West Virginia Tobacco Store Insurance

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West Virginia Tobacco Store Insurance Policy Information

WV Tobacco Store Insurance

West Virginia 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 West Virginia tobacco store insurance policy.

West Virginia 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 WV tobacco stores. When creating your West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 WV 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 WV 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 West Virginia 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.

West Virginia 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.

WV Tobacco Store Insurance

Every business has unique insurance needs. Therefore, you should choose a coverages that are right for your WV 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 West Virginia tobacco store insurance coverage.

West Virginia Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance

Made In West Virginia

Are you thinking about starting your first business? Do you already own a successful business and you're looking to expand to a new location? Whatever the case may be, when it comes to running a business, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration to ensure your success.

Of these factors, the location of your establishment is one of the most important. In order to achieve as much success as possible, the location must offer a favorable climate and a market that can benefit from the products or services you intend on providing.

The unemployment rate of a state is a good indicator of the overall economy. The lower the rate, the more jobs are available, which indicates that there are more successful businesses in the state. Also, it's important to know which industries are seeing the most growth in the state, as well as what type of insurance you'll need to carry to properly protect yourself and ensure you are complaint with laws.

If you are a business owner who has your sights set on West Virginia, read on for an overview of the economic trends and business insurance requirements in the Mountain State.

Economic Trends For Business Owners In West Virginia

In December, 2019, the unemployment rate in West Virginia was 5.0%, which was 1.5% higher than the national average of 3.5% at the same time. Additionally, the rate increased slightly over the course of the year, as it was 4.7% in July of the same year, 4.6% in August, and 4.9% in November.

The rate has been relatively steady over the four years; however, there has been a marked decrease, as in December of 2015, the unemployment rate was 6.4%.

As with most states, the prime areas for business development in West Virginia include urban regions and the surrounding suburbs. These locations offer a large target market, a larger workforce, and are with closer proximity to surrounding regions, hence why they're more promising for businesses. As such, Charleston, Huntington, Charlestown, Wheeling, and Beckley are the best areas to open a business in the Mountain State.

There are several industries that are thriving in the state of West Virginia. These industries include:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Automotive engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Retail

If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in West Virginia are favorable.

Commercial Insurance Requirements In West Virginia

The West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner regulates insurance in WV. West Virginia mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.

West Virginia 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.

West Virginia 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.


Retail Insurance

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 West Virginia insurance agents & brokers and learn about West Virginia small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including WV business insurance costs. Call us (304) 908-4800.

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