Washington D.C. Gift Store Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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.
Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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 DC 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 DC 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 Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. gift store insurance coverage in place.
Any injuries sustained by your employees should also be a consideration. Workers compensation is the type of Washington D.C. gift store insurance policy you need to protect your employees from injuries and illness on the job. DC 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 Washington D.C. 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.
Washington D.C. 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.
DC 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.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. 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.
Washington D.C. 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.
Also find Washington D.C. insurance agents & brokers, DC local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington D.C. small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including District of Columbia business insurance costs. Call us (202) 800-5202.