Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does commercial insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number.
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it.
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Gift Store Insurance
Gift Store Insurance. Nearly any mall is home to one or more card and gift shops, and perhaps you own one of them. Gift stores provide a convenient spot for consumers to find greeting cards or those tricky last-minute gifting options for their friends or loved ones.
Gift shops sell personal and decorative items usually intended to be presented to others by the purchaser. Items may include clothing accessories, costume jewelry, glassware, kitchenware, pottery, knickknacks, statuary or licensed toys. Some stores may offer engraving, personal shopping or delivery services.
Owning a gift store, like any business, means being responsible enough to maintain the right level of gift store insurance on your store. Doing so protects you from liability claims if someone should be injured or their property damaged on your premises or if you should have a covered event occur that necessitates filing a claim to protect your financial interests.
Gift store insurance protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Gift Stores Need Business Insurance?
In 2014, there are approximately 65,000 gift shops in operation within the United States, and they provide employment for around one-quarter of a million people. Gift shops generate around $20 billion in revenue annually, which is a testament to just how popular these stores are among consumers. For this reason, it is important to protect your store with gift store insurance at the right levels and coverage amounts for your particular business model.
Property Damage Coverage for Your Gift Shop
Just one disaster can have the potential to wipe out your gift store business finally for years to come. A flood, a fire, or even the collapse of a roof on an uninsured business can be catastrophic. If you lack the right amount of property insurance, your business will take a gigantic financial hit if a common peril occurs. The right policy in place can protect not only your inventory, but your fixtures, decor, and other items located inside your business.
Other perils may not be covered under a standard commercial property policy. For instance, you need a separate policy for flood coverage, especially if you live in a designated flood plane. The National Flood Insurance Program can be a good source of flood insurance policies, and your independent agent can help you determine if you need this type of coverage and how to best purchase it.
You should also work with your broker to ensure that your gift store insurance coverage limits are at the appropriate levels to allow you to replace your entire store's inventory in the event of a major disaster. If the gift shop increases its inventory at peak periods of the year like Christmas, then you should look into adding a rider for peak period coverage that extends the value of your policy to cover everything you own inside the building.
Liability Insurance for Gift Stores
Although you may not view your gift store as a high risk for liability, it is important to know that no one ever anticipates being sued. Liability coverage is crucial for your peace of mind anytime that you operate a business. The biggest risk factor that your gift store faces is injuries to patrons who come into your retail store. Commercial general liability is the most foundational coverage and it protects you from third part claims of bodily injury or property damage.
A premises liability policy will cover your legal expenses and court fees as well as any financial awards given to the litigants in suits against you.
You may also want to look at a product liability policy; this coverage protects the business from injuries caused by selling a faulty product, even though it is not technically your fault, but the manufacturer's. If you're named in the suite, you want this valuable gift store insurance coverage in place.
Any injuries sustained by your employees should also be a consideration. Workers compensation is the type of gift store insurance policy you need to protect your employees from injuries and illness on the job. workers comp is required by any non-owner or partner employees.
Other Insurance Gift Shop Coverage Types
Any large-scale disaster can force most small businesses out of business; don't let yours be among them. If you are forced to close your doors for any length of time due to damage, impassable roads, and so forth, you can cover your business with business income insurance. This gift store insurance coverage provides continued income until your regular operations are back in place, sometimes for up to a year from the date of closure.
Employment practices liability insurance is a good type of policy for any employer to own, including gift store owners. If an employee believes he or she was wronged due to discrimination, sexual harassment or other issues, then this covers your back in court. Or if an applicant believes you discriminated in failing to hire him/her, this policy can help you pay for any damages and legal fees that result.
Gift Shop'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 with flooring 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. All goods should be kept on easily reached shelves so that customers do not pull down items on themselves. Shattered glass from broken items must be cleaned up quickly.
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 apprehending and detaining shoplifters. Shoplifting procedures must be fully understood and utilized by all employees.
Products liability exposure is normally low unless there is direct product import. Foreign-made items should come from a domestic-based wholesaler. Any direct importer should be considered as a product manufacturer.
Workers compensation exposures are from lifting that can cause back injury, hernias, sprains, and strains, from slips and falls, and from cuts and punctures from broken glass. 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 in preventing trips and falls. In any retail business, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.
Property exposures are low as ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring, heating and cooling systems. The stock is moderately susceptible to damage by fire, smoke and water and may have some combustibility. If high-value items are carried, theft may be a concern. 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. Breakage is a concern as items may be made of fragile glass or pottery.
Business interruption is a concern because sales may peak at particular times during the year.
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.
Buiness auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owneed liability for employees running errands. If delivery services are provided, anyone who drives an insured vehicle must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be regularly maintained with records kept.
Gift Store Insurance
Don't leave your business' future up in the air. Find out more about the types of coverage available and the policy types that suit your gift store best by discussing your situation with a licensed insurance broker.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
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.
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Art Gallery
- Auto Service Repair
- Auto Supply Parts Store
- Bicycle Shop
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Car Wash
- 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
- Luggage Store
- Music Store
- Nursery And Greenhouse
- 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
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.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.