Shop insurance traditionally covered businesses that sold goods or services from commercial premises. Owing to the growth of online retail sales this can now be designed to cover businesses that sell over the Internet, too.
Direct line will cover businesses (mainly small ones) that sell goods, or provide a service, from a shop, online, from home or from a market stall. As usual they provide quotes either online or by telephone and they may offer discounts to existing customers. They believe that every customer is different and so they can offer tailor made policies. For instance someone working from home may need goods in transit insurance to cover parcels sent by post or via a courier company, those working online may need cyber cover, those who work from a shop may need buildings and contents insurance. All of them may need stock insurance to cover it against theft, fire or flood. Public and product liability is standard on their shop and retail policy, and employers liability, theft of takings, buildings cover, legal expenses, contents and stock, cyber cover, and personal accident cover are all optional.
From it's beginnings in the front room of a private house in 1957 Swinton Insurance grew to become the third largest insurer in Britain in 2008. It has lost that crown since then but remains a major broker with a claimed one million or so policy holders. The business has been sold three times, to Sun Alliance, Covéa and then to the Ardonagh Group, which controls five major brands - Chase Templeton, Autonet, Towergate, Price Forbes and Direct Group. As a company that seemed at one time to have a shop in nearly every town in Britain - they closed the last one in 2019 - shop insurance seems a natural product for Swinton to sell. Their policies can cover the usual public and employers liability, business premises, stock, goods in transit and business interruption. Extra cover for spoilage of frozen or chilled food, terrorism or legal cover are options. Swinton claim to insure over 30,000 businesses, mostly small or medium sized.
Simply Business (Xbridge Limited) is an online insurance broker that claims to insure more than 750,000 businesses, most of them small or very small. Thy provide quotes from multiple insurers and say that all settled claims are paid out within just 24 hours. They provide the usual public liability, stock, product liability, buildings and employers liability cover and they can offer tailored policies for those selling online. Many shops are owned by landlords who are responsible for insuring the building but many tenants improve the property with, for instance, extra lighting, air conditioning or special fittings. In the event of damage by fire or flood these would not normally be covered by the landlord's policy so simplybusiness can arrange separate cover for these, too.
AXA is one of the world's largest insurance groups and amongst the many insurance products they provide is shop insurance, which is available to retail businesses whether they are operated from a high street store, from home, or over the Internet. Customers can buy policies online but for emergencies there is a 24 hour a day helpline. There is also a free advice line for policyholders between Monday and Friday, 9.00 to 5.00pm, providing legal and tax advice. Customers with contents cover can take advantage of a 24-hour glass replacement service to repair or replace windows, partitions or doors. Their shop insurance policies are designed to suit sole traders and small to medium sized businesses and possible covers include professional indemnity, contents, employers liability, public liability, buildings, business equipment, legal expenses and terrorism.
Major insurer Hiscox can provide shop insurance for large chains, smaller retail groups or just a single shop. Apart from the usual contents, public liability, and personal accident insurance they specialise in cover for cyber insurance. Having data stolen or a major cyber attack can paralyse a business but Hiscox claim to have specialists who can help to deal with the problems. It seems in the last 12 months more than 60% of businesses have suffered attacks ranging from denial of service to ransomware attack but the Hiscox cyber cover could protect against complaints for non-GDPR compliance; compensate for any loss of income that results from data being stolen; provide help with regulatory obligations such as informing regulators, or customers who may be affected; give legal advice and help to find out how the breach occurred; and compensate for the cost of any equipment that was damaged during the attack.
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