Whether they're a brick-and-mortar building or an online retailer, retail stores play a huge role in our daily lives and provide us with everything we need—and want—to live comfortable lives. As a business owner who operates a retail store, you are exposed to certain risks that could lead to unrecoverable financial setbacks, such as lawsuits and property damage. Fortunately, there's a way to protect yourself against unexpected expenses so you can build on your business success year after year. Call the insurance experts at Morison Insurance and let us know more about your unique business so we can seek out the right Ontario store insurance for your financial protection. You can get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the necessary protection against unexpected financial losses.
Ontario store insurance is a type of business insurance policy designed to meet the needs of retail store owners in general and each individual policyholder specifically with a combination of property insurance and professional liability insurance coverage tailored to the business's unique insurance needs. Store insurance offers protection against financial losses by providing insurance compensation for expenses such as repair, replacement, damage restoration, theft and vandalism in the event of an insured disaster or incident, along with legal defence fees, settlement costs and other costs related to liability, up to the limits listed on your Ontario store insurance policy.
Anyone who owns a retail business, whether it's a physical store location, an online store or a combination of the two, needs the financial protection of Ontario store insurance. It's necessary for business types that develop, manufacture and/or sell products. That includes common types of retail businesses such as:
Regardless of the type of retail business you operate, our experienced team of insurance brokers at Morison Insurance will consult with you to learn more about your particular business so we can recommend the right Ontario store insurance coverages and limits with a store insurance quote.
Commercial insurance policies vary significantly from business to business because no two businesses are exactly alike, and insurance coverage needs to address the particular risk exposures of the policyholder based on factors such as where the business is located, how it is operated, and many others. Certain coverages, such as commercial general liability and business property insurance, are necessary for almost any business. Here is more information on the types of coverage options you may need or want on your Ontario store insurance policy for protection against financial setbacks.
Commercial general liability insurance is a critical business liability coverage that provides funds to cover expenses such as legal mediation, legal defence costs, settlement costs and more in liability cases where the policyholder has been accused of causing third-party property damage or third-party bodily injuries. For example, if a customer strolled into your store and was seriously injured when they tripped over a box of merchandise that was left in an aisle, they could choose to sue you to recover the cost of their medical bills, their lost income during recovery and other expenses. The commercial general liability portion of your Ontario store insurance policy would prompt your insurance carrier to provide funds to cover the costs incurred during litigation and settlement costs should you be found liable for causing bodily injury or property damage. Third-party liability claims can be very costly, and there's no realistic way to prevent them. Even if you weren't responsible for causing damage or injury, you could still be forced to incur the cost of defending yourself in court, so it's essential to have adequate commercial general liability coverage as part of your Ontario store insurance.
As a store owner, you have physical assets that could be damaged, lost or destroyed by factors such as fire, natural disasters, theft and more. That's perfectly evident if you have a brick-and-mortar store location. However, online store owners, even drop-shippers who don't store any merchandise at their properties, still need commercial property insurance to replace essential business equipment such as their computers in the event of a disaster. Commercial property coverage on an Ontario store insurance policy typically applies to perils such as fire, natural disasters, theft and vandalism up to the limits on the policy. It's worth noting that certain types of water damage are often not included, such as overland flooding and sewer backups, so you may need an endorsement for water damage if your business is located near a body of water that is prone to flooding or has done so in the past.
Do you develop or manufacture any of the products you sell or sell products under your brand that another company manufactures? If so, product liability insurance is a necessary addition to your package for store insurance. Ontario business owners who sell their own brand of products, whether they directly manufacture or fabricate them or apply their brand to an already-manufactured product, need protection against financial setbacks caused by allegations that their product caused third-party bodily injury or property damage. Product liability can also apply to issues such as mislabeling. For example, if you bake, package and sell cookies at your store and fail to include an allergen warning for traces of nuts, a customer could suffer an allergic reaction and sue your business for inaccurate labelling. In that type of situation, your product liability insurance provider would supply the necessary funds up to your policy limit so you could avoid paying legal fees and settlement costs out of pocket.
If you operate an online store, it stands to reason that you are at risk for cyber attacks. But in this day and age, all types of retail stores conduct at least some business online and need to store or transmit information electronically. If a business stores sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal or financial details, it must protect that information from cybercriminals with cyber liability insurance. Cyber risk and data breach coverage on your Ontario store insurance policy applies to your legal defence costs and settlement expenses should you be targeted by a cybercriminal and sued by your customers for compromising their information. However, it may also apply to other costs, such as ransom payments to recover stolen information.
No one wants to consider that the employees they trust to operate their business could be dishonest or steal from them, but it does happen. Also known as commercial crime insurance, employee dishonesty coverage is financial protection against potential losses resulting from theft or fraud committed by the people you employ. It doesn't cover common theft by people outside of your organization, which is a part of commercial general liability coverage. For example, if one of your employees has been stealing small amounts of money from the till or your bank deposits for a long time, the total amount taken could be well into the thousands or even tens of thousands by the time they are discovered. Your employee dishonesty coverage will reimburse you for the money taken, up to your particular Ontario store insurance coverage limits.
The restoration process will take time if your store is damaged accidentally or maliciously. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, it could easily be weeks or even months before you've been able to get the property back in usable condition again. While your commercial property coverage will compensate you for the restoration, it won't compensate you for the loss of income while your business is closed. At the same time, you'll have to continue handling significant expenses such as employee payroll and lease payments. The solution ensures you have business interruption insurance in your Ontario store insurance policy. This type of insurance will allow you to get financial assistance to help you recoup your loss of income and take care of other expenses, such as employee wages and operational costs, so you're able to get back on your feet as soon as possible and get your bottom line in the black. It's worth noting that business interruption coverage does not typically apply to government-mandated closures for infectious disease control.
No, it's not. In Canada, most types of business insurance are not mandatory, except commercial auto insurance. But just because the government does not require you to have Ontario store insurance coverage, you can only realistically operate a retail business with insurance. Many business owners think to themselves, "I'll just be extra careful," or "I have a great relationship with my customers and employees, so I'll be fine," but those aren't realistic expectations. Nobody can prevent every mistake or mishap or avoid every dishonest person—and plenty of things that could go wrong are totally out of your control. It doesn't matter how cautious you are; if a neighbouring building goes up in flames in the middle of the night, your business will likely be heavily impacted, if not completely destroyed. Most business owners can't afford to pay out of pocket for the astronomical costs associated with fire damage restoration or an expensive and time-consuming lawsuit. There's no sense in putting yourself through the stress and agony of a massive financial burden when you could have the protection afforded by the right Ontario store insurance for a reasonable cost.
If you own commercial property and have a mortgage on the property, your mortgage company will still require you to have am insurance policy with them listed as mortgagee.
Also, if you are a tenant of commercial property and are renting the space for your store, your landlord will request proof of store insurance, as well as listing them as an additional insured. This proof of insurance is typically required before signing a lease.
Most business owners want to know upfront how much business insurance costs, which is understandable—but it's impossible to give an accurate quote or average price without knowing much more about your particular business and your risk exposures. Many variables can affect the cost of your insurance premiums. When you apply for Ontario store insurance, the insurance provider completes a risk assessment to determine which risks are most likely to occur to your business. Based on that assessment, they choose how to provide you with a store insurance quote. Some of the factors they evaluate are:
Start by contacting the expert insurance brokers at Morison Insurance. Our reliable team has the skill and experience to find the right combination of Ontario store insurance coverage for your unique business. You can run your store as you see fit without worrying about how you'll afford to handle it if something goes wrong. At Morison Insurance, we work for our clients rather than for the insurance companies. That means you can trust us to make your best interests our first priority and have total peace of mind knowing you have adequate business insurance protection tailored to your specific needs. Call our knowledgeable brokers today at 1-800-463-8074 to get a quote for Ontario store insurance or find out more about the insurance your business needs to thrive.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.