A tale of two businesses

Mark and Sally both want to make a go of running a small business in their local town. Mark wants to open a local antique store, while Sally has her sights set on opening a small boutique on the bustling riverside. 

Both budding entrepreneurs grew up in the same town, so they know that there’s a demand for their businesses. They’ve drawn up the plans and obtained all the necessary loans. Their next stop is finding a suitable insurance policy. But where to start? Even though they’re both small shops in the same town, if done right, their policies will look very different.

Insuring Mark’s Antique Store

Mark is based in the centre of the town, amongst the hustle and bustle of the high street. He rents the space where his shop is based but owns the residential flat above it. Because Mark has a mixed commercial and residential property, he requires bespoke cover to account for the full scale of his cover requirements. 

Since Mark is selling and handling antiques, he requires protection which accounts for the fact he will be cleaning, restoring and valuing his items. For this, his insurance should include cover for restoration and repairs. It also needs to account for any fluctuations in the value of his pieces as they increase and decrease over the years. Mark’s items could be held in his store for a lot longer than other shops in the area, so it’s vital for him to conduct revaluations regularly.

Mark’s policy will also need to account for depreciation in value following item restoration. For example, if he needed to recover a first edition book, this would then be worth a lot less than its initial value. Or if he had to repair a painting due to water damage.

Mark expects customers to have a good browse in his antique store, so he also needs sufficient public, product and employers’ liability cover in place. This will cover any resulting legal and compensation fees if, for instance, somebody falls in his shop due to his negligence.

Mark’s items are also purchasable online and he ships a lot of his items abroad, as well as transporting his goods to local dealers and buying and selling at auctions. This means he not only requires goods in transit cover, but he also needs protection for his items when they’re being shipped worldwide. Because of his online presence, his business would benefit from cyber insurance to protect him in the event of a digital attack.

Key features of Mark’s policy

  • Mixed Commercial and Residential Property Cover
  • Restoration and Repairs
  • Business Interruption
  • Stock incl. Agreed Value
  • Depreciation following restoration
  • Goods in Transit
  • Cyber Liability
  • Items send across UK, EU and worldwide
  • Public, Product and Employers’ Liability

Insuring Sally’s Boutique

Sally has chosen to rent out a commercial property on the riverside. While her landlord has their own insurance for the building itself and its fixtures and fitting, this won’t cover for damage to Sally’s equipment, stock, liability issues or business interruption. These would need to be accounted for under Sally’s own insurance policy.

As the property is based down by the river, it receives great footfall. However, its proximity to the water means that it is prone to flooding. If flooding occurs, Sally will need to find a way to fund the repair and replacement of damaged assets as well as fund herself and her staff’s wages during the period the business cannot operate. As a high-risk area, Sally requires specialist Flood Insurance to ensure a competitive premium.

Sally’s boutique expects to see stock fluctuations at key times of the year, so her insurance policy should account for this in order to ensure she is properly covered in busier months. This will be reflected in her stock insurance protection.

As a public-facing business, Sally is at a higher risk than other businesses of public liability claims for slips and falls and as she hires staff, she is legally obliged to have employers’ liability cover.

Sally often attends fashion trade shows to exhibit her clothes and make new contacts in the industry, which means she needs goods in transit cover when transporting her stock and stand. Similarly, she can choose to cover one-off events with short-term cover accounting for public liability, event cancellation and equipment cover.

Key features of Sally’s policy

  • Business Contents Insurance
  • Stock and Equipment
  • Business Interruption
  • Public Liability up to 5m, Employers’ and Product Liability
  • Stock Insurance Protection – Taking into account seasonal fluctuations
  • Flood Insurance – Specialist cover designed for high risk areas
  • Goods in Transit cover
  • Trade Show Insurance – As and when required

It’s clear that while Mark and Sally’s circumstances may have seemed similar at first, having delved into their unique businesses, they require very different insurance policies. Every business is different, which is why out-of-the-box policies will rarely cover you for what you need. At R Collins & Co, we will work with you to arrange a policy which is truly suited to the unique nature of your business, so you’re properly protected against the risks which could affect you. For a no-obligation chat, get in touch with our friendly team on 01977 558391.