Spring is here! As we all know, the April showers bring May flowers. Florists, floral arrangers, and flower shops are businesses that bring beauty into our lives. All of the moments of our lives are accented by flowers: weddings, birth days, anniversaries, and even sad occasions such as funerals.
Business insurance for florists must meet the unique set of risks faced by the flower shop. Shops that are open to the public present special risks. Often natural conditions such as water on the floor, thorns, allergies, and other conditions might pose a risk. What about deliveries? Employee injuries? Floral arrangers may face liability offsite or delay damages. Flowers may spoil. These risks and more can be managed with proper business insurance for the floral professional.The Business Owners Policy
The Business Owners Policy or "BOP" is an insurance product offered by all major insurers as a package of insurance meant to cover all of the risks commonly encountered by a business at an affordable premium.
This coverage typically includes property insurance, liability insurance, contents and inventory coverage, and some form of business interruption coverage. It varies by insurance carrier, but this can be an excellent starting point for a retail flower business. However, it is not all of the coverage a flower business would need. Some carriers have created products like the BOP specifically tailored to different common retail businesses. This best place to learn about such packaged products and any possible discount is through professional organizations and groups dedicated to your business. State florist associations are excellent resources in this regard.Required Business Insurance Coverage
Certain business insurance is going to be mandated by statute or by contractual requirements with landlords and lenders.
- Workers Compensation Insurance - If you are going to have employees, then workers compensation coverage is mandated by most states. Check with your insurance professional or your state office to determine amounts and premiums.
- Property Insurance - Florists may own their own shop or rent space. Every commercial lease will (or should) require property insurance of a certain amount as a lease condition. Mortgagers and lenders also require their security interest to be insured. In that sense - this coverage is required.
Commercial auto coverage is automobile liability coverage for any vehicle used in your business. If the flower shop makes deliveries, the vehicle must be insured. Even if you use a personal automobile for deliveries or travel to clients to do arrangements you need a business use endorsement for the car insurance policy. This is because your personal auto coverage does not cover business use of the vehicle. Such additional coverage is generally available for 10-15% of the personal premium and can be purchased seasonally from some carriers. Auto use is the small company's largest risk and it can be affordably contained.Business Auto and Non-Owned Coverage
This coverage helps protect against damages if one of your employees has an accident driving a company vehicle or their vehicle while on company time. So, if your small flower shop lets employees make deliveries in their own vehicles, this is needed coverage.Product Liability Coverage
Shops selling products to the public need this business insurance coverage. It protects the business from liability claims for defective products and, most importantly, can provide for the costs of a defense against such claims.Other Coverages for Florists
Florists deal with living things and are can be affected by seasonal disruptions and utility disruptions to a greater extent than other businesses. These disruptions can be covered by business interruption coverage or, to some extent, the business income coverage offered in the BOP. But, exclusions may apply under traditional policies. Some insurers offer specific products for florists as specialty coverages to address those risks:
- Transit Coverage - This is coverage that protects inventory from loss while it is being moved.
- Utility Services Coverage - Flowers need coolers, heaters, water. What if the utilities are disrupted?
- Spoilage Coverage - This insurance coverage can protect your business from loss from stock spoilage.
- Seasonal Coverage - If your floral business is particularly dependent on a season such as "wedding season," this coverage can protect against losses in that particular peak season. This is important because some business interruption or income policies average out income loss. Meaning if you lose the highest income producing month you are reimbursed not at "peak" but at an average of the last twelve months.
As always, talk with your insurance professional about your particular business and make sure that the particularities of your industry are covered by your business insurance.