The Ins and Outs of Convenience Store Insurance
A steady flow of customers is great for business, but it also increases your risk of an accident. Convenience stores – and those with attached gas stations – have a particular list of risks that set you apart from regular retailers. A suite of convenience store insurance products specially tailored for your needs not only will provide broad protection but also will keep you in business even if you experience a big loss.
Today’s convenience stores sell a panoply of items – everything from packaged goods to alcohol to food prepared on the premises. Your shop may be attached to a gas station with or without a car wash, or you may exchange propane tanks, sell lottery tickets or provide an ATM. Each of these adds to your risk profile.
Let’s Look at Convenience Store Insurance Coverage.
Property damage (including store exterior and interior, plate glass, cooking/cooling appliances, gas pumps, canopies, car wash equipment and signs) Business property of others (including ATMs, DVD rentals or other partner products)
- Harm to others (including damage to their cars or injury to their person)
- Pollution liability (for those with fuel services)Fuel tank contamination
- Foodborne illness (to cover food you prepare, heat or refrigerate)
- Food spoilage (in case there is a power outage or refrigeration failure)
- Loss of business income (often called business interruption insurance)
- Theft of money and securities (this has only minimal coverage under most business owners policies
- and commercial property coverage)
- Sewage and drain backup
These hazards are in addition to your workers’ compensation insurance needs. You may also want to look at employment practices liability insurance and active shooter insurance. Although you try to maintain a safe workplace for your employees, bad actors can create serious threats at your worksite. Injuries incurred from mistreatment or violence might not be covered under workers’ compensation, so it’s important to talk to your insurance professional about these situations.
If you are one of those business owners who improve your community not only through great service but also with curbside appeal, you may have need of outdoor property coverage that goes beyond canopies and signs. That could include statues, seasonal displays, and even vintage vehicles. While these might not be covered by standard property and liability policies, they usually can be added by “endorsement,” an addendum to your insurance contract.
Benefits of BOP and Program Insurance
A business owners policy (BOP) is a tidy way to bundle important insurance coverages like general liability, commercial property, equipment breakdown, and business income protection. You may also find an insurance program specifically designed for convenience stores is a good way to go. Such programs are built encompass most of the risks your operation will encounter.
They may be more affordable and expedient than getting a different stand-alone policy for each area of risk you face. Insurers or agencies that provide convenience store insurance programs usually also help with risk management in some way. Even the application for specialized coverage can raise your awareness of actions that will reduce your risk of losses.
For example, you will be required to provide an accounting of your safety protocols at your pumps, your car wash, your entrance/exit, your cash registers, your safe, and your parking lot. You will be asked about crime prevention measures, such as panic buttons at the cash register, ways you secure the building, how often you make bank deposits, what kind of security cameras you have, and how you guard ATMs and safes.
Your insurer will want to know about the background of your owners, management and employees to make sure there are no indications of criminal history. And if you are preparing food, you will need to report your fire-suppression protocols, your shut-off capabilities for cooking equipment, and your anti-burn protections for staff and customers.
Your cybersecurity will also be assessed since you will be transmitting financial data online and, in the case of rewards members, you will store or process personal identifiable information.
If you own more than one store, it is possible to secure coverage for multiple properties at once, and some policies are written to allow easy expansion of coverage to include newly acquired shops or additions to your current operations – for example, adding a car wash.
A Word About Liquor
A commercial general liability insurance policy typically excludes coverage for alcohol if the business generates a profit from its sale. That leaves an important gap in your coverage – and one that could be devastating for your business if someone were to suffer serious injury or death related to consumption of alcohol you sold.
Liquor liability insurance may be required in your state, but even if it isn’t, its protection is worth the cost. Defense attorney fees alone can run upwards of $100,000 in serious cases. The coverage can be added as an endorsement to your general liability insurance or purchased as a stand-alone product. Shops that have trained their staff on alcohol sales and enforce strict policies on ID checks are considered better risks, so make sure you have tight protocols in place and can document them.
California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management
As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!
We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.
Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive convenience store insurance quote!