Washington D.C. Tobacco Store Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. Tobacco Store Insurance. Although fewer people are smoking today than in times past, tobacco stores are still a high-demand market. It is almost impossible to eliminate the tobacco culture. In fact, some retailers have started adding e-cigarettes to their line of products, due to increasing number of people who are switching from traditional tobacco smoking, to vaping. Other retailers deal in rare and expensive types of tobacco.
Tobacco shops sell all types of tobacco items, such as cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other smoking devices and supplies, including pipes and pipe tobacco. Most also sell expensive curio and gift items for the smoker. Some sell novelties or snacks.
Whichever the case, if you are dealing with tobacco products, you are dealing with numerous types of exposures, which can only be covered through a Washington D.C. tobacco store insurance policy.
Washington D.C. tobacco store insurance protects your smoke shop from lawsuits with rates as low as $77/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Potential Risks in a Tobacco Shop
Your tobacco or cigar shop is just like a small retail store. Despite the differences in the customer base, it is a place where people visit frequently and enjoy some social discourse over cigars. Every time clients spend a considerable amount of time in your business, your liability exposure increases, since they are likely to suffer property damage or get hurt while in your premises.
In addition, many tobacco stores contain flammables, such as butane lighter refills. Other tobacco stores allow customers to smoke in their premises. Therefore, the risk of fire damage in a tobacco store is much greater than other retail establishments. Furthermore, most tobacco products are known to pose various health risks on the users and your store could be sued for damages.
Due to the above reasons, most commercial insurance providers don't like insuring DC tobacco stores. When creating your Washington D.C. tobacco store insurance portfolio, you should work with a knowledgeable insurance broker, who will walk you through the whole process, so that you can understand the various coverage options.
Tobacco Store Property Coverage
If you allow smoking inside your tobacco store, then you face a huge risk of fire damage. Apart from that, your store is at a risk of property damage due to vandalism, storms and other hazards. If you lose your business or suffer property damage, you just need to rely on your Washington D.C. tobacco store insurance. Your business will be restored to normalcy. Here are some of the insurance coverages that tobacco storeowners or operators should consider:
Building Insurance: If you are the building owner which houses your shop, then you will be required to secure building insurance by your mortgage lender. This covers your building in the event of structural damage.
Contents Insurance: This covers the business property that is kept inside the tobacco store premises. It includes the shelving, your merchandise, decor, and cash registers, just to name a few. You therefore need to make sure that you have enough coverage for your business property.
Flood Insurance: Damages caused by flood are not covered by the DC commercial property insurance policy. You will need to secure this additional protection if you are in or near a flood zone. To do this, you just need to add a DC commercial flood insurance policy. This is usually done through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Tobacco Store Liability Insurance
A single liability lawsuit can lead to financial hardships, and even force you to file for bankruptcy. However, with liability insurance, your business is protected from such risks. It covers legal defense fees, court costs, as well as financial damages. There are numerous liability Washington D.C. tobacco store insurance coverages at your disposal, to add to your commercial insurance portfolio. Some of them include:
Premises Liability Insurance: This coverage protects your business from general lawsuits, for example when a customer is slips and falls and is injured or faces personal property damage in your premises, due to negligence on your part. Although it covers numerous types of lawsuits, it is not comprehensive. Therefore, you will need supplemental liability coverage.
Product Liability Insurance: If a customer is sickened or injured by any of your products, then you might need this coverage to protect your assets. For example, a customer can be burnt when an e-cigarette explodes. Although you are not the manufacturer - most likely the plaintiff attorney will name your store in the lawsuit that follows. It is therefore important to have product liability coverage to shield your business from defective product risks.
Washington D.C. Tobacco Shop's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. All stock should be on shelves that are easily accessible to customers. Floor coverings should be in good condition, 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.
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.
Products liability exposure is normally low unless there is direct importing of products. Unfavorable verdicts from tobacco litigation could increase the exposure for individual tobacco sellers.
Workers compensation exposures are due to lifting that can cause back injury, hernias, sprains, and strains, and from slips and falls. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting. If smoking is permitted on premises, second hand smoke could result in lung and respiratory injuries to long term employees.
Property exposures are low because ignition sources are limited to electrical wiring and heating and cooling equipment. These should be well maintained and meet current codes for the occupancy. Should a fire occur, substantial fire and water damage may result due to the susceptibility of the stock. Theft is a concern due to the high value of the tobacco items. Appropriate theft controls such as alarms, lighting, and physical barriers to prevent access to the premises after hours should be in place.
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 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 vendor's records. Backup copies of all records, including computer records, should be made and stored off premises.
Commercial auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-ownered liability for employees running errands. If there are any owned vehicles, drivers should have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Any vehicles must have regular maintenance with records kept.
DC Tobacco Store Insurance
Every business has unique insurance needs. Therefore, you should choose a coverages that are right for your DC tobacco shop. Buying insurance for your tobacco store can be a complex process. Therefore, always work with professionals to ensure you get the most cost-effective Washington D.C. tobacco store insurance coverage.
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
- 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
- Pawn Shop
- 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
- Tuxedo And Formal Wear Rental Store
- Vending Machine Operators
- 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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