Alaska Costume Store Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Costume Store Insurance. Costume stores sell a wide variety of costumes for occasions such as Halloween, cosplay conferences, and children's birthday parties, as well as accompanying accessories like wigs, face paint, fake mustaches, and small props.
Costume shops sell and rent a variety of clothing to men, women, and children for holidays, parties and other special events. Some specialize in designing, sewing, and renting costumes to theatrical groups. Some will make custom shoes.
Accessory items, such as theatrical make-up, costume jewelry, gloves, hats, masks, and shoes may be offered along with an assortment of novelty items. Alterations are often necessary as rented items must fit customers. All items must be kept in pristine condition, dry cleaned and repaired before each rental.
The shop will often sell outdated or obsolete items at a reduced price. The store may be independent or part of a regional or national chain that sells costumes and novelty items online as well as in stores. Some will offer delivery and pickup services.
Many costume stores are further able to rent costumes out for people who only want to dress up in a particular way once. Costume shops may operate mainly or solely on an e-commerce basis, or their stores may be brick and mortar shops.
This branch of commerce can be highly rewarding as well as profitable, but even if you do everything in your power to run a smooth operation, there is no question that circumstances beyond your control always have the potential to jeopardize your financial future.
What types of Alaska costume store insurance might be needed, and why? Discover more in this brief guide.
Alaska costume store insurance protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Costume Stores Need Insurance?
Not only will costume stores legally be required to carry certain types of insurance, they will also need proof of insurance if they apply for a commercial loan
One of the most important reasons to invest in the best insurance you can, however, is simply that having excellent coverage allows you to focus on growing your costume store without worries.
Costume stores face numerous risks, after all. Your business could fall victim to a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or wildfire. Burglary and vandalism could damage your property and cost you much of your inventory.
Due to the frequent use of synthetic fibers in costumes, costume stores also have to consider the fire hazard they may face.
A third party could be injured on your premises, saddling you with the expenses, or you a costume store could be sued in the event that one of the costumes or accessories it sells hurts someone, such as a child choking on a clown's nose. Even poor marketing choices could cause someone to accuse you of making misleading claims about your products.
These are far from the only perils that could befall a shop, but they do illustrate why having the Alaska costume store insurancee is so important.
When you are properly insured, your insurer will cover most of the costs if you are affected by a major peril, and that fact can save you from massive debt and even bankruptcy.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Costume Stores Need?
The exact types of insurance a costume store would be wise to carry depend on factors like the jurisdiction in which the store is based, its number of employees, the types of products it sells, and the value of its equipment and property.
By consulting a commercial insurance broker who specializes in the retail industry, you will easily get set up with an Alaska costume store insurance plan tailored to your needs. With that in mind, costume stores will certainly need to carry these essential forms of coverage:
Having said that, the following are examples of coverage that most costume store will need to carry:
- Commercial Property - This form of Alaska costume store insurance protects your business from financial loss in the event that your premises are impacted by acts of nature, theft, vandalism, fire, and other named perils. Your inventory and smaller assets are covered, in addition to your physical building. A sub-category of commercial property insurance, business interruption insurance, will further allow you to recover some of the revenue you lose after a major peril.
- General Liability - In the event that a costumer, vendor, or other third party is injured on your premises or your company's activities lead to third party property damage, you can realistically expect to be sued. Commercial general liability insurance helps to cover your legal expenses, and is invaluable to nearly all businesses.
- Product Liability - Should one of your costumes be faulty, should an end consumer be injured by it, product liability insurance will cover the legal costs associated with such claims. It can also be relied on in cases where products have to be recalled by the manufacturer.
- Workers Compensation - If your shop has employees, you will need workers' compensation insurance to cover the costs of any employee injuries that happen in the workplace.
Despite the fact that these policies form the core of a good Alaska costume store insurance plan, shops may require additional forms of coverage.
Direct all your questions at a skilled commercial insurance broker to ensure that your AK costume store is optimally protected.
AK Costume Store's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to the number of visitors to the store. To prevent slips and falls, there should be good lighting and adequate aisle space. All goods should be kept on easily reached clothing rods or shelves, so customers do not pull items down on themselves. The stock dropped on floors by customers must be retrieved promptly. Floor coverings must be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring.
Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Enough exits must be provided and be well marked, with backup lighting systems in case of power failure. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. If the business is open after dark, there should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area.
There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies.
Personal injury exposures include allegations of discrimination, invasion of privacy in dressing rooms, and from apprehending and detaining shoplifters, which may result in claims of assault and battery, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises. Shoplifting procedures must be fully understood and utilized by all employees.
Products liability exposure is normally low. Stock must be kept in pristine condition, dry cleaned and repaired before each rental. Designing and sewing costumes and direct importing of clothes can add to the exposure. Foreign-made items should come from a domestic-based wholesaler.
Any direct importer should be considered as a product manufacturer. Items being removed from stock should be inspected before being sold.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate due to employees standing for long hours, the use of computers, and restocking which requires lifting and placing items on clothing rods or on shelves.
Continual standing can result in musculoskeletal disorders of the back, legs, or feet. Trips, slips, and falls are common. When work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome.
Lifting can cause back injury, hernias, sprains, and strains. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting.
If tailoring or alteration services are offered, injuries due to sewing and cutting are possible. Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals. In any retail business, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.
Property exposures are low because ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring and heating and cooling systems. These should be maintained and meet current codes for the occupancy. Should a fire occur, the costumes and accessories provide a combustible fire load that is highly susceptible to water and smoke damage.
The exposure is increased if the store does its own dry cleaning due to the increased systems load, the high heat, and lint. Valuation can be a problem because the goods may be unique, and the rented items have been used. Theft may be a concern as some of the items in stock have high value.
Appropriate security measures should be in place including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business interruption exposures are high because rentals tend to occur on a seasonal basis, particularly for Mardi Gras and Halloween, and some types of costumes may not be quickly replaceable.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities from holdup or safe burglary. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements.
Money should be regularly collected from cash drawers and moved away from the collection area, preferably to a safe on premises. Bank drops should be made throughout the day to prevent a buildup of cash on the premises.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the store offers credit, computers to transact sales and monitor inventory, goods in transit and off premises due to rentals to customers, and valuable papers and records for customers', employees', and vendors' information. Backup copies of all records, including computer files, should be made and stored off premises.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. If the store offers delivery and pickup services, only company vehicles should be used. Drivers must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles should have regular maintenance with records kept.
Alaska Costume Store Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn about the specific types of Alaska costume store insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage you should have plus the costs, consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in commercial insurance.
Alaska Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in Alaska, it's important to have a basic understanding of the state's overall economy before you set up shop. Regardless of how high-quality the products and services you are planning on offering may be, if the location where you open your organization doesn't offer a target market that your products and services will appeal to, chances of success are slim. Furthermore, if a workforce isn't available to support your business, you'll have a hard time staying afloat.
With that said, it's important for business-minded individuals who are thinking about starting a company in Alaska to familiarize themselves with the state's economy; it's also a good idea to have an understanding of the commercial insurance requirements.
Following is an overview of economic trends and commercial insurance policies that business owners are required to carry in The Last Frontier.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Alaska
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1% in December of 2019. While that's significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 3.4% in December, 2019, it's lower than it was one year prior, when the rate of unemployment was 6.5% in December of 2018. Though the workforce is growing slower than it is in other states, economists do predict that the rate will continue to decline in the coming years.
Despite Alaska's remoteness and cold climate, it's actually a great start to start a business. According to the Tax Foundation, Alaska is the second most tax-friendly state for business owners in the United States, as there's no individual income tax or state sales tax. Additionally, Alaska has the second highest rate of new business owners, as well as the second highest percentage of available employees (as per 2016).
As in most states, the best spots to start a business in Alaska are the state's biggest cities and the surrounding areas. This includes Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. Other key areas that are seeing a boost in business development in recent years include Homer, Sitka, Prudhoe Bay, and Ketchikan.
While there are several industries that are experiencing growth in The Last Frontier, specific sectors thrive more than others. Businesses that are related to the following industries are booming in AK:
- Fishing, which is also one of the largest contributors to the state's economy.
- Mining, which provides more than 4,500 jobs in Alaska.
- Petroleum, which is responsible for 34% of jobs in the state. In fact, Prudhoe Bay is North America's largest oil field.
- Tourism is the second largest private sector employer in the state. Each year, millions of people from around the globe travel to Alaska to marvel at the numerous natural wonders that can be found here.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Alaska
The Alaska Division of Insurance regulates insurance in AK. Alaska mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Alaska requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Alaska also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources Retail Insurance
Read valuable small business retail insurance policy information. In a retail business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your store, employees, and inventory are protected.
- Adult Novelty
- Antique Dealers
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Army Navy Surplus Stores
- Art Dealers
- Art Gallery
- Arts & Crafts Supply Stores
- Bicycle Shop
- Boat Dealers
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Carpet Store
- Cell Phone Stores
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Consignment Stores
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Costume Stores
- Dry Cleaning
- Embroidery Services
- Equipment Rental
- Fabric Stores
- Fish Markets
- Flea Markets
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Greeting Card Stores
- Hardware Store
- Harness & Saddle Shops
- Home Improvement Store
- Infant, Baby & Children's Clothing Stores
- Jewelry Store
- Lamp Stores
- Lingerie Store
- Luggage Store
- Meat Market & Butcher Shop
- Men's Clothing Stores
- Music Store
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pawn Shop
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Poultry Dealers
- Rent To Own Stores
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tire Store
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Trophy Stores
- Tuxedo And Formal Wear Rental Store
- Vending Machine Operators
- Wig Store
- Women's Clothing Stores
Retail stores are susceptible to premises liability claims because of customer traffic, but large department and specialty stores are more susceptible than most.
All retail stores have significant property exposures. The on-hand stock represents a considerable investment, but the amount on hand fluctuates seasonally. For this reason, physical damage insurance on this property must be arranged carefully. When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured's interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Crime insurance, in the form of employee theft and money and securities coverage, is also very important.
The businessowners policy was designed with retail exposures and operations in mind. For this reason alone, it should always be the first type of package coverage to consider. However, for those risks not eligible for the business owners policy program, the commercial package policy (CPP) is a practical and convenient way to combine a number of coverages into one policy.
Retail businesses generate income through interaction with customers. This interaction is also how a customer can sustain an injury and then sue the retailer for damages. Hazards, exposures and operations both on premises and off are important and must be covered, but liability the retailer may incur because of the merchandise sold must also be considered and insurance protection arranged.
Inventory or stock is the major property exposure for most retail operations. Because stock values tend to fluctuate or have significant peaks at certain times of the year, value reporting or peak season valuation options should be considered. Business income coverage, including business income from dependent properties coverage, may mean the difference between a retail operation staying in business or being forced into bankruptcy following a loss.
When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured’s interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Most retail businesses offer endless opportunities for a variety of criminal activities. For this reason, the coverages needed must be carefully evaluated. Holdup and robbery losses may be the most obvious concerns but employee theft, fraud and counterfeit money losses are also serious issues that cannot be dismissed.
Retail businesses are gaining greater exposure to international issues because of the growth in sales via the internet. As these sales increase, the added exposures faced by these retailers must be evaluated. While their operating horizons are expanding so are their potential loss exposures.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Bailees Customers, Goods in Transit, Jewelers Block, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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