A general store, also known as a general merchandise store, carries a wide selection of products intended for the home, such as household products, cleaning products, clothing and shoes, hardware and tools, dry goods, furniture, and home decor, not to mention staple food goods. General stores have historically been located in rural areas, however, these days they are located anywhere and everywhere. Due to the nature of a general store business, it is at risk for theft and shoplifting, injuries occurring on the premises and damage to your property or contents. There are different business insurance policies for general stores to cover these and other risks.
Types of General Store Business Insurance
There is more than one type of risk your general store is exposed to, therefore there is more than one type of insurance policy needed. Choose from these vital coverages for your store:
General liability insurance is a must-have business insurance policy that any general store business should have. It includes multiple coverages, including product liability, premises liability and completed operations. Premises liability, one component of general liability, is an important protection, as it is coverage for any injuries or accidents occurring in your store. Keep in mind, at any time a customer of your general store may slip on a fallen object and hurt themselves. This incident would be covered by general liability.
Product liability gives you excellent coverage for the products you sell and is included in General Liability. If any of the items you sold caused loss or injury to your customer, you could be held responsible for the resulting medical or legal costs. For example, if a customer purchases a food item that later turns out to be spoiled, causing them to become ill, the medical costs are up to you to pay for. But product liability insurance helps cover these unexpected costs.
Business auto insurance is essential if you’re using a personal vehicle for business errands. No matter where your general store is located, you may need to make a bank deposit, pick up supplies or make deliveries all of which put you at risk for either collision or vandalism. Get a business auto policy that covers property and vehicle damage, bodily injury, theft and vandalism for the best coverage.
Your general store most likely sells a few items that are highly flammable, like cleaning supplies, which could cause other store items to be destroyed very easily by fire, flood or other natural disasters. These events come without warning, making it a big risk for your business. If there is a flood in your store, it could destroy all materials touching the ground, meaning a major loss. Business property will help you to replace the damaged items and make proper repairs.
Cyber crimes, such as virus attacks and theft of transferred data, are prevalent even if you have made the proper security measures on your website. If you’re selling items from an online general store, you should have protection from a cyber liability insurance policy. This way if you have a virus attack that infects a customer’s computer while using your site, the damages are covered by the policy.
Workers’ compensation is a legal requirement if you have even one employee. It is a policy that pays for medical costs, prescriptions, physical therapy and income loss as a result of work-related injuries. If cleaning chemicals have spilled on the ground and an employee becomes ill due to exposure, their medical visit is covered by workers’ compensation.
Crime insurance is an important policy for your general store to have. Many of your items are small and easy to steal, making shoplifting a considerable risk. Other crimes include theft by employees or customers, as well as embezzlement or vandalism of your property. Crime insurance is a good way to offer additional protection from such crimes.
General stores have a number of risks and need multiple insurance coverages for the best protection available. Begin by covering your most persistent risks and gradually adding more general store business insurance coverage for additional risks you are exposed to.