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Because furniture stores are filled with expensive inventory and receive heavy customer foot traffic on a daily basis, they are exposed to a multitude of liability risks. From customers injuring themselves while exploring your storefront display to employees straining their backs while lifting heavy inventory, it is essential that you consider all the risks involved in owning and operating a furniture store. Securing comprehensive insurance coverage can provide invaluable financial protection for your business.
What insurance coverage do I need for my furniture store?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to furniture stores:
Your furniture store is likely filled with expensive inventory and essential business property, such as computers, forklifts, and other business equipment. Because furniture stores are heavily reliant on their physical location and their inventory to conduct business, any major damage or loss to this business property would be difficult to financially recover from. This is where commercial property insurance comes into play.
Commercial property insurance can help you protect the value of your business property if it is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril such as fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, windstorm, and hail. This form of coverage can include buildings belonging to or leased by your company and the contents within the building.
Furniture and home furnishings are particularly susceptible to damage from fire, smoke, and water. In the event that your business property is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril, your insurer would provide funds to replace or repair the property.
- A fire breaks out in your furniture store, causing significant damage to your building and destroying much of your inventory. Your commercial property policy will pay for repairs to the building and the cost of replacing equipment and furniture.
General liability insurance is a critical coverage for furniture store owners to consider. Your storefront receives heavy foot traffic and is often filled with inventory for customers to physically touch and explore.
This exposes your business to a host of third-party liability risks. Customers can slip and fall or be injured by falling furniture, and children can become injured when climbing, playing, or jumping on floor displays. General liability insurance can protect your business against third-party incidents that cause bodily injury or property damage.
In addition to these claims, general liability insurance also covers incidents resulting from product liability. This type of coverage is especially important if your furniture store sells children’s furniture. For instance, if the furniture sold at your business causes injury to your customer, you may be held liable.
Finally, general liability insurance can also protect your business from lawsuits based on non-physical personal injuries, including claims of false arrest, wrongful eviction from the premises, discrimination, and invasion of privacy. This can be particularly relevant when your business deals with suspected shoplifters.
- Bodily injury: A customer trips over a rug in your storefront. Her hip is injured during the fall and she 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.
- Product liability: Your furniture store sells children’s dressers, but the product does not come with adequate instructions for setup or warnings about the piece of furniture tipping over. When a customer’s child is injured from the dresser falling on top of him, the customer sues your business and the manufacturer for this marketing defect.
- Personal injury: You suspect a customer of shoplifting, and you call on your security guard to apprehend the customer. When you review security footage, you find the customer actually did not shoplift. You apologize profusely to the customer, but she ends up suing your business for discrimination and false arrest. General liability insurance would provide coverage for the lawsuit.
If your furniture store maintains and operates your own delivery trucks and other forms of business autos, it is essential to obtain commercial auto insurance. This form of coverage protects your business if you or one of your employees are at fault in a collision while driving a company vehicle.
Commercial auto insurance would cover medical costs if the other vehicle’s occupants are injured and damages to the other vehicle. It also protects your company vehicles if they are damaged or lost due to theft, vandalism, collisions, or other covered hazards.
With the high number of deliveries your employees may perform, it is essential to obtain commercial auto insurance should any unforeseen incidents occur while on the road.
- While your employee is delivering heavy furniture to a client location using one of your delivery trucks, he is momentarily distracted by his phone and collides with the vehicle in front of him. The other driver sustains a number of bodily injuries and requires medical attention. Your commercial auto insurance would provide funds to cover the vehicles and the medical costs associated with this incident.
Inland marine insurance financially protects 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 to consider because standard commercial property policies may exclude or have low limits for any property that isn’t within your business premises, such as merchandise that is damaged while in transit to a customer.
Inland marine insurance can provide financial protection for your furniture and other inventory as they are in transit to your customer or on their way to your furniture store from a warehouse or manufacturing site. If your property is damaged, inland marine insurance can provide funds to repair or replace the damaged property.
- During delivery, a number of high-value furniture pieces are stolen from your delivery truck. Your inland marine insurance will cover the property loss.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related illnesses or injuries by covering the injured employee’s medical expenses, rehabilitation, and a portion of their lost wages. Additionally, workers’ compensation covers work-related deaths by providing funds for the funeral and burial, as well as death benefits for the employee’s surviving family.
In addition to being legally required in most states, this form of coverage is particularly vital for employees of your furniture store. Due to the nature of your business, many of your employees may have to engage in heavy lifting, making work-related injuries common.
- After years of lifting heavy furniture, one of your employees injures his back and develops chronic back pain. Your insurer will provide funds for his medical expenses as well as a portion of his lost income if he is unable to work while he is recovering from his injuries.
- Business income insurance (also known as business interruption insurance) provides coverage for loss of income and operating expenses if your business must temporarily close to recover from physical loss, damage, or destruction by a covered peril. This coverage includes a business’s net profits and normal operating expenses such as rent, employee salaries, and taxes.
- Commercial crime insurance provides protection for businesses from financial losses resulting from criminal acts. This includes forgery, robbery, burglary, theft, and employee dishonesty. There is a particular risk for employee theft, as employees may manage the monetary transactions of your furniture store.
- Cyber liability insurance protects your business from financial losses related to hacking, data breaches, and other cybercrimes. This can be helpful coverage if your furniture accepts credit cards for payment or sells high-value furniture online.
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 furniture 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 furniture stores:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
Owning a furniture store can expose you to a number of potential liabilities, from third-party injury caused by your furniture to auto collisions involving your delivery trucks. While it is impossible to prevent all accidents, it’s important to prepare your business for these potential risks by obtaining a wide range of insurance policies. Adequate coverage will enable your business to continue even after a costly disaster or lawsuit.