Finding the right business insurance for your antique store is an important step in protecting your business and achieving long-term success.
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When you run an antique store, you deal with many valuable items, and an unexpected disaster that damages your store and inventory could be financially devastating. In addition, your business could be affected by other common risks, such as a customer being injured on your property or someone stealing money or goods. It’s a good idea to protect your business by purchasing a range of business insurance that can provide financial support in the event of an expensive lawsuit or other incident.
What insurance coverage do I need for my antique store?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to antique stores:
Commercial property insurance protects the value of your business’s property, providing funds for repairs, replacement, or rebuilding if property is damaged or destroyed. Antique stores rely on their retail location and valuable inventory to be able to operate; an unexpected disaster can cause significant financial strain and make it difficult to recover.
Because antique stores are frequently located in older buildings, there could be an elevated fire risk, which means property insurance is a particularly crucial coverage.
If your business property is damaged by common perils such as fire, windstorms, hail, vandalism, explosion, or water damage, commercial property insurance can provide financial support to help you replace or repair items.
- A tree falls on your antique store during a heavy storm, causing the roof to collapse. Commercial property insurance would cover repairs to the roof and reimburse you for any damaged inventory.
If property damage forces you to temporarily close your antique shop, recovery can be very difficult. In addition to losing income, you may still be required to pay ongoing expenses such as rent, utilities, and employee payroll.
Business interruption insurance can step in to reimburse you for lost income and operating expenses if your antique store is forced to close due to a covered peril, such as fire or storm damage. This coverage is typically available as an addition to your commercial property insurance and covers the same perils.
- Faulty wiring in a lamp causes a fire to break out in your store. The fire causes structural damage to your building, and you must close your business for several months while repairs are made. Business interruption insurance will cover your losses in income and operating expenses while you are temporarily closed.
Inland marine insurance protects property that does not remain at a fixed location and is not covered by a commercial property insurance policy. This is an important coverage for antique stores that transport expensive items between warehouses, stores, antique shows, or other locations.
Although commercial property insurance policies may provide a small amount of coverage for items that you take with you, coverage is often limited to items under a certain value.
In addition, inland marine insurance can include bailee’s coverage, which covers property belonging to others when it is in your care. If your antique store offers repair or restoration services, you will need this coverage to protect your customers’ property if it’s damaged while in your possession.
- You are transporting a load of valuable antique furniture to an antique show when your truck skids on ice and drives into a median. Much of the furniture is damaged or destroyed. Inland marine insurance would cover the loss.
General liability insurance covers incidents of third-party property damage, bodily injury, personal injury, and advertising injury. Antique stores are visited by many customers; although you can reduce the likelihood of accidents by keeping your store tidy, maintaining good lighting, marking steps or uneven flooring, and keeping walkways clear, there’s still a possibility that a visitor could be accidentally injured or property could be damaged.
Incidents involving customers or other third parties tripping or slipping and falling are common. General liability insurance will pay for medical bills and legal fees if a third party is injured or has their property damaged at your antique shop.
In addition, general liability policies include coverage for claims of personal injury, which can include allegations of false arrest, wrongful ejection from the property, discrimination, and more. This can be particularly relevant when dealing with suspected shoplifters, as a customer accused of shoplifting could sue your business for a variety of reasons.
General liability insurance also includes products and completed operations coverage. This coverage will protect your business if you sell an antique that causes injury or property damage after your customer takes it home.
- Bodily injury: A large wall hanging is not properly affixed to the wall of your store and falls on a customer’s head when he bumps into the wall. The customer suffers a concussion and a head wound that requires stitches. Your general liability insurance would cover the customer’s medical costs as well as your legal fees if the customer decides to sue.
- Personal injury: An employee finds a customer suspicious and believes she has been shoplifting valuable antique jewelry. The employee forcefully detains the customer and calls the police. The customer was not shoplifting and she sues your business for false arrest. Your general liability insurance would cover your legal costs and any resulting settlements.
- Product liability: A customer buys an antique glass table at your antique store. When she leans on the table at her home, an unnoticed crack in the glass causes the table to shatter, injuring the customer. Your general liability insurance would pay for medical expenses and legal fees if the customer sues.
Since antique stores handle cash payments and may sell valuable items, they are vulnerable to crime-related losses, both from outside parties and from their own employees. Commercial crime insurance can give you financial protection from theft, robbery, fraud, forgery, burglary, and other crimes.
- A new employee takes $5,000 from your cash registers at the end of a busy day and disappears. Commercial crime insurance would cover the loss.
If your antique store provides appraisal and evaluation services, you will likely need professional liability insurance. This type of insurance provides coverage if you are sued due to negligence, mistakes, or omissions in your professional work.
Appraisers may accidentally miss details, incorrectly assess items, or fail to accurately trace the origins of an item. If an error causes a customer to lose money—or if a customer believes an error was made, even though you did nothing wrong—you could be sued. Professional liability insurance can step in to pay for claims related to your work as an antiques appraiser.
- Your appraiser misidentifies an antique sofa as a newer copy, rather than an original, and it is sold for much less than it is worth. After learning of the error, the seller sues your company. Professional liability insurance would cover the lawsuit.
For many antique shops, a business owner’s policy (BOP) could be the simplest way to obtain a wide range of coverage. A BOP combines general liability, property, business income, and extra expense coverage into a single convenient package. This type of coverage is designed for small and midsize businesses and may help you lower business insurance costs, as premiums for a business owner’s policy are typically cheaper than the cost of buying each coverage separately.
- Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical expenses and lost income of employees who are injured or fall ill while working and is legally required for companies with employees in most states. Workers’ comp also provides financial benefits for an employee’s dependents in the case of a work-related employee death.
- Commercial auto insurance is necessary to cover any vehicles owned by your antique store. If your employees drive their personal vehicles to run business errands, you may need hired and non-owned auto insurance to cover any accidents they may be involved in while driving for work purposes.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects your business against lawsuits by prospective, current, or former employees accusing your business of wrongful treatment such as discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, an antique store with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for antique stores:
|Provider||Business Interruption||Business Owner's Policy||Commercial Auto||Commercial Crime||Commercial Property||Cyber Liability||Employment Practices Liability||General Liability||Product Liability||Professional Liability||Workers' Compensation|
As you operate your antique store, it’s crucial to consider the liabilities you will be exposed to. If you’re hit with a lawsuit brought by an injured customer or an unexpected disaster that damages your property and forces you to close, it could be difficult to continue operating your business. Securing a wide range of insurance coverage can allow you to rest assured that your company will survive an unforeseen catastrophe.