Massachusetts Book Store Insurance Policy Information
Massachusetts Book Store Insurance. Booksellers sell new and used books, magazines, newspapers, and periodicals. Many have expanded their stock to include a wide variety of media including CDs, DVDs, and computer software. Others offer gifts, novelties, and on-premises coffee shops or snack bars.
Operating a book store can be a dream come true if you're an avid connoisseur of the written word. However, it's not all fun and games; as any business owner, you still put yourself at risk of liability every time you open your doors for business. You are subject to the same litigious exposure that other stores and businesses face, whether you're a small mom-and-pop book shop with one location or a larger business with several stores.
Because of the risks you face from liability from customers and others, having Massachusetts book store insurance in place and protecting you and your business is an essential part of putting out your 'open' sign.
Massachusetts book store insurance protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Do You Need MA Book Store Insurance?
Book stores are not a thing of the past, despite the tendency for some folks to get their books delivered electronically. But you know as well as anyone that you face lowered sales and a declining market; many small booksellers are just one lawsuit away from having to shutter their doors forever. Because of the less-profitable nature of the business, there has never been a more important time for you to protect your business from the 'what ifs' that can be the demise of your business. Massachusetts book store insurance insurance can help.
Danger? At the Bookstore?
Although marketing and consulting both seem like innocuous professions, the truth is that marketing consultants face a variety of perils in their everyday operations. Some of the risks that you encounter on a daily basis include:
While you may think that your profession is a fairly innocuous one, anytime you do business with the public you're subject to claims that go far behind the occasional paper cut while flipping through the latest bestseller. Book store patrons can slip, fall, trip or tip over items and become injured, racking up serious medical bills for which you would be responsible. Readers and fellow book lovers often 'hang out' at book stores; perhaps you have a local crowd that does just that. This is usually good for business, but it can also increase the risks you face when it comes to potential injuries. Vendors can also become injured when making deliveries.
There are umpteen scenarios of things that can go wrong and that often do. Your business could become damaged due to weather or fire, causing you to have to throw in the towel or find a new location. In the case of these types of events, you're often left with damaged or destroyed inventory, and absent a policy that pays you to replace that inventory, you're left holding the bag - replace it or accept the loss. Fortunately, there are Massachusetts book store insurance policies geared toward all of these scenarios.
What Should You Consider When Buying Coverage?
Protecting the contents of your bookstore with a viable policy is a smart business decision, whether you mainly stock trade paperbacks or you're dealing with antiquarian volumes. Inventory in your store is mainly paper based, so it is super vulnerable to damage from fire, smoke and water. Keeping a full inventory list is an important step; you should also make sure your contents coverage covers actual cost of replacing the entire inventory of your store if the worst case scenario actually comes to fruition.
Liability Issues for Book Store Owners
MA book store owners face the same liabilities that other retailers face. With the constant influx of customers, patrons, vendors, and others into your business, accidents are going to happen. No matter how hard you strive to make sure that your store is safe, sometimes things go awry. If your store caters to children, such as by holding special events targeted at young readers, then you're even more vulnerable. General liability insurance can help protect you from potential financial ruin if someone becomes injured on the premises. This protection is even more vital if your bookstore is also home to a coffee shop or cafe, since this type of business model opens the door for more liability from foodborne sickness.
You should also consider that if you sell a book that becomes the center of a libel or other suit, you could be included in the suit. This is even more likely if you endorse the book in any advertising and promotions or host the author for a book signing. Although the risk of such a suit is tiny, it is very real. General liability insurance for book stores should come with policy limits that are high enough to sustain such a claim.
Do You Need Retail Theft Insurance?
The short answer is no. Shoplifting has become a problem in all retail environments, including book stores, and specific insurance to mitigate the damage from book store theft exists. However, most instances of theft are so small and insignificant in the scheme of things that they don't warrant a full Massachusetts book store insurance policy to pay for the loss, not to mention the time it takes to file a claim. Investing in a loss control system may be a better use of the money spent. Discuss theft in your store with an independent agent to weigh your options and find out if theft insurance is a necessity for your particular retail model.
Massachusetts Bookseller's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. Books and other media should be kept on easily accessible and well-supported shelving. Aisles must be adequate and free of debris. Floor covering must be in good condition, 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. If food and drink are offered, spills must be cleaned quickly to prevent slips and falls. If book signings or special events are conducted on premises, there should be adequate security on hand to control crowds.
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 must be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area.
Personal injury exposure can arise from apprehending and detaining suspected shoplifters. The use of closed-circuit camera systems prevents such incidents from evolving into a "he said, she said" situation. Employees must be trained to deal with such delicate situations properly.
Products liability exposure for this type of operation is normally low.
Workers compensation exposure is from lifting which can cause back injury, hernia, sprains, and strains, and from slips and falls. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting. Shelves should be easily accessible for storage. Stepladders should be available.
Housekeeping in storage areas, especially during peak times, is vital to prevent trips and falls. Snack bar and coffee shops may have burns or cuts. As with any retail operation, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.
Property exposures are generally limited to electrical wiring, heating and cooling systems, but books and other media are highly susceptible to loss from water, smoke or fire. Even when the items are not directly affected, any increased moisture in the air can cause tremendous damage. Suppression systems must be evaluated both on the ability to control fire and to limit damage to contents as it controls the fire. Snack bars and coffee shops should be separated from the book storage areas.
Books and other media are generally small and easy to steal. The higher priced, rare, or heavily desired items can become target items due to market demand. Appropriate security measures should 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 since 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. Shoplifting detection devices in packaging, video surveillance and requiring customers to leave bags at the front door when they enter the store help reduce thefts by customers. Two employees should be required to confirm the accuracy of deliveries from vendors.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the store offers credit; computers used 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 bookseller carries out-of-print or rate books, fine arts coverage may be needed as well as valuable papers.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and nonowned with an occasional service vehicle for errands and pickups. Drivers should have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Any owned vehicles must have regular maintenance performed and documented.
MA Book Shop Coverage
There are a few other recommended insurance types for your bookstore in additon to maintaining inventory, building, general liability and property insurance. You may also want to buy flood insurance, business income insurance, and employment practices insurance. Employee dishonesty insurance, worker's compensation, and cyber liability insurance may also be wise investments.
Speak with a licensed agent about your insurance needs. Operating your bookstore is your livelihood; having bookstore insurance in place protects your finances and ensures your financial future.
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
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Art Gallery
- Bicycle Shop
- 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
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- 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.
Request a free Massachusetts Book Store insurance quote in Acton, Agawam Town, Amherst, Andover, Arlington, Attleboro, Barnstable Town, Belmont, Beverly, Billerica, Boston, Bourne, Braintree Town, Bridgewater, Brockton, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Canton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Chicopee, Concord, Danvers, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dracut, Easton, Everett, Fall River, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Framingham, Franklin Town, Gardner, Gloucester, Haverhill, Hingham, Holyoke, Hudson, Lawrence, Leominster, Lexington, Lowell, Ludlow, Lynn, Malden, Mansfield, Marblehead, Marlborough, Marshfield, Medford, Melrose, Methuen Town, Middleborough, Milford, Milton, Natick, Needham, New Bedford, Newton, North Andover, North Attleborough, Northampton, Norton, Norwood, Peabody, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Quincy, Randolph, Reading, Revere, Salem, Sandwich, Saugus, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Springfield, Stoneham, Stoughton, Sudbury, Taunton, Tewksbury, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Wareham, Watertown Town, Wellesley, West Springfield Town, Westborough, Westfield, Westford, Weymouth Town, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn, Worcester, Yarmouth and all other cities near me in MA - The Bay State.
Also 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.