Retail Business Insurance: Insurance for Shops, Retailer & Stores

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Owning a retail store can be a fun and rewarding experience, no matter what type of product you're selling. Whether you're renting a small kiosk in your local mall selling baked goods or renting a 10,000-square-foot inline retail space for a larger store, almost every shopping center will require you to maintain a retail business insurance policy.

Retail insurance policies may vary from one state to another, depending on local insurance regulations, the requirements of the shopping center, and, of course, your own individual needs as a business. The overall point of a business insurance policy is simple- to protect your business from all sorts of financial risks, provide it a financial safety net, and protect your customers against unpredictable events such as injury, theft, damage, and other miscellaneous claims.

Hopefully, business owners will rarely or never have to file an insurance claim. However, on the off chance that you do , your insurance for shops can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars!

In this article, we're going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding retail store insurance, break down the most common types of coverage that retail businesses may need, and review the top three best retail insurance companies. Let's dive in!

Also read:

Retail Store Insurance FAQs

Before we get into the more technical aspects of retailer insurance, let's take a few minutes to address some of the more common questions and concerns asked by those shopping for retail shop insurance as well as online retailer insurance.

What Insurance Do You Need for a Retail Store?

Most shopping centers require their retailers to have a general liability insurance policy. These policies are designed to protect the store owners (and the shopping center owners) against any claims made by customers. They cover accidents and issues such as customers slipping and falling, tables/displays causing injury, and others.

Retail stores need to get general liability insurance. General liability insurance might be a requirement for business permits. Moreover, in case the retail store is planning to rent a commercial space, then the landlord needs to be added as an additional insured in the terms of the general liability coverage. 

So what is general liability insurance for retail stores? General liability insurance for retail stores is the primary protection that most insurance companies offer. This insurance kicks in if a retail store caused or allegedly caused personal injuries or property damage to third parties. Here are some example situations where general liability insurance is helpful:

  • A retail store specializing in handyman tools failed to arrange items on display as it’s a very busy day. A customer tripped on one of the items lying on the floor and sustained injuries. The customer then filed a claim and demanded the retail store to pay for his injuries. 

  • The retail store’s vending machine suddenly burst in flames. Someone was passing the moment the incident happened. Startled, the person dropped her phone and had it damaged.  After everything toned down, the passerby filed a claim and asked the retail store to shoulder the repair or replacement cost of her phone. 

Defective items can injure customers or cause property damage. Basic general liability insurance doesn’t cover a retail store’s liabilities connected with the selling of a defective product. That’s why there’s product liability insurance for online retailers and brick and mortar retailers to cover this loophole. 

Product liability coverage is an optional policy in general liability insurance for retail stores. This one kicks in when customers file a claim after a defective product caused injuries or destroyed property. Here are some examples to understand how product liability coverage works:

  • A retail store is selling salads to customers. After eating, one customer began to feel nauseous and weak. The customer then filed a claim and accused the retail store of selling spoiled food

  • A retail store is selling handyman products. One customer decided to buy a drill. One day after he visited, the customer came back and filed a claim because the item bought suddenly exploded and left some damage on the customer's project site. 

Aside from product liability coverage, there’s another optional policy in retail business general liability insurance called advertising injury coverage. Advertising injury coverage kicks in when third parties file a claim against a retail business that committed or allegedly committed copyright infringement, slander, libel, and other forms of reputational harm.

General liability insurance provides excellent protection against claims from third parties. But still, claims from customers aren’t the only exposure that will do some significant damage to a retail business. For one, the retail business commercial space might get destroyed or damaged. The same might also happen to stocks in the inventory too. 

Retail Business Commercial Property Insurance 

If you have a higher-end retail store, then you also may want to consider some form of theft insurance. Or, if you own the building your store is located in, then you may also want property damage insurance.

Many retail businesses decide to get commercial property insurance aside from general liability insurance. 

Commercial property insurance protects the commercial space of the retail business. Particularly, it covers reconstruction costs if the retail business’s commercial space is destroyed by fire or extreme weather. Also, if the commercial space is only damaged by fire, extreme weather, theft, or vandalism, commercial property insurance will take care of building repair expenses. 

The following optional policies can be added to retail property insurance for more comprehensive protection:

  • Stocks and contents coverage

  • Business equipment and tools insurance

A retail store makes money by selling the stocks in its inventory. If stocks get damaged, a retail business will surely suffer from significant losses. Carriers understand this and offer stocks and contents coverage. 

Stocks and contents coverage will reimburse losses after a retail store’s inventory got damaged or lost because of fire, extreme weather, theft, vandalism, and other covered perils. Stocks and contents coverage is underwritten in two ways. The first type of stocks and contents coverage only covers items in the inventory that you schedule or list on the policy’s terms. On the other hand, the second type covers all items in the inventory. 

Business equipment and tools insurance is useful for retail stores that use specialized tools and equipment for business operations. The purpose of this optional policy in commercial property insurance is to reimburse losses of specialized tools and equipment are damaged or lost because of fire, theft, vandalism, extreme weather, and other covered perils. 

Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover a Rented Space?

Commercial property insurance doesn’t provide coverage to a rented building. If your retail store is just renting, consider adding rented premises liability coverage to general liability insurance. Rented premises liability coverage will reimburse the landlord in case the commercial space you’re renting is destroyed by fire, extreme weather, vandalism, and other covered perils. 

Retail Store Workers Compensation Insurance

Employees working at retail stores can get injured while working. In connection, employers are responsible for treatment and compensation. Many retail store owners recognize how costly this will be. As a result, they decide to get workers compensation insurance. 

Workers compensation insurance for retail stores takes effect when at least one employee becomes sick or injured because of work. With this insurance, the retail business can pay for the hospitalization and treatment of the employee.  Workers compensation insurance also provides a weekly allowance equal to two-thirds of the average weekly wage in case the employee needs to take a leave to continue recuperating. 

Retail business can’t refuse to get workers comp as it’s a state-mandated insurance. Non-compliance might result in fines or imprisonment. 

Authorities also recognize the fact that carriers aren’t willing to cover some types of retail businesses. And so, there are alternative methods to cover employees with workers compensation insurance. The first one is to qualify for the state’s risk pool. The second method is to qualify for a self-insurance program. 

Business Interruption Insurance for Retail Stores

There are many circumstances that will force retail stores to suspend business operations. This is why some are smart enough to get business interruption insurance. 

Business interruption insurance helps minimize losses if a retail store needs to stop business operations to relocate, renovate, or  wait for an economic crisis to pass. In practice, this policy provides an allowance that the policyholder can use to pay employee wages, loans, rent, mortgages, and other operation costs. 

Do Retail Stores Have Insurance for Theft?

Yes! If you have a lot of expensive goods in your store, or think that your store may eventually have a problem with theft, then you might want to consider purchasing crime insurance for your retail store.

Crime insurance will reimburse losses if third parties manage to steal valuable items or money from your retail store. Actually,  theft is only one of the many perils crime insurance covers. This insurance policy also covers losses if third-parties commit social engineering, fraud, misrepresentation, and others. 

How about employee theft? Employee dishonesty insurance is an optional policy in crime insurance that covers losses if an employee of your retail store commits the following:

  • Document manipulation

  • Unauthorized use of business funds

  • Fraud

  • Theft

  • Destruction of money and other related objects

Is There Special Online Retailer Insurance?

If you own an online business, then you could benefit from a special online retailer insurance having a general liability policy with products liability coverage, stand-alone stocks and contents coverage, and cyber liability insurance. 

We already discussed general liability and products liability insurance. And so, we’ll only have to explain what cyber liability insurance is. 

Cyber liability coverage in online shop insurance is for businesses who own websites or any other similar platform that collects sensitive information from clients such as credit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. 

In case of a data breach,  cybercriminals will steal such sensitive information. Affected parties might experience losses as a result. The job of cyber liability insurance is to cover defense costs and settlements if concerned parties file a claim to recover losses. 

How Much Does Retail Insurance Cost?

The average cost of retail insurance in the United States is $500 per year, which equates to around $41.66 per month for a $1 million general liability coverage. Of course, retail store insurance cost can vary significantly depending on the type of business, the size of the business, and what type of retail establishment you have. For example, if you're selling used items your retail business insurance cost will probably be a lot higher than if you're selling t-shirts.

For more idea about retail store insurance cost, here’s a table showing the best commercial retail insurance companies and their pricing:

Cost per Month Cost per Year
CoverWallet $41.66 $499.92
Thimble $53.72 $644.64
NEXT $55.41 $664.92
Hiscox $97 $1,164
State Farm $97.41 $1,168.92
The Hartford $99.19 $1,190.28
Travelers $101 $1,212

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Best Retail Insurance Companies

Now that you have a better understanding of how business retail insurance works, we're going to introduce you the best retail insurance companies so you can identify them when you compare retailer insurance quotes online through this page. Note that we also mention each company's pricing for a $1 million general liability coverage. 

CoverWallet Retail Insurance


  • Has an online quotes comparison platform for you to make an informed buying decision

  • Get covered instantly online

  • Pay premiums online

  • Cancel a policy anytime 


  • Policy cancellation takes 30 days 

  • Doesn’t offer public liability insurance for online retailers

CoverWallet’s retail insurance is available to more than 50 types of retail businesses. It has four insurance options - general liability, general liability with commercial property, business owner’s policy with workers comp insurance, and a custom insurance plan. 

This insurance broker offers the retail insurance policies of partners such as Hiscox and Liberty Mutual. CoverWallet takes pride in simplifying the insurance purchase of customers. With CoverWallet, customers don’t need to talk with an insurance agent. All they need to do is provide some details, choose the policies for their retail business, and finalize the purchase. 

So why should you decide to work with CoverWallet? CoverWallet allows you to pay premiums and get a certificate of insurance online. Also, you can cancel your policy anytime without any additional charges. Furthermore, CoverWallet is known for keeping the rates of its insurance premiums stable. 

Best for: Retail business insurance online quotes comparison

Average cost: $41.66

Our rating: 10/10

Thimble Retail Insurance


  • Low deductibles

  • Short-term retail insurance

  • Get covered online

  • Has a tailored general store insurance


  • Customer service is only reachable through the Thimble app or emailing

Thimble’s coverage works best for mobile retailers. This insurance company offers short-term policies that offer protection by the hour, days, week, or month. Insurance products available for mobile retailers are general liability, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance.

Just like CoverWallet, Thimble makes the insurance process very easy. There’s no need to talk with an agent. All you have to do is provide the necessary details, choose the policies needed, and purchase them. After buying, Thimble then gives you an instant proof of insurance. Also, you can cancel your policy anytime. Nonetheless, the best thing about this company is that it has very low deductibles. 

Best for: Short-term retail business insurance

Average cost: $53.72

Our rating: 9/10

NEXT Retail Insurance


  • Offers discounts

  • Send your proof of insurance as a text message, email, or social media post

  • Offers a tailored online retail business insurance


  • Some customers state that NEXT’s took long to process their claims

NEXT offers its coverage to all kinds of businesses. However,  it’s Amazon sellers that benefit the most from this company. NEXT’s retail insurance follows Amazon insurance requirements. Policies NEXT sells to retailers are general liability, commercial property, workers compensation, and commercial property insurance. 

So how cheap are NEXT’s rates? This company claims that it helps retail businesses save 30% on insurance premiums. This might be true as existing customers said that they’ve qualified for some discounts upon buying more than one insurance policy. 

As for you, decide to work with NEXT because it streamlines the insurance process through the NEXT insurance app, where you can pay premiums or get and send a certificate of insurance online. 

Best for: Retail insurance for amazon sellers

Average cost: $55.41

Our rating: 8/10

State Farm Retail Insurance


  • Agents across the country in every state

  • Online store insurance has  liability policies in increments of $1 million

  • Multiple types of coverage and endorsements available


  • Most agents can't handle claims across state lines

  • Customer service and pricing may not be consistent from one state to another

State Farm’s retail business insurance is very unique as it has coverage not found in typical retail business insurance from other companies.  Retail insurance from state farm offers the following protection:

  • Commercial property

  • Shop stock insurance

  • Loss of income

  • Liability coverage

  • Computer property

  • Equipment breakdown

  • Employee dishonesty

  • Brand and labels

  • Business signs coverage

  • Shop contents insurance

Three additional policies can be endorsed for more protection. These are:

  • Data compromise coverage

  • Hired auto coverage

  • Ordinance/law business interruption coverage

Best for: Retail store insurance with unique coverage

Average cost: $97.41

Our rating: 6/10

Hiscox Retail Insurance


  • Offers business insurance for retail store with liability coverage having more than $2 million limit

  • Has tailored clothing store insurance


  • Has a lot of complaints from customers

Hiscox offers retail liability insurance policies having more than a $2 million limit. Consider working with this company, if you’re running a retail business that’s very prone to customer claims. 

Best for: General and public liability insurance for online retailers having more than $2 million limit

Average cost: $97

Our rating: 7/10

The Hartford Retail Insurance


  • Largest workers' compensation insurer in the nation

  • Offer great discounts for bundling business insurance policies

  • Large network of healthcare providers for injured workers

  • Offers city-specific coverage


  • The application process for retail insurance policy can be lengthy and tedious

  • Business owners cannot file claims online and must speak to agents in-person

The Hartford offers general liability, peak season, spoilage, dependent business income, management liability, and cyber liability insurance policies for retail businesses. This company’s strongest trait is its continued efforts in processing customers' claims fast. 

Best for: Shop front insurance with fast claims process

Average cost: $99.19

Our rating: 6/10

Travelers Retail Insurance


  • Operates in the USA, Canada, and the UK

  • Offers industry-specific small retail business insurance packages


  • Lots of complaints about customer service consistency

  • Pricing is variable and is not consistent, which means that quotes can vary significantly

Travelers offers retail and clothes shop insurance having property, general liability, business income protection, computer equipment, data, and media insurance products for small retail businesses. Policy management is a breeze with this company because there’s the MyTravelers® which you can use to:

  • Pay bills

  • Report a claim

  • Obtain certificate of insurance

  • View policy limits and deductibles

  • Access risk management tools and other business resources

Best for: Commercial property insurance for retail businesses

Average cost: $101

Our rating:   5/10

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