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What our Nerds say about shop insurance



Whether you run a butcher's, baker’s, or a candlestick maker’s, in order to protect your retail business, shop insurance is a good idea.

Shop premises expose your business to risks on many fronts, with both staff and customers vulnerable to accident or injury, and the potential for your stock, fixtures and fittings to be stolen or damaged on a daily basis.

You can’t guarantee a completely safe environment, but with the correct shop retail insurance policy, you can be safe in the knowledge that an unfortunate incident won’t spell financial ruin for your business.

What is shop insurance?

There is no single type of shop insurance. Rather, the term shop insurance is the name for a range of policies that can help cover you from a claim if something happens in your shop. This can range from someone being injured on your premises, or stock, fixtures and fittings getting lost, stolen, or damaged.

Your business could be held legally responsible if a customer is injured or their property is damaged in your shop. That’s why public liability insurance is often the foundation of a shop insurance policy. Most policies offer coverage of between £1 million and £10 million.

But the risk doesn’t stop once the customer has left the building. If a product purchased at your shop injures them or damages their property, you could also be liable, which is where product liability insurance comes in handy.

Employers’ liability insurance of at least £5 million is a legal requirement for any business with employees. If you have even one member of retail staff, who is not a family member and who doesn’t live abroad, this needs to be in place.

Contents cover, meanwhile, will help to replace anything from products broken by a clumsy customer on the shop floor to an employee’s misplaced phone.

And that’s not all. Commercial buildings insurance, business interruption insurance, and specific stock insurance can all be important considerations as a shopkeeper. You can shape your shop insurance policy around the exact needs of your retail business.

Do I need shop insurance?

Technically speaking, the only type of cover that is a legal requirement is employer’s liability insurance, but depending on your business activity you may be required to have a specific type of cover. For example, if you have contracts with local government or councils, you might be required to have public liability insurance in order to operate.

In reality, most shop owners select a suite of coverage options to protect their business so it is well worth exploring what cover would be best suited to you and your shop.

Sure, accidents are rare, but the amount of cash you save in the short term by not buying insurance could end up costing you much more further down the line. And for many, the piece of mind of knowing you are covered for most eventualities could prove invaluable.

» MORE: What is business liability insurance?

What does shop insurance cover?

Depending on what type of policies you opt for, shop insurance can cover a range of eventualities including unforeseen events, such as an injury or accident involving a staff member or customer, or your stock being damaged or lost.

What is usually included in shop insurance?

As well as the types of insurance – employer’s liability and public liability – discussed above, shop insurance policies can also include the following:

  • contents cover
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • business interruption insurance
  • product liability insurance
  • stock insurance
  • business buildings
  • personal accident insurance

What isn’t usually included in shop insurance?

You can tailor your shop insurance policy to include exactly the type and level of cover you need to protect your particular business.

The only limitation you might run into is if you have unusually high value stock or contents that wouldn’t be covered by the standard amount in your policy. It is a good idea to speak to your insurance provider about your specific requirements.

If your employees go out on deliveries, you may also need specific business car insurance or goods in transit insurance for accidents involving a vehicle, as they won’t always be covered by your employers’ liability insurance.

How much does shop insurance cost?

As you essentially design your own shop insurance policy, you only pay for what you need. That means your premium will be dictated by the types of insurance you choose and the coverage limits on your policy. These are all based on an assessment of your business’s particular circumstances.

For example, working with dangerous equipment, operating in an area with high footfall, and employing lots of staff all expose your business to greater risk, and so result in a higher premium.

How to choose the best shop insurance policy for you

While the individual types of cover available to you in a shop insurance policy will likely be similar across providers, it’s worth paying attention to the detail and asking yourself:

  • Are the coverage limits high enough to protect your particular business from a claim?
  • Does the policy include extra provisions for situations a shop is likely to encounter – for example, 24-hour glass replacement if your shop front window is shattered, or seasonal increases to cover periods like Christmas, when your business is carrying more stock?

Once you’re certain of your requirements, you can use NerdWallet’s comparison tool to find the best shop insurance policy for your business.

Click 'start your quote' and follow the step-by-step process.

Shop Insurance FAQs

What insurance do you need for a shop?

Retail environments are exposed to a high level of risk. In order to be as fully protected as possible, many shop owners opt for a policy that at least includes:

How does shop insurance work?

To get shop insurance for your business, you need to:

  • compare shop insurance policies from top providers, paying careful attention to the details
  • choose a provider that offers good value, and then get a tailored quote
  • pay for your insurance and receive documents as proof of purchase
  • relax in the knowledge that your insurer will pay out in the event of a claim

Do you have to have insurance for a shop?

If you want to protect yourself from the costs of a successful claim in the event of an accident, injury or disaster, taking out a retail shop insurance policy is a good idea. And you will be legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance if you have any employees that aren’t family members or based abroad.

What is shopkeeper insurance?

Shopkeeper insurance is just another name for shop insurance.

About the author

Henry Williams
Henry is passionate about helping individuals and businesses stay informed. Over the last 8 years, he’s written for startup and small business sites, with a focus on finance, insurance, and websites. Read more
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