Types of Shop Insurance

A question we’re asked fairly regularly is “what exactly IS shop insurance?”

So, we at Specialist4Business have put together the following quick overview to help you understand what might be in such cover and why it might be important to you.


The first thing we’d like to stress is the need for flexibility in terms of the cover included. In that sense, there is no such single thing as shop insurance.

The logic behind that is simple. If you’re say a newsagents on a corner then your need for various forms of cover may be substantially different to, say, a delicatessen selling homemade foodstuffs to the public.

As a result, the shop insurance we provide is never a one-size-fits-all policy. Each policy needs to reflect your unique retail circumstances.

Categories of cover

In the case of shop insurance, you might expect a typical policy to include one or more of the following elements of cover:

  • public liability;
  • stock;
  • product liability;
  • employers’ liability;
  • personal accident;
  • legal expenses;
  • business equipment;
  • business contents;
  • business buildings;
  • business interruption.

Space doesn’t permit a full discussion of each of these but let’s examine in principle what risks they are designed to cover your business for.

Public liability

Unless your shop sells exclusively online, the public will need to come into your premises.

Once that happens, you’re at risk from claims that they have suffered injury or damage to their property as a result. Examples might include trips, slips or cuts etc.


Your stock might be valuable. It also is potentially at risk from fires, floods, burglary, general theft and power cuts if it’s perishable.

Product liability

This can be a complex area.

If you’re making your own products, then the risks of being sued for damages should they cause illness or injury to your customers (or damage to their other property) are perhaps clear.

What’s sometimes not so well understood is that you could also be held liable in some cases, if you’ve retailed products actually produced by a third party.

Employers’ liability

This cover is usually a legal requirement if you employ people.

Personal accident

If you’re injured whilst working, you may incur a range of expenses and perhaps be unable to work while recovering.

Financial assistance in such situations through shop insurance might prove to be very welcome.

Legal expenses

If you’re sued, the chances are that you’ll incur substantial legal costs in trying to defend yourself.

Incidentally, don’t assume that if you win, the plaintiff will be asked to pay all your costs. The court might not see it that way and you’ll still end up with a large legal bill.

Business equipment and contents

This is a different category to stock cover.

If you have IT equipment, cutting machines and so on, then the cost of replacing them following a disaster or theft might be high unless you have insurance to assist.

Business buildings

If you own your business premises then you would typically cover them against a range of disasters.

Remember though that even if you’re renting/leasing, your landlord’s cover might not protect any enhancements you’ve made to the property such as lighting, shelving, air conditioning etc.

Business interruption

A consequence sometimes of a natural disaster, such as a fire or flood, might be that your shop can’t operate for some weeks while it is restored.

That might hit your income stream hard and this is where this cover may help.


Here we’ve only just skimmed the surface of what might be included in shop insurance.

Why not call us to find out more?