Guide to shop insurance

December 4th, 2018
What is shop insurance?

Updated June 2023

What is Shop Insurance?

Shop insurance should be considered by every business owner to protect against the risks faced daily, as well as having in place the right cover to meet the legal obligations of an employer.

The risks you face can vary, and will include damage to your property, including the premises and any stock, injury to members of the public visiting your premises resulting in legal action against you and loss of income if you are unable to trade as a result of damage.

Do I need shop insurance?

Shop insurance policies will be tailored to the requirements of a retail business operating from commercial premises.  If you are running a Public House, Restaurant, Hotel or Photography business you should seek a more suitable policy that will focus on your specific requirements.

What does shop insurance cover?

Cover under one policy can vary compared to cover under another policy; be sure to check you are getting the right cover and more importantly cover is not being compromised in order to achieve a premium saving.

Here are some key coverage that you should look out for when arranging your shop insurance.

Business Contents and Stock

This will cover you for damage to your business contents including stock, fixtures, fittings, furniture and business equipment.    This will include a wide range of perils such as fire, storm and flood.

Check for Accidental Damage and Theft that may not always be included as standard, and when looking at the Theft cover, is it Full Theft or just forcible and violent entry?

Top tip – When assessing the sum insured for all your trade contents you will need to ensure this figure represents a replacement as new value, irrespective of whether you purchased the equipment second-hand.

Loss of Income, often referred to as Business Interruption

If due to an insured event, the damage results in you being unable to trade, business interruption will cover you for any lost income whilst repairs are made and you are back up and running.

Top tip – Look out for the indemnity period, this is the amount of time the policy will compensate you for any loss of income.  When looking at the worst-case scenario of a fire you may need more than 12 months to rebuild the property and ensure payments do not stop prematurely.

Public and Products Liability

Accidents happen, and with members of the public visiting your premises on a regular basis, there is an increased chance that you could find yourself the subject of a liability claim if a customer suffers an injury as a result of your business.

Top tip – You should regularly inspect the premises to ensure a safe environment free of trip hazards etc.  There should also be procedures in place to minimise the ongoing risk, if there is a spillage who is responsible for clearing it up, and what action should be taken to minimise the chance of injury?

Employers’ Liability

If you employ any staff it is a legal requirement to have an Employers Liability policy in place.  If a member of staff is injured whilst at work this will assist you in meeting any compensation they may be entitled to.

Top tip – You need to make sure the Employers Liability certificate is available to staff, however, this does not mean it must be on the wall, if staff have access to a PC you can deliver this digitally.

Legal Expenses

Legal Expenses Insurance is designed to assist in defending legal action taken against you, including Employment Disputes, Tax and VAT disputes and more. With Employment Law and legislation changing every few months, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with the impact this has on your procedures.

Top Tip – Look for additional benefits, such as a legal advice helpline.  This will provide you with access to a legal specialist for any business-related matters and could save hundreds of pounds in lawyers’ and/or solicitors’ fees.

Optional coverage’s

There will be several optional extensions that can be added to your shop insurance package such as:-

Goods in Transit

Cover can be added to include your trade contents whilst in transit.  This could include delivery to a customer or collecting stock from a supplier.


If you own the buildings or are required under your lease to arrange the insurance, adding this to your Shop Insurance package can result in additional savings compared to arranging this separately.

Top tip – You will be required to provide a sum insured that represents the full rebuilding cost of the premises including the cost of debris removal and professional fees. The market value of your building should not be relied on as this can vary substantially due to location.  If unsure of the correct rebuilding value you should seek the guidance of a professional surveyor.

Personal Accident

You may be able to add this cover for yourself and/or any key members of staff.  The cover will provide a benefit should the person have an accident that stops them from attending to their normal occupation.    This is not private medical insurance and only provides cover in the event of an accident.

What next?

All that is left is to pick up the phone and speak to one of our team today, they will be happy to assist with any queries or concerns you have and will be able to provide you with a quotation over the phone, call us on 0800 731 2940.  Alternatively, you can request a call HERE.