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.
Pet Store Insurance
Pet Store Insurance. Pet stores sell pets and related supplies including pet food, collars, leashes, habitats, clothing and pet toys. Some offer animals such as cats or dogs, while other offer more exotic animals, such as rare birds, rodents, fish, spiders and snakes. Related services that may be offered include kenneling, grooming, and veterinary care. Some pet stores offer adoption programs in conjunction with local animal shelters or sponsor exhibitions or competitions.
You've chosen a truly special industry, one that supports and nurtures the joy and companionship of pet ownership. Through your pet store business, your customers trust you to provide them with safe products and responsible grooming services that leave everyone happy and healthy. But your pet store gets its the life from something else. The pets themselves.
And while pets give a certain magic to the pet store environment, they also add a lot of complexity and a significant amount of risk. The injury or death of one of the pets can be tragic and costly, putting your pet store business at great risk for survival. This makes pet store insurance a huge necessity for your business.
Pet store insurance protects your shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do You Need Pet Store Insurance?
pet store insurance offers protection from a wide range of risks and exposures that could potentially impact your business and ability to operate. It's essential to ensure you have the right protection in place to safeguard the pets, buildings, contents, stock as well as your liability towards staff, customers and suppliers. Without the right coverage in place, you may be personally liable for accidents that occur, which could also jeopardize the future of your business.
Types Of Pet Store Insurance?
General Liability: pet store owners purchase this insurance to provide coverage for legal hassles due to claims by customers. This policy protect against payments as the result of bodily injury as well as property damage. If someone tripped over spilt animal feed in your shop and claimed compensation for their injury, pet store insurance pays for medical expenses, lawsuit defense costs, and settlement bonds or judgements during an appeal procedure.
Another example, let's say that one day a customer is in your store for a routine visit. The night before the visit, your cleaning crew left a very slippery floor and didn't use non-skid wax. The customer is walking around your premises when they suddenly trip and fall. General Liability Insurance will pay for legal defense if the customer decided to bring a lawsuit against you for their injuries.
Business Property: Research places the average cost of fire for small businesses at $35,000. If you do not have this kind of cash lying around, property insurance is a no-brainer. If certain disasters and weather events strike, pet store insurance will cover the cost of making repairs and replacement to your property. Burglary is yet another common pet store claim, so chances are you need the coverage commercial property offers.
Inland Marine: This protects you against losses related to animal mortality. A broker can help you determine whether this coverage is a good fit for you, as may be the case if you keep highly valuable breeds.
Bailee Insurance: If your pet store offers veterinary, grooming or kenneling services, you need Bailee insurance. This pet store insurance provides coverage for pets belonging to other people but left in your care, custody or control.
Commercial Auto: Driving for business is riskier than personal auto use - especially if it requires picking up or delivering pets or expensive products.
Worker's Compensation: Worker's compensation is required in most states for any non-owner employees and is an important pet store insurance policy for pet shops to have. Your employees are at risk of falling inside the shop or getting injured by your pets. If they get a work-related injury, the diagnosis and treatment will be covered by worker's compensation insurance. The policy also covers recovery, physical therapy, and any lost income while they are out of work.
Commercial Flood Insurance: Business insurance policies don't include coverage for damages caused by floods. Because floodwaters can cause extensive damage, it is important that you look into supplementing your policy with commercial flood insurance if you are in or near a flood zone.
Pet Shop's Risks & Exposures
Animal mortality exposure is unique to pet stores and pet care operations. Animals can escape, be injured by employees, customers or other animals, or contract disease. Others need controlled environments, such as tropical fish, that require backup power facilities should power outages occur.
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. Pet "accidents" must be quickly cleaned up to prevent slips and falls. 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. Interaction of the store's pets offered for sale and customers can create injury due to bites, pecks, or scratches. In addition, some stores encourage owners to bring their animals to the premises, which increases liability if not well controlled. Visiting animals should be leashed and remain with their owners at all times. Pet grooming, kenneling and veterinary care will increase the number of visitors.
Animal rights demonstrations may be a concern if the store sells puppies, particularly when the animals are purchased through "puppy mills."
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and fall. 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 animals, pet food and supplies are imported. These should come from a domestic-based wholesaler. Professional services must be carefully evaluated as any injury or loss to a high-value animal may result in expensive claims. It is important to remember that death or damage to pets are not bodily injury claims, but are property damage claims.
Workers compensation exposure is from lifting which can cause back injury, hernia, sprains, and strains, and from slips and falls. Employees have animal-related exposures including bites, pecks, scratches, and diseases that may be transmitted to humans. 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.
Housekeeping in storage areas, especially during peak times, is vital to prevent trips and falls. As with any retail operation, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner. Drivers of delivery trucks can be injured in accidents.
Property exposure ignition sources are generally limited to electrical wiring and heating and cooling systems. Animal stock is sensitive to fire, smoke, and water. Should even a small fire occur, the store could incur a large loss if the animals or fish must be destroyed. Other than the animals, the stock is not highly damageable. The theft exposure is limited unless the shop deals in rare or specialty items.
Business interruption is a concern because sales may peak at particular times during the year and sought after items and some types of animals may not be quickly replaceable.
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 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, bailees customers if the store offers grooming or kenneling services for customers' animals, 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 attends exhibitions or sponsors events, there may be a goods in transit exposure.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned for employees running errands. If the pet store offers pickup or delivery of animals for services such as pet grooming or veterinary care, anyone who uses a vehicle must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles should have regular maintenance with records kept.
Pet Store Insurance
Most animal lovers think there couldn't be anything better than running a pet shop, however if this is what you do for a living you know that it comes with its own stresses! Even though working with pets can be extremely rewarding - especially when you find them a new home - you still need insurance to protect your pet store business from the various risks you face daily.
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.
- Adult Novelty
- 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
- Gas Station
- 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.
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.