Wholesale Florist Insurance Minnesota Policy Information
Wholesale Florist Insurance Minnesota. As a wholesale florist, you provide invaluable services for your clients. You fulfill orders for flowers and floral supplies from retail florists so that they can service their customers.
You have to make sure that the orders you receive are processed correctly, and you also need to ensure that the products you deliver are high-quality. The inventory you carry is delicate and has a limited shelf life as flowers only last so long and they need to be cared for properly in order to prevent them from spoiling or becoming damaged.
You may order your products from other suppliers, or you may grow your own flowers in a greenhouse.
Wholesale florists receive live flowers and plants from foreign or domestic growers, usually by truck, for distribution to florist shops, gift shops, and other retail establishments. The distribution center may be open 24 hours a day.
Generally, the product is delivered to the customer on the distributors' vehicles. Peak seasons include Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas and Chanukah.
Whatever the specifics of your business may be, if you're a wholesale florist, you face a lot of risks. In order to properly protect your operation from those risks and avoid potentially losing your business, investing in the right type of insurance coverage is an absolute must.
Why do MN wholesale florists need insurance? What type of wholesale florist insurance Minnesota coverage do they need? For the answers to these questions and more - and to learn how to protect your floral wholesale business - keep on reading.
Wholesale florist insurance Minnesota protects your floral wholesaling business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Wholesale Florists Need Insurance?
As a wholesale florist, you are exposed to a variety of risks. Some of those risks are similar to the risks that business owners in every industry face, while some are unique to your specific industry.
In order to protect yourself from those risks, you have to invest in an wholesale florist insurance Minnesota policy that is custom-tailored to meet your specific needs.
Examples of some of the protections you'll need include:
- Accidents that your commercial vehicles may be involved in
- Damage to your facility, fixtures, equipment, and any other property that is associated with your business
- Inventory loss, including both the flowers and the floral supplies that you carry
- Loss of income
- Third-party injuries – customers and vendors, for examples – that may occur on your commercial property as a result of the products you offer
- Work-related injuries or illnesses that your employees may experience
And those are just a few of the examples of the risks that you'll need to protect yourself from. If you don't have the right type of wholesale florist insurance Minnesota coverage and something unexpected occurs, you'll have to pay for the damages, lawsuits, medical care, and any other related expenses yourself.
Those types of expenses can be exorbitant, and if you have to cover them yourself, you could end up in financial ruin. There's also a chance that you could lose your MN floral business.
If you're properly insured, however, if something unexpected happens, instead of paying for the related costs yourself, your carrier would cover them for you. In other words, wholesale florist insurance Minnesota can protect you from serious financial losses, and it can help protect you from losing your business, too.
What Type Of Insurance Do Wholesale Florists Need?
There are several types of wholesale florist insurance Minnesota coverages that floral wholesalers need. The specific type of coverage you'll need depends on several factors that relate to your particular business.
Examples of some of the types of coverage you'll need include:
- Commercial Property: This type of insurance protects your commercial property and the contents within it from damages that may occur as a result of natural disasters, theft, and vandalism.
- Commercial General Liability: This coverage is designed to protect you from third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. It helps to cover the cost of legal expenses and any compensation that you may be required to pay.
- Commercial Auto: This coverage protects any vehicles that you may use to operate your business. For instance, if a van were involved in an accident while making a delivery, this coverage would help to pay for any related costs.
- Business Interruption: If your wholesale florist has to shut down for an extended period of time – if there were a fire, for example – business interruption insurance would reimburse you for any income that you may lose while you are closed.
- Cybersecurity: To protect the sensitive information you have stored on your computers from potential data breaches, you'll need cybersecurity coverage. If your computer systems were hacked and the information of your clients and your business were compromised, this coverage would help to pay for any related expenses.
These policies are just a few examples of the type of wholesale florist insurance Minnesota you'll need to carry as the owner and operator of an MN floral wholesaler.
MN Floral Wholesaling's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is generally limited due to the lack of public access to the storage facilities. Customers should be confined to specific areas that are kept clean, dry and free of obstacles. If customers pick up goods, loading docks must be clearly marked and user-friendly.
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. There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies.
Contracts with transportation and storage providers may expose the operation to additional liability. Railroad sidetrack agreements pose additional concerns. If there is a railroad sidetrack or dock, an employee must verify that no one is in the path of an incoming or outgoing train.
Railroad tracks and conveyors can be attractive nuisances. The premises should be enclosed by fencing with "No Trespassing" signs posted.
Products liability exposure is normally low. Plants that are toxic to humans or animals should have warnings to the consumer.
Environmental impairment exposure can be high due to the potential for air, land, or water pollution from the leakage of refrigerants used to keep stock fresh and fuel tanks used to service vehicles. All tanks and pipes should be routinely tested for leakage.
Spill procedures must be in place to prevent the accidental discharge of contaminants. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals. Record keeping is critical.
Workers compensation exposure is very high. Back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains can result from lifting. Workers should be trained in proper lifting techniques and have conveyances available. Shelving must be stable to prevent stored goods from falling onto workers. Continual standing can result in musculoskeletal disorders of the back, legs, or feet.
Floor coverings or coatings may be slick and pose slip and fall hazards. Forklift operators must be properly trained. Leaking refrigerants are a serious health hazard that can lead to lung damage or even death. Protective breathing equipment must be available to all workers in the event of any ammonia leak. Housekeeping is critical.
To avoid frostbite and hypothermia resulting from exposure to sub-zero temperatures, the length of time spent in refrigerated areas must be limited, and protective clothing required. When work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome.
Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals. Drivers of delivery vehicles may be confronted by robbers, injured in automobile accidents, or be injured at customers' premises. Training must be provided on dealing with such situations, and any necessary security should be provided.
Property exposure is high due to multiple ignition sources, open construction, the combustibility of packaging materials, and the damageability of plants. Ignition sources are from electrical wiring and equipment, coolers, generators and other equipment needed to maintain a constant temperature, and heating and air conditioning systems.
All wiring must be well maintained and up to code for the occupancy. All goods should be palletized or shelved. Aisle space must be adequate for firefighting. Flowers are perishable and particularly vulnerable to damage from fire, smoke, heat, water pressure, and spoilage. The age, condition and maintenance of coolers and refrigeration equipment are important to review. Ammonia leaks could cause an explosion.
There should be detection systems, emergency shut-off valves, and exhaust systems to allow venting in the case of a leak. Ammonia pipes should run outside the building to prevent accidental collision with forklifts inside the building and have impact barriers around them to prevent contact with vehicles.
Alarms should be in place to warn of power outage or shutdown. Backup generators should be available in case of equipment failure. Good housekeeping and fire controls are critical. Smoking should be prohibited.
Plants and flowers may be kept in a greenhouse or in an open area outside the building with high loss potential from wind, rain, or other natural elements. Greenhouses need to be carefully evaluated as they may not be designed to withstand the forces of nature. Panes in glass greenhouses may shatter, damaging the structure and its contents.
Newer greenhouses may have plastic coverings that need frequent replacement as they tend to yellow or cloud in the weather and block out the necessary sunlight. Flowers may be a target for thieves, especially prior to peak seasons.
Appropriate security controls must 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.
Business income and extra expense exposures are high due to the dependency of the business on sales for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Christmas/Chanukah. Recovering from a loss could require a lengthy time to rebuild the facility and purchase replacement refrigeration equipment.
Equipment breakdown exposures are high as temperatures must remain constant. All refrigeration equipment must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Back-up generators should be available. Additional coverage for spoilage should be considered as even a small power interruption could result in a large loss.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable if the distributor offers credit to customers, computers for tracking inventory, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records for suppliers' and customers' information.
Duplicates must be kept of all data to permit easy replication in the event of a loss. Contractors' equipment includes forklifts and hand trucks used for moving stored items. While goods may come to the warehouse via contract or common carriers or trains, goods are generally delivered to retailers on trucks owned by the distributor.
Goods in transit are subject to losses from collision or overturn, and spoilage loss from the breakdown of refrigeration equipment. Due to the potential for theft, vehicles should be unmarked, have alarms, and be attended at all times. Sales representatives may carry sample stock to retailers.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Warehouse operations involve a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated if duties are not separated.
There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. Regular audits, both internal and external, are important in order to prevent employee theft of accounts.
Good security systems should be in place to discourage employee theft. Physical inventories should be conducted at least annually.
Commercial auto exposure is moderate for the salespersons' fleet and delivery vehicles. Although wholesalers do not generally guarantee delivery times, peak seasons, such as Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and Christmas/Chanukah can substantially increase the volume, which can put pressure on a wholesaler.
Demands by retail customers for additional deliveries can result in drivers being more reckless. There should be written policies on personal and permissive use of any vehicles provided to employees. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven.
MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained, including refrigeration systems, with records kept in central locations.
Wholesale Florist Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out exactly what wholesale florist insurance Minnesota coverage you'll need and to develop a comprehensive policy that fully protects your operations, speak with a reputable insurance agent.
Additional Resources For Manufacturing & Wholesaler Insurance
Read informative articles on wholesale distribution insurance. Distributors and wholesalers face specific risks including fire, flood and weather damage that can destroy products in the distribution center - and every part of the supply chain including late supplier shipments to unpaid invoices - can effect the entire operation.
- Air Conditioning And Heating
- Audio And Video Equipment
- Beer & Ale
- Cameras & Musical Instruments
- CDs, DVDs And Videos
- Dairy Products
- Dry Goods
- Electrical Appliances
- Electrical Equipment
- Electrical Supplies
- Electronic Equipment
- Greeting Cards
- Importer & Exporter
- Liquor Wholesaler
- Manufacturers Representative
- Motion Picture
- Plate Glass
- Plumbing Supplies
- Restaurant Equipment
- Roofing Materials
- Seed Merchants
- Theatrical Supplies
- Wholesale Florist
- Wholesaler Distributor
Wholesale and distribution operations have many of the same physical damage and property coverage concerns as warehouse operations. In both, the value of both real property and stocks of merchandise is very high. Loss control and other techniques appropriate to the types of merchandise involved are needed. For these reasons, adequate and appropriate property insurance coverages are important.
Managing inventories, equipment and facilities can expose your wholesale distribution operations to some specific and unique risks.
The commercial auto exposure can also be significant, based on the extent of merchandise delivery. In addition, transportation or motor truck cargo insurance on the merchandise must also be arranged.
Employee theft is always an issue and can be a significant exposure, depending on the type of property involved. Finally, the types of merchandise and material handled makes workers compensation insurance another very important coverage.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Goods in Transit, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Dishonesty, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Signs, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyberliability, Employment-Related Practices and Stop Gap Liability.
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