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Ontario Store Insurance

Protect yourself and your retail business against financial losses.
  • Get insurance compensation to recover from property destruction
  • Rest easy knowing you're protected against liability costs for unexpected lawsuits
  • Consult with an experienced broker for personalized coverage to fit your insurance needs
Complete the form or call 1-800-463-8074 to speak with a licensed broker about Store Insurance today.

Store Insurance For Ontario Retail Businesses

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. No matter how much the customer loves what they buy, nobody loves the products sold quite like the store owner.

As exciting as it is to be 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 events so you can build on your business success year after year - store insurance. 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 peace of mind knowing you have the necessary protection against certain unexpected financial losses.

What Is Ontario Store Insurance?

Ontario store insurance is a business insurance policy designed to meet the needs of retail store owners and each policyholder specifically with a combination of commercial property insurance and professional liability insurance coverage tailored to the business's unique insurance needs. Ontario store insurance offers protection against financial losses by providing insurance compensation for covered claims and expenses such as repair, replacement, damage restoration, theft and vandalism to the property and all tracked inventory 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.

What Types Of Businesses Should Have Store Insurance? 

Any business that sells physical items to customers should have Ontario store insurance. Whether you sell silverware, sporting goods, groceries or anything else, you should have store insurance, as it protects you from a wide array of potential issues. The type of coverage that you require will depend on the type of business you have. For example, an online store with purely remote inventory might never have to deal with a slip and fall due to not having a physical location for customers to go to. However, since an online store may ship directly from manufacturer to customer without employees seeing the inventory, the inability to perform quality control checks may lead to a customer receiving a defective product that injures them. Some examples of businesses that would be helped by Ontario store insurance are:

  • Boutiques
  • Big box stores
  • Convenience and grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Clothing and home goods stores
  • Wholesale stores
  • Plant nurseries
  • Pop-up shops

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 business so we can recommend the right Ontario store insurance coverages and limits with a customized store insurance quote.

Is Store Insurance Legally Mandatory In Ontario?

In Canada, business insurance is not mandatory except for commercial auto insurance and some specific professions. However, because the government does not require Ontario store insurance coverage, you can only realistically operate a retail business with insurance. Many business owners think, "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. No small business or a large corporation 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 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.

It is important to note that if you own commercial property and have a mortgage on the property, your mortgage company will require you to have a store insurance policy and have them listed as mortgagee.

Also, suppose you are a commercial property tenant and renting the space for your store. In that case, your landlord will request proof of Ontario store insurance, as well as listing them as an additional insured. This proof of insurance is typically required before signing a lease.

What Does Store Insurance In Ontario Cover?

Ontario store insurance covers a wide variety of possible scenarios that a potential retail store could face. Since no two businesses are the same, no two Ontario store insurance plans will be the same. If you want store insurance to protect your business, you will want your plan to be suited to your company's needs. Here is a list of many types of protection listed below that you can mix and match as you see fit. Please also note that some kinds of protection granted by Ontario store insurance are much more common than others. For example, commercial general liability coverage and commercial property insurance are needed for almost every type of business. Others are much more niche and may not pertain to the kind of business that you are running.

Commercial General Liability (CGL)

Commercial general liability insurance is a critical business liability coverage that provides indemnity 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 bodily injuries. For example, if a customer entered your store and was seriously injured when they tripped over a box of merchandise, they could sue you to recover the cost of their medical bills, 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 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.

Commercial Property Insurance

As a store owner, you have physical assets that can be damaged, lost or destroyed by 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 merchandise on-site, still need commercial property insurance to replace essential business equipment such as their computers in a disaster. Commercial property coverage on an Ontario store insurance policy applies to perils such as fire, natural weather-related events, theft and vandalism, and certain types of water damage. Some endorsements may be added for Sewer Backup and Flood.

Commercial Auto Insurance 

Any vehicle that you use for commercial purposes requires commercial auto insurance. Commercial purposes include moving inventory between locations, delivering goods to customers' houses, creating a mobile sales team, and more. If you use a vehicle for commercial purposes, your personal auto insurance won't provide any coverage.

Product Liability Insurance

Do you develop or manufacture any of the products you sell? Do you sell products under your brand that another company manufactures? If so, product liability insurance is a necessary add-on as part of your Ontario store insurance policy. Ontario business owners who sell their brand of products, whether they directly manufacture or fabricate them or apply their brand to an already-manufactured product, need protection against claims 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 situation, your product liability insurance provider may provide defense or compensation rather than you suffering the financial loss of fees and settlement out of pocket.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Almost every store has valuable equipment needed to get the job done. Grocery stores often have large refrigerators and freezers to keep perishable goods cold, and most buildings have boilers and other temperature-stabilizing equipment. However, these machines are complicated, making them prone to accidents and internal breakdowns. This equipment is necessary for the store to function properly, so it breaking suddenly can be very costly for the owner.

Equipment breakdown insurance helps protect and reimburse you against these types of losses. Since you likely can't afford to have the business's most crucial equipment down for long, you will likely pay to get repairs for unexpected breakdowns done as quickly as possible, often paying a high cost to get repairs done or the machinery replaced. Equipment breakdown insurance will help reimburse you for these losses, allowing you to return to running your business.

Cyber Liability Insurance

If you operate a 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. Suppose a business uses sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal or financial details of your company, its employees or customers. In that case, it must protect that information from breaches or theft from cyber criminals with cyber liability insurance.

Cybercriminals might target your business for any one of many reasons, with many out there continually looking for vulnerabilities in websites and other forms. Maybe they're a disgruntled customer or former employee who is looking for what they perceive as revenge. If you're a new, smaller business, they might see you as an easy target with low cyber defences. The cybercriminal may have selected you at random or simply out of convenience. No matter what your business is, you are at risk of a cyber-attack.

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 restore your computer systems,

Employee Dishonesty Insurance

No one wants to consider that the employees they trust to operate their business could be dishonest or steal from them. Part of the reason you go through so many interviews with dozens of qualified, capable candidates is that you want to put your business in the hands of trustworthy people. As much as these measures lower the chances of hiring someone looking for an opportunity to steal from you, you can never reduce the odds to zero. 

Business Interruption Insurance

The restoration process will take time if your store is damaged. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, it could be weeks or even months before you can get the property back in usable condition. 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. Also, you'll have to continue handling significant expenses such as employee payroll and lease payments. The solution is to have business interruption insurance in your Ontario store insurance policy. This type of insurance allows you to get financial assistance to help you recoup your loss of income and take care of other expenses, like employee wages and operational costs, so you can get back on your feet as soon as possible, getting 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. Please note all coverage is subject to limitations, conditions and exclusions.

How Much Does Ontario Store Insurance Cost? 

Unfortunately, there is no set cost to Ontario store insurance. Not only will different insurance companies provide the same business with different quotes, but each business will be charged differently depending on different factors. Grocery stores, gas stations, and boutiques will all have different coverage requirements meaning the cost if insurance will vary. Your best bet is to speak with a Morison Insurance broker who will provide you with an accurate store insurance quote.

What Factors Affect The Cost Of Store Insurance In Ontario? 

Many variables impact the cost of your insurance premiums. When you apply for Ontario store insurance, your broker will provide you with Ontario store insurance quotes from many insurance providers. Some of the factors they consider are

  • Business Location
  • Building configuration and details
  • Coverage limits
  • Type of products and inventory
  • Insurance claims history
  • How many employees you have
  • Annual revenue
  • Safety standards
  • Business practices
  • Previous experience operating a retail business

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. There are other factors involved as well. Many factors are also treated differently depending on which insurance company you are with. If you have further questions, your Morison Insurance broker would be happy to answer them for you.

How Can I Lower My Rates For Ontario Store Insurance? 

Given the variable costs of Ontario store insurance and how many factors there are, it makes sense to think that there are a few factors under your control and that you can make changes to lower your rates. Luckily, this is possible. With a few small changes to your business practices and setup, you can lower your premium. Some of the possible ways to do so are below:

  • Increase your deductible
  • Prioritize workplace safety
  • Avoid making claims on small losses to maintain a clean claims record
  • Security such as burglar and fire alarms, as well as cameras

For more ways to lower your premium for store insurance in Ontario, speak with your Morison Insurance broker. 

Where Can I Get A Store Insurance Quote In Ontario?

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 with reduced risk. At Morison Insurance, we prioritize our clients. That means you can trust us to make your best interests our first priority and have peace of mind knowing you have business insurance protection tailored to your needs. Call our knowledgeable brokers today at 1-800-463-8074 to get a quote for Ontario store insurance or learn 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.

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