Pawn Shop Insurance Montana Policy Information
Pawn Shop Insurance Montana. Being the owner and operator of a pawn shop can be an exciting endeavor. You have the opportunity to work with a diverse clientele, sell unique items, and even provide your customers with the extra cash they may need to get them out of a financial bind.
Pawn shops offer secured loans to clients, accepting items of value, such as cameras, collectibles, coins, electronics, jewelry, musical instruments, power tools, sporting goods, or watches, as collateral. A receipt or ticket is given to the client for the item being used as collateral.
The pawn shop retains the customer's item until the loan is repaid. If the loan is not repaid within a specified period of time, the item is sold, and the pawn shop retains the proceeds. The loan agreement must spell out who is responsible for insuring the items held as collateral.
Pawn shops may purchase items directly from clients for resale, or trade existing inventory for other items. Many are licensed to receive and resell firearms and ammunition. Procedures must be in place to verify the identity of the client and the ownership of items purchased or used as collateral as thieves may attempt to use the pawn shop to fence stolen goods.
Some pawn shops may repair or recondition items for sale. Pawn shops must be licensed at a state and/or local level. The licensing requirements enable law enforcement agencies to review the items held to make sure the shop is operating in a legal manner.
Regardless of how exciting your business may be, there are risks associated with owning and operating a MT pawn shop. If something does go wrong, you are liable. In order to protect yourself from the possible financial repercussions that could be associated with problems that may arise, you need to make sure you have the right pawn shop insurance Montana.
What kind of commercial insurance do pawn shop owners need? Read on to find out how to properly protect your business, yourself, and the people you serve.
Pawn shop insurance Montana protects your store from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Pawn Shops Need Insurance?
MT pawn shop owners and operators are exposed to many of the same risks that business owners in all industries face; a customer could be injured while visiting your shop or your pawn shop could be damaged in a fire, for example. You also face risks that are unique to your specific industry.
For instance, someone could file a lawsuit against you claiming that you sold them a defective product or that the amount of money you offered for an item you bought was significantly lower than the actual value of the item.
If something does go wrong, as the owner and operator of your pawn shop, you are legally liable for all of the associated expenses. Imagine how much money you could potentially end up having to pay out if a client were to file a lawsuit against you or your shop were to be damaged in a storm?
To protect yourself from serious monetary losses, investing in the right type of pawn shop insurance Montana coverage is vital. If you're insured, instead of having to pay the expenses out of your own pocket, your carrier will cover them for you.
Furthermore, insurance is compulsory for MT pawn shops; if you aren't properly insured, you could be looking at serious fines and may even lose your business.
What Type Of Insurance Do Pawn Shops Need?
The specific kinds of pawn shop insurance Montana coverage that you'll need depend on several factors; where you're operation is located, the size of your shop, and the specific products you handle, for example.
However, regardless of the specifics of your business, there are certain types of coverages that all pawn shop owners should invest in. Examples include:
- General Liability - This policy covers any third-party accident or injury claims that may be filed against you. Should a customer trip on something while browsing your inventory, hit their head, suffer a concussion, and file a lawsuit against you for the medical care they require, as well as damages for pain and suffering. Premises liability insurance would help to cover the costs that are associated with this type of situation.
- Product Liability - If a product you sell injures or sickens a customer, they may be liable for their medical care and any other related damages. Product liability insurance will help to pay for your legal defense fees, as well as any expenses and compensation that you a court may find you responsible for.
- Completed Operations - Part of a general liability policy, if you offer temporary loans to your clients - you hold their valuables in exchange for providing them with a monetary loan until they can repay it or sell their items if they fail to repay the loan within a specified timeframe - and the clients file a claim stating that you sold their property before the agreed upon timeframe was over, completed operations insurance would help to pay for the related expenses.
- Workers' Compensation -If you employ a staff, you'll also need to carry workers' compensation insurance. In the event that an employee is injured on the job, workers' comp would pay for any medical care that they may need. It would also compensate them for any lost wages if they are unable to work as a result of said injury.
- Commercial Property - This policy protects the physical structure of your pawn shop and the items it contains from acts of nature, theft, and vandalism. If someone breaks into your pawn shop and steals merchandise, this policy would help to pay for the necessary repairs, as well as compensate you for the stolen merchandise.
These are just a few examples of the pawn shop insurance Montana coverage available.
MT Pawn Shop'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 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 should confidential financial information be revealed to others, and from apprehending and detaining shoplifters and handling of unruly customers, which may result in claims of assault and battery, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises. All employees must be trained in dealing with these issues appropriately.
Products liability exposure depends upon the type of product, its age, condition, and use. The dealer should attach labels warning of possible lead exposure to cloisonne jewelry, ceramics, or pewter or silver-plated items. If the pawn shop repairs or reconditions items, the exposure increases.
Workers compensation exposures are moderate due to employees standing for long hours, the use of computers, and stocking which requires lifting and placing items on floors or shelves for display. 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. Shelves should be easily accessible for storage. Stepladders should be available.
Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting. Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals.
Due to the cash-oriented nature of the business and the value of items handled, all employees should be trained to deal appropriately with hold-ups and unruly customers. Security may be required to protect employees.
Property exposure is moderate as ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring and heating and cooling systems. These should be maintained and meet current codes for the occupancy. Malfunctioning wiring on used electrical equipment may short or spark when tested by customers. Should a fire occur, substantial fire and water damage may result to stock.
Goods held as collateral should be kept separated from goods held for sale. Ammunition should be stored away from combustibles. Theft and crime can be very high as many of the items are small but expensive, such as coins, jewelry, or watches. Smaller items should be kept in locked showcases inaccessible to customers to prevent shoplifting. High-value 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. If there is more than $2,500 in jewels, a jewelers block policy should be purchased due to most property policy theft limitations.
Valuation can be a problem due to the age and rarity of some items held as collateral. The shop should keep accurate records of the description and cost of each item to verify the actual cash value of missing, damaged, or destroyed items after a loss.
Business interruption exposures are moderate. While backup facilities are readily available, replacement stock will be difficult to obtain quickly.
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 a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements.
Pawn shops conduct much of their business in cash. 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, bailees customers for pawned items, computers to transact sales and monitor inventory, jewelers block if there is more than $2,500 in jewels, and valuable papers and records for vendors' and customers' information.
Backup copies of all records, including computer files, should be made and stored off premises. Fine arts coverage should be considered if the store stocks particularly valuable items. If the shop picks up or delivers items, there will be goods in transit.
Commercial auto exposure is generally limited to hired or non-owned liability for employees running errands. If the shop picks up or delivers items, all drivers must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles should have regular maintenance with records kept.
Pawn Shop Insurance - The Bottom Line
For more information on pawn shop insurance Montana, speak with an experienced broker who specializes in commercial insurance and understands the unique risks that MT pawn shops face.
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
- 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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Also find MT local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and 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.