The Grapevine

What Kind of Insurance Does My Wine Shop Need?

August 19th, 2014

What Kind of Insurance Does My Wine Shop Need?

You’re yawning already. But insurance is important, and we’re willing to bet you’re under-insured in some areas and uncovered in others. [level-members]

We’ll start with a quick overview and dive into each type of insurance in a bit more detail in the upcoming weeks. First, a bit of insurance of our own: we’re not insurance professionals – we don’t even play one on TV – so be sure to discuss any insurance issues with your own brokers and business advisers. Rules and regulations vary from state to state.

There are a broader range of insurance types than you might be familiar with. Here are the most common.

General Liability Insurance
These are typically broad coverage policies that protect against claims of injury or damage to someone else or someone else’s property. This is a must for just about every business.

Product Liability Insurance
Protects you against claims based on damage caused by a defective product. You do not have to be the manufacturer of a defective product to be named in a lawsuit.

Business Owner’s Policy
Another comprehensive form of insurance to consider for businesses who may be larger than other policies will cover.

Professional Liability Insurance
Typically for businesses that provide services. Can also be called Errors & Omissions coverage or “E&O.”

Directors and Officers Coverage
Depending on the corporate structure of your business you may need to cover directors and officers from suits arising as a result of their actions on behalf of the corporation.

Property Coverage
This coverage is meant to protect your tangible assets and may require separate policies to cover real estate (including fixtures, furniture, and equipment) and inventory.

Workers Compensation
May be required depending on the number of employees you have and the state in which you operate.

Employment Practices Coverage
Can cover suits arising from former employees and other instances related to employment law.

Unemployment Insurance
This tax varies from state to state and typically feeds into a fund that covers benefits for fired employees.

Disability Insurance
Not required in all states.

Life Insurance
Life insurance will protect your family and possibly your business and/or business partners in the case of your death.

Vehicle Coverage
If you own vehicles that are used in the business, or if you use a personal vehicle, or if employees use their own vehicles, you will need to be covered. (And using personal vehicles for work may not be entirely kosher, depending on the circumstances. Again, check local regulations.)

Data Protection
If you store customer information, you might consider coverage for data breaches. As a small business, you’re much less likely a target than large corporations, but you may need coverage nonetheless.

As I mentioned, we’ll dive into these in more detail in the coming weeks. [/level-members]