equipment, tools, supplies, and fixtures.
Anything permanently installed by a tenant is also their BPP and should also be accounted for. It’s important to note that co-insurance penalties can apply with BPP too, and in the event of a total loss, can result in significant out of pocket costs to replace lost items.
Many factors can cause an undervaluation of BPP, usually occurring after the initial policy was issued. Items such as added inventory, permanent site improvements, company expansion, among others.
Make sure to check your limits, ensuring an accurate current replacement cost amount of protection for your assets. We can help you with this.
Business Interruption Coverage
Sometimes known as Loss of Business Income insurance, helps recoup lost income when your store must shut down due to a covered peril such as fire, theft, wind, etc.
For instance, say you own a clothing store and a fire causes you to shut down for 6 months due to extensive cleanup, restock and store space repair. This endorsement will provide the income that normally would have resulted from regular business activity during those 6 months.
If a total loss occurs and you have to relocate, lost income would be reimbursed up to the number of months protection limit you carry on your policy or until you are relocated and operational at your location again.
This protection is critical for most small stores and sometimes included at only a 3 to 6 month limit when 12 months is really needed. We make our clients aware of this vital safeguard and will extend to at least 12 months protection at the approval of our insured if 12 months is not already included in the base plan.
It can literally mean the difference between closing up shop for good or being able to reopen your doors.
Tenants Fire Legal Liability
There are far more retail stores that lease space, as opposed to owning the building where they operate. Just think of all the shopping centers, strip malls and investor owned single unit locations out there.
If you rent a space for your establishment, and that space or building burns down, you could be held liable to pay for the damages to your own space. This can occur if it’s deemed that the fire emanated from your space due to negligence. The Tenants Fire Legal Liability endorsement protects you against damage to your rented space and will provide reimbursement up to the limit you carry on your policy.
It’s not uncommon for base policies to provide limits as low as $50,000. If you are carry a $50,000 limit on your policy and have a total loss fire in your space that would cost $500,000 to restore, what would you do if you were held liable? It would put most people in a terrible financial position.
Unfortunately, in many cases, it costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring a space back to original condition as required.
Fires can and do happen and you don’t want to be on the wrong end of the tenant fire legal liability limit if it happens to you. We can help you to determine the adequate amount of protection limits to keep you financially safe.
Choosing The Best Small Business Insurance In New York For Your Store
We understand that every business is unique and truly enjoy learning more about your company and you. The more we understand, the better equipped we are to offer you the most appropriate options at the most competitive price. Whether it’s a $500 premium or a $100,000 premium, we are going to do our best for you.
We have Great Options for the following retail store types, among others:
- Bridal and Tuxedo Shops
- Carpet and Flooring
- Convenience Stores
- Department Stores
- Discount Merchandise
- Dollar Stores
- Drug Stores
- Electrical and Lighting
- Gift Shops
- Grocery Markets
- Liquor Store
- Mom and Pop Shops
- Musical Instruments
- Paint, Wallpaper or Wallcovering
- Specialty Shops
- Super Markets
- And Many More …
Other Essential NY Business Insurance Policies For Retail Store Owners
Workers Compensation Insurance : pays for medical expenses and lost wages for work-related injuries and illnesses. It’s Required in NYS as soon as you hire your first employee.
Commercial Auto Insurance : coverage for commercial vehicles. It’s required when your company owns the vehicle or you use it primarily for work.
Cyber Liability Insurance : Protect your business from liability risks resulting from a breach of your systems or loss of private and personal information.
As a retail establishment owner there are many risks that can be encountered, from slip and fall accidents to a fire, to water pipes bursting and on and on. Owners who’ve experienced problems like these could tell you just how important it is to have the right coverage with adequate limits.
Everyone wants to save money and be cash flow positive in running their company, but eliminating coverages or reducing proper protection limits is not a good way to go. Those holding inadequate coverage and protection limits can be one bad accident away from financial ruin.
We don’t want that to be you! Our top priority is always to provide policy options that give adequate protection at the most competitive price we can find.
Regarding cost, every retailer is exposed to different types of risk, so costs vary from company to company. Your final rate depends on the unique qualities of your establishment including your building, location, personal property, employees and other rating factors.
The only way to know your true premium rate is to get a quote based on the specific details of your company.
We service clients for Retail Store Policies in the Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Latham, Cohoes, Watervliet, Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, surrounding Capital Region areas and all of New York State from NYC to Buffalo. Each one of our clients is given a dedicated expert to work together to proficiently address all your concerns.
Whether you are simply looking for the Best Retail Store Insurance quote in New York or want a thorough consultation for your commercial policy needs, we are here to help.
Call one of our professional agents at 518-783-0105 for more about retail store insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Store Business Insurance in New York
Broad: Includes additional protection for falling objects that damage the exterior of your property, frozen pipes, ice and snow damage, theft, and accidental water damage.
Special: Usually covers all perils except for specific perils that are excluded in the policy such as earthquakes, floods, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, and intentional acts.
Contact us today at 518-783-0105 to speak with one of our trusted agents about your New York Retail Store Insurance & answer any questions you may have and provide you with a quote.