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Whether you are gathering hundreds of flowers for a client’s wedding or putting together a single bouquet for a client’s anniversary, great care is taken when curating each of your orders. Given the various risks involved in this industry, a similar amount of care should be taken when selecting insurance policies for your floral business. From employee injuries during client events to unsatisfied customers, commercial insurance will allow you to confidently navigate through any unforeseen business disasters.
What insurance do I need as a florist?
Although there are several types of insurance coverages to consider, the following policies are particularly relevant for florists:
Exposure to property damage can be high for florists. Coolers, generators, air conditioners, refrigerators, and various other forms of expensive equipment are necessary to maintain your floral stock. Even with great care, your plants and flowers are extremely vulnerable to damage from fire, excessive heat, incorrect water pressure, and deterioration. Your equipment, floral inventory, and your commercial space can be expensive to repair or replace if they’re damaged.
Commercial property insurance protects the value of your business’s property by providing funds for repairs or replacements if your property is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril. Plans typically include coverage for buildings, contents of those buildings, and any outdoor signage, fencing, or landscaping. Common perils covered by commercial property insurance include fire, theft, vandalism, windstorm, and water damage.
- A heavy windstorm shatters the glass of your greenhouse, exposing your flowers to the harsh environment of the storm and damaging expensive maintenance equipment. Because windstorms are a covered peril, your commercial property policy would provide funds to repair your greenhouse and replace your damaged business property.
From refrigerators to advanced watering systems, your florist business relies heavily on equipment to grow and maintain plants and flowers. Without proper coverage, breakdown and loss of your business equipment can result in a significant financial loss. This is where equipment breakdown insurance comes into play.
Equipment breakdown insurance covers the repair or replacement of malfunctioned or damaged equipment. It is important to consider adding this form of coverage as an endorsement or as a standalone policy because a standard commercial property insurance policy will not cover the breakdown of equipment that is not a direct result of a covered peril, which are typically external forces like fire or windstorm. Internal malfunctions or mechanical breakdowns are excluded from commercial property coverage and can be addressed through equipment breakdown coverage.
- Your florist shop’s air conditioning system has a mechanical failure and stops working, causing significant loss of product. Your equipment breakdown insurance would provide funds to repair or replace the damaged air conditioning equipment and cover the loss of the perished flowers.
Spoilage insurance can reimburse your business in the event of lost perishable goods due to power outages or equipment failures. This is particularly important for florists because flowers are highly perishable and require particular caution and care.
Although equipment breakdown insurance offers some coverage, this is limited depending on the cause of equipment failure. If equipment simply wears out or you suffer a power outage, any spoilage of product would not be covered by equipment breakdown coverage. Spoilage insurance can address these instances and works most effectively in concert with equipment breakdown coverage.
- A power outage shuts down your refrigeration system. Because your flowers are not kept at an ideal temperature, your business experiences major inventory loss. Your spoilage insurance would cover you for the inventory lost due to spoilage.
Often, a florist will see an influx of business during a holiday or a particular season. For instance, a florist may reach high sales numbers on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. As such, if your business must temporarily close during these holidays, you may face significant financial loss.
Business income insurance (also known as business interruption insurance) provides funds for loss of income and operating expenses if your florist business must temporarily close to recover from physical loss, damage, or destruction. This includes the business’s net profits and normal operating expenses such as rent, employee salaries, and taxes. In order to qualify, the physical loss, damage, or destruction to property must be the direct result of a covered peril, such as fire, lightning, explosion, theft, vandalism, windstorm, and more.
- A pipe in your fire sprinkler system bursts, damaging your equipment and compromising your inventory. You are forced to temporarily close your floral shop until the costly equipment is repaired and the inventory is replaced. While you wait for your commercial property insurance to cover equipment repairs and replacements, your business interruption insurance policy will cover lost profits and operating expenses, such as rent and payroll.
General liability insurance protects your business from accidental third-party property damage and bodily injury liability. Your floral shop may allow customers on the premises to browse your flower selection. This creates a third-party liability risk since customers, vendors, and other third parties are all at risk for slip-and-fall incidents and other accidents. Additionally, your employees may be tasked with setting up your floral arrangements in client locations. If you damage equipment or property at a client venue, you could be held liable.
General liability insurance will cover any legal defense or attorney’s fees incurred while defending against covered lawsuits, as well as any medical payments.
- Bodily injury: While browsing your flower selection, a customer slips and falls on a puddle of water on the ground of your business premises. She sustains injuries to her hip and requires medical attention. General liability insurance would cover the medical expenses related to this bodily injury and any legal fees if the customer decides to take legal action against your business.
- Property damage: You are setting up floral arrangements at a charity gala when one of your employees knocks over an expensive antique. Your general liability insurance can cover damages.
The possibility of employee injury can be high for florists. Employees may get injured from lifting heavy maintenance equipment, experience slip-and-fall injuries while setting up floral arrangements for an event, and even sustain an injury from cutting flowers for a bouquet. As such, workers’ compensation insurance is vital for your business.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers lost wages, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs if one of your employees suffers a work-related injury or illness. Additionally, workers’ compensation insurance will provide funds for funeral costs and death benefits for surviving family members in the event of a work-related death. Each state has its own regulations, so it is essential to understand your state’s workers’ comp requirements to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your employees.
- While setting up a hanging floral arrangement for a funeral, your employee falls from a ladder and injures her wrist. Your workers’ compensation insurance would cover the medical costs associated with this injury and a portion of her lost income if she is unable to work during her recovery.
Professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance, can protect your florist business from the costs of lawsuits and damages related to your professional advice and services, including lawsuits for negligence. A customer may complain that you ruined their event by delivering the wrong flowers. You may fail to deliver your floral arrangements in time. Whether or not your business is found to be at fault, your professional liability coverage will pay for any judgments against your business, as well as the costs of your legal defense in the event of a lawsuit.
- You mix up two of your orders and bring the wrong flowers to a wedding. Your professional liability insurance would cover the costs of legal defense after your client sues you for the error.
- Commercial auto insurance financially covers damages if you or one of your employees are at fault in a collision while driving a company vehicle. This coverage includes medical costs if the other vehicle’s occupants are injured and damages to the other vehicle. Commercial auto insurance also covers your company vehicles if they are damaged or lost due to theft, vandalism, collisions, or other covered hazards. This coverage is essential for florists who offer delivery services.
- Inland marine insurance covers products, equipment, and other forms of business property that are not tied to a fixed location and are not covered by commercial property insurance. This is important coverage for florists who transport inventory or equipment between stores or warehouses, or offer delivery services.
- Pollution liability insurance, also known as environmental impairment liability insurance, provides coverage for environmental liabilities and financial protection for claims of bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs as a result of a pollution event. This form of coverage is important to consider as a florist because the various refrigerants used to keep your floral stock fresh pose a potential for air, land, or water pollution in the event of a leak. Although a standard commercial general liability policy provides some coverage for certain types of pollution, this coverage is often not sufficient.
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, a floral shop 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 florists:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
Although flower shops may not seem like high-risk businesses, there are a number of exposures that you should be aware of so that you can obtain proper insurance coverage. Much like a carefully arranged bouquet, obtaining just the right insurance policies to fit your company’s individual needs is key to financially protecting your business.