Montana Furniture Store Insurance Policy Information
Montana 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 Montana furniture store insurance policy that protects both you and your business from the exposures and perils you face in day-to-day operation.
Montana 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.
Why Do Furniture Stores Need Business Insurance?
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 Montana 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 Montana furniture store insurance coverage types:
Commercial Property Insurance
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 Montana 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 MT 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.
Liability Insurance for Your Furniture Store
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 MT showroom or in your parking lot, then you can be hit with a major award that can send you into bankruptcy. The right Montana 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:
- Commercial General Liability: This covers most common liabilities that you might face such as slip-and-fall claims.
- Product Liability: This Montana furniture store insurance policy provides coverage for property damage or injuries caused by defective or faulty products you sell.
- Advertising Liability: Cover yourself against claims of trademark or copyright infringement with this type of policy.
- Personal Injury: Provide protection for claims of slander and libel with personal liability insurance.
- MT Commercial Auto: If you have a delivery truck or van, protect it with an auto liability policy that's specifically structured for commercial use.
- Cyber Liability: Protect your clients and customers from cyber attacks with this policy. This coverage provides protection for damage and loss occurred when someone hacks into your system and retrieves credit or other information.
Other Types of Furniture Store Insurance Coverage
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. MT workers comp protects your employees from loss if they become ill or injured at work.
Montana Furniture Store's Risks & Exposures
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.
MT Furniture Store Insurance
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 MT furniture shop is completely guarded against perils that can and do arise during the course of business operation.
Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.
No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.
If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.
With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana
As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.
Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.
There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:
- Great Falls
Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Oil and gas production
- Retail development
If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Montana 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.
Montana 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.
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Also learn about Montana small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including MT business insurance costs. Call us (406) 637-8400.