Every new business owner dreams of the big day when they finally open their doors and announce their brand to the world. For florists it’s no different. From picking out the perfect corner store with the right ambiance and midday sunlight, to seeing your bare bones shop blossom into the store you always wanted, becoming a business owner is the stuff of dreams.
However, to protect that dream from sudden disruption, new flower shop owners need to think beyond opening day. It’s a shocking statistic that 75 percent of US businesses are under-insured and nearly 40 percent have no insurance to speak of.
Yet, insurance is such an important consideration when deciding to open up shop. As the owner of a new establishment, you’re not only privy to carrying the title of boss, you also get the full scope of responsibilities that come with it.
This means understanding the range of possible disruptions, damages and liabilities you could potentially face as a florist shop owner in particular. So let’s take a look at some of the main areas you should have covered in terms of your insurance plan for your business.
General/Accidental Liability: You might be forgiven for thinking it at first, but flower shops can be tricky to navigate. The pretty petals might make it appear innocuous, but a wrong step and a customer could slip on a wet spot or nick themselves on a misplaced cutter. “An unexpected event happens more often than many small business owners realize,” says Stephanie Bush, SVP of Small Commercial Insurance at The Hartford.
Common accidents that could occur in any business make business owners vulnerable and can expose them to nasty litigation battles. Protracted negotiations can massively bloat the cost of an already taxing litigation and put your business under significant pressure. That’s why most business owners cover themselves from negligence lawsuits that may or may not arise from spurious claims.
Business/Property Coverage: Working with flowers comes with some great pros, but the cons are very real. Their delicacy make them both cherish-able and perishable. This makes the care they receive so critical to delivering the best products to your customers. Beyond your stems, florists rely on refrigeration equipment, computers, vehicles and a host of assets to keep their business running.
These are all expensive to repair or replace when damaged or in need of maintenance and can hurt your running capital if not covered adequately. Make sure your policy covers every business-critical item that you rely on to keep your store open and running without a hitch.
Utilities/ Income Coverage: External factors can also interrupt your business and by extension, your income and that of your employees. Have you thought about the array of outside influences that could force you to temporarily close shop? Disruption of gas, telephone or water supplies are but a few of the business interruptions that can force you to close your doors.
However, you can mitigate the implications of a temporary closure through utilities and income coverage that pays for lost net income and running expenses such as mortgages and salaries. Extended cover also allows owners to claim for business relocation if the case is of a severe or extended nature.
Personal Liability: While every florist’s worst nightmare, a ruined order can cause extensive damage to your reputation. Consider the possibility of a delivery not showing up on a wedding day, birthday or anniversary, or the odd chance of getting an arrangement wrong. These are unfortunate realities that can play out and in many cases it’s out of your control. A driver that shows up late due to bad midday traffic or sketchy address details can lead to late or incorrect deliveries – and unhappy customers.
With so much emotion that goes into flowers, people can and do get offended when their experience doesn’t live up to their expectation – and much of that expectation rests on your service. Look into getting personal liability that covers you as the business owner from any unfortunate, yet unforeseen customer experiences.
Vehicle cover: When in transit, your assets are at greater risk than almost any other time. In 2016 alone, the FBI reported that nearly $6 billion was lost in assets due to car theft across the USA with vehicle accidents reaching over 6 million in recent successive years. The loss, theft or damage to a delivery vehicle not only poses a threat to your business’ continuity and income, but can cost you a pretty penny if your insurance cover is inadequate. Look at comprehensively ensuring your business vehicles to ensure that deliveries tick over like clockwork.
Make sure you protect your business
The above only cover a few areas florists should consider when getting insurance for their business. There are other important areas that need consideration also. For example, employee disputes, discrimination suits and others can expose your business to serious reputational and financial damage. Look out for an article that covers everything you need to know about employee matters and how to ensure hiring the best people for your business.
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