All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).
Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Medical payments
- Legal defense and judgment
- Personal and advertising injury
While businesses aren't legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.
Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.
COMMON SITUATIONS THAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WOULD COVER FOR A VINTAGE MAPS STORE
Example 1: You sell a map to a customer that you believe to be authentic, only to find out that it’s actually a fake. The customer alleges intentional fraud and begins a public campaign to smear your name. General liability insurance would cover any legal PR costs associated with fighting these accusations.
Example 2: A customer walks into your retail location and trips over a box that was left in the aisle. General liability insurance would cover the medical costs associated with their injury.
Example 3: When unloading a shipping container of vintage maps, one of your staff members hits the side of a customer’s car. General liability insurance would cover the costs associated with the damage.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It's always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.
On average, vintage maps stores in America spend between $400 - $1500 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.
Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:
Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:
- Number of employees
- Per-occurrence limit
- General aggregate limit
You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.
While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all vintage maps stores should obtain:
Commercial Property Insurance
This insurance will cover your retail location if you own the property. It will pay for any property damage (e.g., broken windows, busted pipes, etc.) that results from unexpected events. This insurance will also pay for the destruction of the land or for lost inventory. Covered events under this policy include severe weather, theft, vandalism, or fire.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you employ any workers on the premises, including part-time salespeople, you’ll need workers compensation insurance to cover injuries they may sustain on the job. If you employ any map restorers who work from home, they’ll also need workers compensation insurance.
Business Interruption Insurance
If your retail location is integral to your livelihood, business interruption insurance is there to supplement lost income if it needs to close. If your store is vandalized and needs to shut down for several weeks until it can reopen, business interruption insurance is available so you still have some cash flow during the repairs.
Product Liability Insurance
Product liability insurance covers any defective products you may sell. For example, if a map was previously treated with a harmful chemical that causes bodily harm after long-term exposure, you may be sued by a customer to cover their medical treatment. This insurance would help cover these costs.
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your vintage maps store may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.
Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance
This insurance typically has the same coverage as a general liability policy but provides additional funds if a general liability policy reaches its maximum financial payout. Lawsuits can be extremely expensive, especially if the claim is complicated. Umbrella insurance gives owners the chance to fight the claims without risking bankruptcy.
If you operate any of your business from home, home-based insurance is available to cover the space you use. For example, if you keep many of your maps in your home office, a home-based policy will reimburse you if they sustain damage for a covered event such as bad weather, theft, or fire. A typical homeowners policy may not cover commercial goods.
Although it's easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business' financial losses after an incident occurs, but it's much better to avoid losses altogether.
With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:
- Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
- Set up a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your personal assets. (Refer to our guide for step-by-step instructions on how to form an LLC in your state.)
- Streamline your business' internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.
What is included in a business owner’s policy?
A typical business owner's policy includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company's needs.
What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?
"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.
Do I need insurance before I start a business?
You should invest in coverage for your business before your first interaction with a customer. Although the cost of insurance may seem high for a brand new business, it's best to be proactive when it comes to protecting your assets. After all, you can't buy insurance to cover a loss that has already occurred.
Will insurance protect my business from everything?
Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable. Be sure to discuss the scope of your policy in-depth with your agent to avoid being blindsided by holes in your coverage.