Clothing Store Insurance Massachusetts Policy Information
Clothing Store Insurance Massachusetts. Clothing stores can sell a variety of new and used clothing and accessories for men, women, children, and infants. Some are "specialty" stores that sell to one type of customer, such as men, or sell a specific type of merchandise such as hosiery, wedding dresses, or athletic wear. The store may be independent or part of a regional or national chain. Tailoring or alteration services may be offered to customers. Some may offer delivery services.
So do you own or are you seeking to start a clothing store? If so, it is very crucial, as a business owner, that you cover yourself from potential lawsuits by buying business insurance. However, even before you buy insurance, you first must have a solid business plan outlining your risks as a business owner and ways you plan to cover these risks. First, you must know what your risks are - as not all of your risks as a store owner can be covered simply by buying a basic clothing store insurance Massachusetts policy.
Clothing store insurance Massachusetts protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why You Need Apparel Shop Business Insurance
Whether you operate a small boutique within a niche market - or a bigger fashion store that sells a wider variety of apparels and accessories - you'll almost certainly benefit from the security and protection provided by a tailored clothing store insurance package. This wise investment will protect the business when problems arise, and help the business owner make it through tough issues without going bankrupt. It is not enough just having risk management controls in place. Sure they will help you prevent potential lawsuits or claims, but nowadays one can pretty much be sued by practically anyone for any reason. Below are some of the key clothing store business insurances you may come-across as part of a general clothing store insurance Massachusetts package:
Types Of Business Insurance Policies For Clothes Store
As a small business owner, you may be thinking over the choices available when it comes to the apparel insurance coverage types your company needs. It is important how each type of policy coverage protects you, your business, and your employees. Below is a list of common clothing store insurance types that will provide you with plenty of options for insuring your store and covering a range of risks:
- Clothing Store General Liability Insurance - This insurance coverage is a must for apparel shops because you've so much customer traffic every day. Your clothing store is at risk for a potpourri of liabilities, which include a customer sustaining a bodily harm from tripping and falling on the side-walk at your storefront, a garment having a pin-stuck in it which harms the customer, they injure themselves on a clothe rack, or the property of a customer being damaged because of a falling display in the store. General liability will handle damages and costs of associated legal expenses if a customer sues the store for negligence. It protects your customer's property, offers product liability protection, as well as advertising protection.
- Commercial Property Insurance - This offers protection in the event of unanticipated damage caused to your clothes store or boutique, such as flood, fire, or malicious damage. If you rent your business premises, it is likely that the responsibility of purchasing buildings insurance lies with your landlord. It is therefore a good idea to contact them so as to confirm this.
- Business Property Insurance - Whether from fire, natural disasters, or extreme weather conditions, any store is vulnerable to property damage. Commercial business property insurance can protect against damage to business property including inventory and buildings. Often, a clothing boutique has a significant amount of its business value tied up in inventory. Water, smoke, and fire damage can ruin clothing completely, whereas they might only do partial damage to the inventory of other business types.
- Commercial Auto Insurance - All of the cars you use for clothing store business operations needs to be covered by commercial auto policy. The Auto coverage protects you from any losses caused by auto accidents, theft, or vandalism. If one of your vehicles gets damaged in an accident, this coverage pays for repairs. If people get injured in the accident, the business auto insurance will pay the expenses as well.
- Goods In-Transit Coverage - You may want to include this coverage if your business involves transporting materials, clothing, or equipment outside of your store premises. For example, if you're taking your stock directly to customers or exhibiting clothing in a fashion show, you may need goods in-transit insurance. While the policy can provide protection against damage, theft, or loss of items in transit, it isn't required if you utilize a separate courier to handle deliveries - in this case, they need to provide their own insurance.
- Umbrella Insurance - While general liability is essential in protecting your business from potential risks and loss associated with an apparel shop, it is not always enough to cover damages. There are coverage limits for all liability policies for your apparel store. Umbrella liability insurance can be a smart way to increase your limits of liability for all of the risks under one policy that will protect your store in case of claims which exceed your primary policy limits.
- Business interruption Insurance - The apparel industry can be notoriously seasonal. This seasonality is even a bit more pronounced for up-scale clothing boutiques. This policy is designed to cover the losses suffered if circumstances beyond your control cause your business to be unable to trade at full-capacity. While some commercial property damage insurance covers contain a business interruption component, there are many that do not; as an apparel boutique owner, ensure that your policy contains such a provision.
- Crime Insurance - Purchasing comprehensive crime insurance cover can help mitigate against the loss of business merchandise or money as a result of theft or robbery. It can cover cash inside and outside cash registers and safes - and money in-transit to and from banks. Help your business cover those kinds of losses, in addition to losses from shoplifting, by obtaining crime insurance.
- Employee Dishonesty Insurance - You can also buy employee dishonesty insurance. This can help protect against any financial risk or loss you experience because of the fraudulent activities of your employees, like stealing.
- Workers Compensation - Owners of clothing store are employers. As an employer, you're required by law to have workers compensation insurance on each and every one of your employees. Workers comp coverage pays the medical bills and related expenses of the employees if they're ever injured while working. As a no-fault type of insurance, this means that neither you nor your employee needs to prove that there is fault somewhere before the policy pays the employee's benefits.
Massachusetts Clothing Store's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. Floor covering 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. 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.
Personal injury exposures are from dressing rooms, which must be well maintained with privacy carefully guarded, and from apprehending and detaining shoplifters. Shoplifting procedures must be fully understood and utilized by all employees.
Products liability exposure is normally low. Direct importing of clothes and tailoring 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.
Workers compensation exposure is from lifting which can cause back injury, hernias, sprains, strains, and also from slips and falls. Employees should be provided with safety equipment and be trained on proper handling techniques. If tailoring services are offered, injuries due to sewing and cutting are possible. In any retail business, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.
Property exposures are low since 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 clothing provides a combustible fire load that is highly susceptible to water and smoke damage.
Individual items may be shoplifted. High-value or designer items may be stolen in larger quantities after hours. 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 generally low as backup facilities are readily available.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft 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 reconciliations. 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, 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. If the store alters or repairs items for customers, there will be a bailees exposure. There may be goods in transit between stores or if the store delivers items.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. If the store delivers items to customers, anyone who drives an insured vehicle must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with records kept.
How To Buy Clothes Store Insurance
To identify the risks of your shop, you can simply consult with an insurance professional or even an attorney. The risks for such a business can be very wide owing to the several different exposures involved with the business activities. Before you pay costly fees for advice from an attorney, we can at least assist you to identify some of the potential claims which could arise and ways your clothing store insurance Massachusetts coverage can protect you in the event of an insurance claim.
If it has been your true passion to run a clothing store, do not put it at risk by not picking the right types of business insurance. Make sure that you protect your hard earned cash with clothing store insurance which will cover the risks you are exposed to.
Massachusetts Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you are thinking about starting a business in the Massachusetts, it's important that you have an understanding of the economic trends and commercial insurance requirements in the state before you set up shop.
Economic trends are important, as they indicate whether or not the area offers a strong economy that will be able to support your business. You also need to know what type of commercial insurance you'll need to carry so that you can plan accordingly and ensure that you are complaint with the law.
To help you determine if the Bay State is the right location for the business you are thinking about opening, below, you'll find an overview of MA's current economic trends, as well as the types of insurance policies you'll need to carry.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Massachusetts
Unemployment rate is a good indicator of a state's economy. The lower the rate, the more job opportunities there are, which is direct reflection of the health of businesses.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts was 2.8% in December, 2019. That's 0.7% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% in December, 2019. This indicates that the state offers a strong workforce and that there are enough jobs to support the residents of the state.
While regions throughout the area are seeing business growth, there are certain areas in particular that are seeing more growth than others. This includes large metropolitan areas and the regions that surround them, including:
- New Bedford
Several industries are doing very well in the state of Massachusetts; however, there are particular sectors that are seeing more growth than others and are truly thriving in this part of the country. These industries include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Commercial fishing
- Financial services
- Hospitality tourism
- Information technology
- Medicine and life sciences
If you are thinking about starting a business in any of these industries, chances are good that you will find the success you are looking for in the state of Massachusetts.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Division of Insurance regulates insurance in MA. Massachusetts mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Massachusetts 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, but employees in domestic service must be covered if they work at least 16 hours a week.
Massachusetts 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 For 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
- Art Gallery
- Bicycle Shop
- Boat Dealers
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Carpet Store
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Dry Cleaning
- Equipment Rental
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Hardware Store
- Home Improvement Store
- Hotel Motel
- Ice Cream Shop
- Jewelry Store
- Lingerie Store
- Luggage Store
- Music Store
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pawn Shop
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tire Store
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Tuxedo And Formal Wear Rental Store
- Vending Machine Operators
- Wig Store
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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Also find Massachusetts insurance agents & brokers and learn about Massachusetts small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including MA business insurance costs. Call us (617) 902-0099.