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Planning for the Future of Your Business – Part One: Shop Insurance

Posted on 23 September 2015

The seventh part of ‘A New Shop Owners Guide to Security‘ looks at how shop owners can plan for the future, starting with getting their goods insured…

Shopping

Depending on who you speak to, the economic climate is either working its way back to full health or running out of time and it’s only a matter of time before we dip back into recession. The High Street has been one of the casualties of the economic downturn, with more and more of us buying online and staying out of stores. This has led to the closure of many high street stores in the UK, including Woolworths and HMV.

Take a look at this chart from the Centre of Retail Research and you will see that the UK had its worse retail year in 2012 since 2008, with approx. 4,000 stores and 54 retailers closing down. That’s a lot of jobs being lost because of the lack of funds people have for shopping because of the recession:

 

Companies failing

Stores Affected

Employees Affected

2013 (to 17 Jan)

4

991

10,720

2012 (12 months)

54

3,951

48,142

2011 (12 months)

31

2,469

24,025

2010 (12 months)

26

944

10,930

2009 (12 months)

37

6,536

26,688

2008 (12 months)

54

5,793

74,539

2007 (12 months)

25

2,600

14,083

So in these tough economic times and talk of doom and gloom, it’s important for shop-owners – and especially new shop owners – to start on the right foot and take the necessary steps to ensuring that your shop can thrive and avoid any setbacks, including burglary and repairing breakages.

Getting The Right Insurance

One of the big steps for any new business owner is to make sure they have shop insurance. Companies such as More Than Insurance have shop insurance that is designed for retail outlets, shops and pub/bar/restaurants.  Their shop insurance covers operations where the total contents and buildings cover doesn’t need to go over £2.5M and the overall stock and contents doesn’t exceed £500,000.

Many companies will have different deals, but what is essential is that you are covered in some form or other. Most insurance companies will cover:

Protection and Replacement

When there’s so much at stake, you need to be fully protected against the biggest threats that there are to your business. This includes fire, flooding, burst or frozen pipes, theft and criminal damage. Having the security products to help lower the chances of you being targeted by thieves and vandals is one thing, but in the event that something does happen, you will want the reassurance that you are covered for it by your insurance company.

In most instances, this will also cover replacement for contents, equipment and the fixtures and fittings in your shop up to a certain amount of money agreed with your insurer when you took out a policy.

Business Interruption

In 2007, when the flooding across the UK destroyed hundreds of shops and retail stores, there were tragic stories about family businesses going under because they were not adequately insured. Business interruption cover is usually included as standard and covers you for loss of gross profit following an incident such as a flood or fire.

Seasonal Stock Increase

With this part of your insurance policy, you can choose up a certain number of months in the year where you will receive up to 50% seasonal stock increase at no extra cost. This could be particularly useful during the Christmas period, where takings are expected to increase. It could also cover January sales or Summer sales period.

Public Liability and Legal Expenses

Legal expenses could come from anything – an accident or injury of an employee under your supervision where you are legally liable, or a member of the public has sued you for whatever reason. In this situation the stress can definitely mount up, not to mention the costs. With shop insurance though, you will be covered for court damages and legal costs, allowing you to breathe a little easier when dealing with these sensitive and stressful issues.

Car and Van Insurance

Harrod's Delivery Van

If your company uses cars or delivery vans, some companies will include the vehicles in the insurance. In a number of cases this is an addition cost, but having your work vehicles covered is an expense worth paying out for, as you never know when you might need to make a claim after an accident, theft or a breakdown. Some companies will offer a replacement service, which is great if you need to make deliveries as part of your business.

A number of insurance companies also supply free business support and advice for shop-owners  It can be a lot to take in and be pretty confusing when you have to balance so much of the business every day, so having a company that is just a phone call away to help you with any issues you might have is extremely useful. These could be issues of stress, VAT, legal matters or safety issues, among others.

Photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc
Photo credit: kenjonbro via photopin cc

The next section of the guide will look at other areas where shop-owners can plan for the future, including building community links and maintaining those relationships…

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