Shop insurance is an essential form of cover for shop owners, as it covers a wide range of risks associated with owning and running a business. It is usually made up from different insurance types and combined into one suitable shop insurance policy. As shop insurance is tailored to suit your needs, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ off the shelf policy, it is imperative that you fully understand your requirements before obtaining a policy. For example, your policy will differ is you come into personal contact with customers and suppliers, or whether you sell electrical products.
If you employ staff outside of your immediate family then your first port of call is employer liability insurance which is required by UK law. The purpose of this insurance is to provide cover against claims from staff who are injured or become ill as a result of their work. On top of this cover, you need to consider whether you need to include any of the following into your shop insurance policy:
• Public liability insurance
• Product liability insurance
• Buildings or content insurance
• Legal expenses insurance
• Trade credit insurance
• Business interruption insurance
• Books debt insurance
The chances are that you will need to incorporate at least 4 of these policy options into your shop insurance, buildings & contents, public liability, product liability and business interruption. Business interruption cover is also known as Loss of Profits or Consequential Loss, with the idea being that it is able to provide financial assurance in the event that you lose turnover or you are unable to trade. Aside from your customers, the lifeline of your shop is your staff and products, so ensure that these are protected by including business interruption cover into your shop insurance policy.
Although it is important to ensure that you are adequately covered for any eventuality, it is just as important to check that you are not paying over the odds for aspects of shop insurance that you will never use. Ensure that you have a satisfactory level of cover for your needs, and always ask the provider what they are covering you for. There are a number of general policy exclusions with shop insurance, these can include anything from vacant and disused premises being exempt, to wear and tear, to damage caused to products by sunlight/fading; or even theft if it does not involve forced entry.