Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Insurance
California Furniture Store Insurance. Furniture stores sell new, used, unpainted, or naked furniture along with mattresses, decorative items, floor coverings, window treatments, and electrical appliances. Some may offer to repair, strip, reupholster, paint or refinish used or naked furniture; others design and manufacture custom-made items. Interior design services may be offered, or the store may manufacture and install kitchens, bathrooms, shelving and cabinets. Stores selling larger items may offer delivery, set-up and installation services or may contract these out to others.
As a furniture store owner, it is important for you to maintain insurance that adequately covers any potential liability and claims that may arise from doing business - a step that ensures that you remain profitable, no matter the financial climate. Work with an independent insurance agent to help you craft a California furniture store insurance policy that protects both you and your business from the exposures and perils you face in day-to-day operation.
California furniture store insurance protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
There nearly 30,000 furniture stores doing business in the U.S. These stores employ nearly 217,000 people. The sector generates roughly $60 billion in revenue total annually across the country. This makes the business a broad one, and the risks faced by owners of these stores are likewise broad.
Because of this, you must have the right California furniture store insurance policies in force at all times to prevent your business from financial downfall if you become the target of a lawsuit. Following are some of the most important California furniture store insurance coverage types:
Your store is likely stocked with a lot of high-quality merchandise. Your business also owns property that you must protect, such as equipment, shelving, fixtures, and more. These items must be protected with insurance. Your independent insurance agent will likely recommend one or all of the following types of coverage for your furniture store business:
Building Insurance - This coverage is important if you own the store in which you do business or if you own the warehouse where you keep your inventory. If you rent your space, you may also need to buy this coverage if the owner does not maintain it for you as part of your lease.
Business Property Insurance - Cover the contents of your furniture store or the warehouse where your furniture is stored with property insurance. This type of California furniture store insurance coverage provides protection for hazards like fire, vandalism and heavy winds. This may include protection for things such as light fixtures, computers, furniture, fixtures or even flooring.
Flood Insurance - Provides coverage against flood and water damage from flooding with flood insurance. Flood water can impact your CA furniture store in a major way. You can supplement your property coverage with a flood insurance policy, which is sometimes available through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Earthquake Insurance - For damage that is caused by earthquakes, earthquake insurance is a must. If you do business within an area of the country where seismic activity is a problem, then a supplemental policy that guards against financial loss from earthquakes can be important.
Nothing can wreck a business' financial outlook like getting hit with a liability claim. If you don't have a liability policy in force when someone is injured at your CA showroom or in your parking lot, then you can be hit with a major award that can send you into bankruptcy. The right California furniture store insurance policy can provide for legal defense costs, court expenses and financial awards to injured parties. Some types of liability insurance to consider include:
Beyond property coverage and liability coverage, your furniture store might want to consider business income insurance. If your business must close due to a covered peril, then this insurance can provide financial assistance until you can reopen.
Worker's compensation is also a good type of policy to own, and it is required by most states. CA workers comp protects your employees from loss if they become ill or injured at work.
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. Aisles must be adequate and free of debris. 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.
Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked, with backup lighting systems in case of power failure. Smaller goods should be kept on easily reached shelves so that customers do not pull down items on themselves. As children may climb, jump or play with floor displays, there should be enough employees on duty to supervise activities of customers.
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.
Interior decorators and employees making deliveries, setting up, and installing purchases for customers present a property damage exposure to the customers' premises. If the store recommends independent contractors, certificates of insurance should be maintained to verify that the contractors carry adequate limits of liability.
Products liability exposure is normally moderate unless bedding or children's and infants' furniture is sold or there is direct import of the products. All applicable standards and regulations must be met. If there is customization, the exposure will become closer to that of a manufacturer than a retailer. Foreign-made items should come from a domestic-based wholesaler. Any direct importer should be considered as a product manufacturer.
Workers compensation exposure comes from lifting which can cause back injury, hernias, sprain, and strains, from slips and falls, and from cuts and eye injuries from glass breakage. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting. If there are woodworking or repair operations, the workers may be exposed to cuts, punctures, amputations eye injuries, and skin or lung irritation.
Adequate protection using guards and goggles must be required. Housekeeping in storage areas, especially during peak times, is vital in preventing trips and falls. In any retail business, hold-ups are possible. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner. Drivers of delivery trucks can be injured in accidents, be crushed by heavier objects, or fall on stairs or from tailgates. Installers can fall from heights, be injured by falling objects, or be electrocuted while working on wiring.
Property exposures are from the heavy electrical load due to floor models being plugged into numerous outlets for display. Wiring must be up to date and meet current codes. Furniture and home furnishings are extremely flammable and susceptible to damage from fire, smoke, and water. Flammables, such as paints, varnishes, strippers, degreasers, and solvents used in repair operations must be properly stored, separated, and controlled.
Woodworking and painting operations may take place on premises. Plastics will feed the fire and cause an oily smoke which can permeate items, reducing any salvage opportunities. Wood, fabric and packing materials add to the fire potential. Forklifts used inside the warehouse should be recharged in an area with good ventilation, separated from flammables. There should be no smoking on premises.
Breakage may be a concern if there are glass or other fragile items. If there are high-value items, theft may be a concern. Appropriate security measures must be taken 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 is a concern as sales may peak at particular times during the year.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and loss of money and securities either from holdup or safe burglary. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. There must be separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and handling 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 coverage if electronic devices are used to transact sales and monitor inventory, equipment floater if forklifts are used in the warehouse, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records due to customers' and vendors' records. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises.
Automobile exposure comes from both pickup and delivery. Drivers should have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with full documentation kept.
Review your coverage needs with a licensed independent broker to determine if your portfolio contains the right levels and amounts of coverage for your individual needs. With the right insurance in place, you can rest assured that your CA furniture shop is completely guarded against perils that can and do arise during the course of business operation.
If you are an entrepreneur and you considering having your operations located in California, it's essential that you have a full understanding about the economy of the state, as well as the regulations and limits that are in place for commercial insurance.
If you are considering opening up a business in the Golden State, you first want to make sure that it is a sound location for your operations. That means that you should understand some key information related to the state's economy, as well as the types of insurance coverages that businesses are legally required to carry.
In terms of job creation, the state of California exceeds rate of job growth in the United States; however, as the state's metropolitan areas are reaching employment capacity, job growth is starting to slow. In 2017, the rate of growth was 2.1 percent, which is the slowest rate of growth since 2011; but it is still expected to increase by 1.8 percent by the end of 2018, and 1.2 percent by the end of 2019.
In the month of April, the unemployment rate in California dropped to 4.2 percent, which is a record low. This unemployment rate is expected to remain consistent for the rest of the calendar year; however, it's forecasted that the rate will start to increase in 2019.
The strongest labor market in the state is in the Bay Area, where the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in 2017. Southern California follows, with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in 2017. In the Central Coast region, the rate was 5.4 percent and in the Central Valley, it was 6.6 percent. While the unemployment rate is considered high in these areas, they have decreased dramatically over the last 12 month period.
The industries that are expected to see the most growth in CA include:
The California Department of Insurance regulates insurance in the Golden State. In the state of CA, commercial liability insurance is not required; however, since the state does not cap rewards for liability law suits, business owners are wise to invest in this type of coverage. The amount of coverage recommended varies depending on the size of the business and in the industry.
Workers' compensation insurance is the only type of coverage that business owners are required to have. This applies to any organization that employs a salaried or hourly staff, even if that staff only consists of one employee. Furthermore, if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of work, business owners must pay for CA workers' comp benefits.
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.
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.
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