A guide to shop insurance and what it can cover

Shop insurance is something all shop owners should consider. Find out how it could help you get back on your feet should the unexpected happen

Shops face risks, from theft to flooding, which means all shop owners should consider insurance.

Why do I need shop insurance?

You’ll want to get back on your feet quickly should anything happen, whether you run a bookshop, a florist, or a newsagent.

But all shops have different challenges, so you should think about the risks you face with your business. Then, you can look at the retail insurance that could protect you.

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What shop insurance can cover

As a start, public liability insurance is often a core part of a policy for businesses that come into contact with members of the public.

You may employ staff who help you run your business. Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for most businesses that have employees, and you could be fined £2,500 for every day you’re not insured.

Other covers to consider include:

  • Shop premises (buildings) insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Stock insurance
  • Business contents and equipment insurance
  • Business legal protection insurance
  • Personal accident insurance

Some insurers won’t cover shops for public liability only, so by adding buildings, stock, or contents cover to your quote, you may see more choice for your insurance.

About the different shop insurance covers

Public liability insurance

As your business is built around your customers, this cover should be a priority. It can protect you against compensation claims for injury or damage caused by your business.

Say someone slipped over a spill in your shop. Public liability insurance could cover the legal fees and compensation costs if your business was found at fault.

Claims can be costly. Most insurers offer between £2m and £5m of public liability cover, so think about the severity of any damage or loss that your business could cause.

Employers’ liability insurance

If you hire staff to help run your shop, this cover is likely a legal requirement. It protects against the costs of an employee claiming compensation for injury or illness caused by your shop.

As we mentioned, if you need this cover and don’t have it, you could be fined. Employees also include short-term staff, casual workers, and contractors.

Product liability insurance

You may need this if your business designs, manufactures, or supplies physical products, whether you sell them or give them away for free.

Even if you have faith in your products, there’s a chance they might be faulty. Faulty products can cause injury and damage to property, so this cover is usually added alongside public liability as part of your insurance policy.

Insurance for your shop premises

This should be high on any shop’s list. Buildings insurance can cover the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your property – although if you rent your premises, check with your landlord to see what’s already covered.

This cover usually includes protection for your fixtures and fittings, and most insurers will offer cover for the front of your shop too.

Business interruption insurance

Following a disaster like a fire, you wouldn’t be able to trade. Your business would suffer a loss of income, meaning you wouldn’t be able to pay your employees and your shop’s future would be in doubt.

Many shops cease trading during such difficult times, so having business interruption insurance could be the difference between survival and closure.

Stock and contents/equipment insurance

These two are separate covers, but they work in similar ways – if your stock, building contents, or specialist equipment suffered damage or loss, would you struggle to get back on your feet?

For most shops, the answer is yes, so having insurance can help you get up and running quickly following a setback.

Business legal protection insurance

You might be the most careful shop owner around, but legal action could still be brought against you, or you might end up taking legal action yourself – and legal fees aren’t cheap.

If you find that you need to defend yourself (or even pay prosecution fees) at things like employment tribunals, HMRC tax investigations, or civil actions brought under the Data Protection Act, this cover can pay for the legal expenses.

Personal accident insurance

This can help you out if you have an accident, with insurers often providing 24/7 cover inside and outside of work. The money paid out can help with medical and bill payments, which you may not be able to meet as a result of the accident.

Where can I get shop insurance?

Once you’ve decided on your covers, you’ll want to shop around for a quote for your retail business insurance. Thankfully, there are services that let you compare quotes from multiple insurers by filling in one simple form.

One such online broker is Simply Business. They have more than 425,000 UK customers and lots of covers for shops, so you can tailor your policy to fit your business.

Have your details ready, answer a few simple questions about your shop, and get a quote in minutes.

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