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What Insurance Agents Need to Know about Retail Business Risk

Retailers Are Major Data Breach Targets

of retail data breaches are caused by POS intrusions and denial of service attacks

Considering the onslaught of retail data breaches we've seen over the last few years, your clients may assume that it's only the big-box retailers that get hacked. However, the Verizon 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report reports that point-of-sale and denial of service attacks most often target small- and medium-sized businesses – not the corporate companies whose breaches make headlines. But is that so significant? After all, how many small retailers can there be? According to the National Retail Federation, 94.5 percent of retail businesses have only one location, which indicates that the industry has plenty of small businesses. Tell your retail clients about Cyber Liability Insurance before they experience a breach of their own.

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Important Insurance Polices for Wholesale Businesses

Every small business needs insurance, even if they do everything possible to protect themselves from loss and lawsuits. Retail stores are no different, and their steady stream of customers increases their exposure to certain types of risks. Your ability to quickly identify your client's specific insurance needs and find them suitable coverage will make you a valuable asset in their risk management planning.

As you are already aware, no policy covers everything. Your wholesale clients will need different coverages to protect their business from potential losses. Here are some policies that address the risks wholesalers face:

General Liability Insurance

If your client's associate visits their distribution center and suffers an injury, your client can lose time and money in the subsequent lawsuit over medical expenses. General Liability Insurance covers the cost of investigating and defending against third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage. It can pay for court costs, legal defense fees, and judgments or settlements.

Property Insurance

Chances are your wholesale client has a warehouse or distribution center that is full of inventory, equipment, and supplies that are crucial to their business. Property Insurance protects these business assets, paying to repair or replace them if they are damaged in a covered incident. Typically, covered events include fire, theft, wind damage, and vandalism.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Some degree of Workers' Compensation Insurance is mandatory in almost every state. This coverage protects your wholesale client in the event their employee suffers an occupational illness or injury. Say an employee can't work because of a back injury related to lifting heavy boxes. Workers' Compensation covers the employee's medical bills and lost wages. Most Workers' Comp plans also have liability coverage for legal expenses if your client is sued over the work accident.

Commercial Auto / Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance

Wholesalers and distributors likely use a fleet of vehicles on a regular basis, making Commercial Auto / Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance an important coverage for your client. Commercial Auto covers the vehicles your client has registered in their name or the name of their business. HNOA offers their business liability protection when it's sued over accidents in leased, rented, or borrowed vehicles.

Umbrella Liability / Excess Liability Insurance

Umbrella Insurance, also called Excess Liability coverage, is a smart way for your wholesale client to boost their protection. Your client can make a claim on their Umbrella policy when a lawsuit exceeds certain other policy limits. Namely, Umbrella coverage can be applied to their General Liability, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, and Employer's Liability Insurance (part of most Workers' Comp plans). For instance, if your client has $1,000,000 of General Liability coverage but is found liable for $1,500,000 worth of damages, their Umbrella policy can cover the difference. Umbrella Insurance is usually more cost effective than raising individual policy's limits.

Tips for Insuring Retail Businesses

Help your retail clients mitigate their risks by suggesting they..

Post safety signage for customers and employees

Purchase alarms systems and security cameras

Take inventory on a regular basis

Secure customers' credit and debit card information

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