You'll find that the cost of shop insurance policies vary widely in terms of:
- The premium you pay
- The level of cover you get
- The excess (how much you pay if you have to make a claim)
- The service
- Your claims history
The following is a guide to the level of cover to consider taking out:
Employers Liability Insurance: The legal minimum is £5 million. Many insurers offer £10m as standard.
Public and Product Liability Insurance: Most businesses take out policies to cover them for compensation claims of between £1million - £5million. Toys, fireworks, food and medicines are all high risk goods.
Buildings, contents, equipment and vehicles: Insure for their current rebuild or replacement cost, not the market value.
Stock: Insure for cost price. Don’t include profit mark-up but let your insurer know about seasonal adjustments for busy periods (eg Christmas) or if you cut back on stock.
Business interruption: Work out how much profit you'd lose if couldn't use your premises for a year, say.
Goods in transit: The maximum value of goods you transport in any one shipment.
How to get Cheap Shop Insurance
- Invest in a good security security system (BS standard locks, intruder alarms, CCTV) to deter break-ins.
- Make your business premises as safe as possible to cut claims by customers and staff.
- Comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety At Work Act and carry out regular risk assessments of the workplace.
- Always keep business money in a secured, locked safe.
- Buy an insurance policy where you pay the premium monthly with 0% interest.
- Don't import goods from outside the EU.
- Don't store stock in basements where it's liable to damp.
- Keep premises well maintained
- Choose premises that are self contained with their own lockable entrance door.
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
As a shop owner, you must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act or face a hefty fine or imprisonment. If you don't, you’ll be vulnerable to costly compensation claims from staff and the general public.
Visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website for information and advice on all matters relating to health and safety for shops.
Another good source is your Local Authority Environmental Health Department.