Flower Shop Business Insurance

Flower Shop Business Insurance should be high up on every owner’s list of things to have in place before the first customer steps foot across the welcome mat. 

Business Insurance Flower Shop

No matter whether you conduct your business from a flower shop located on the open street or in a shopping mall, from a flower farm through direct sales, or via the internet through online marketing, you share the risks of all retailers that dictate the kinds of insurance you need.  These are:

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  • Safeguarding the well-being of all visitors to the premises
  • Ensuring that the goods and services you provide meet your descriptions and match the customers’ specifications
  • Protecting your investment in property, equipment and inventory
  • Maintaining the safety standards in transit to customers
  • Keeping business data secure
  • Keeping your employees safe and healthy

Like all businesses that sell goods and services to the public, flower shop insurance provides protection against unforeseen events that even the best business skills cannot fully control.

Under common law in every jurisdiction, a business has the “duty of care” that must make sure that the space out of which it is operating represents a safe environment both for its customers and for its workers.

All businesses that engage with their customers directly, and that have physical premises out of which they will operate, have to face up to the possibility that accidents can occur that result in injury to a visitor or that damage a visitor’s property.

This results in an implicit acceptance of the risk that any business owner must take, and the best solution is to take out adequate and proper insurance against these possibilities.

Flower shops offer a very specialized range of products to their customers, and can also be engaged in advising and consultation.

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This brings with it a level of risk where the quality of goods and services provided could become a matter of dispute.

In such cases, it can be challenging to prove beyond any doubt that everything your business did was correct and proper.

In such circumstances, it can end up having to be decided in court, and there are no guarantees that the decision will match up to the facts. Instead of taking a gamble on the outcome of a court case, it makes far better sense to have insurance protection up-front.

These two areas of risk fall under the general heading of Liabilities, and we will deal in more detail with both of them a bit further down in the article.

Another important area of possible loss for any business is related to the money tied up in the physical side of the operation, such as buildings, property, vehicles, equipment and so on.

The value of such assets represents the foundation of the business and in all probability accounts for a significant proportion of the start-up investment for the business.

Without these physical facilities, business would be impossible, so having the ability to quickly replace or restore them in the event of damage or loss is essential to the viability of the business.

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Assets need to be insured as the leading way to ensure ongoing success.

Any business with employees has legal obligations to ensure their safety and provide for their financial support in the event of accidents.

This is the basis of Workers Compensation insurance and businesses that employ people without this cover are possibly breaking the law and could be subject both to penalties and to substantial losses in case of any claim.

Liability insurance for Flower Shop

Liability insurance is a specialized type of business insurance that is meant to cover the business owner’s legal responsibilities in case of any kind of incident or event covered by the policy.

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There are two levels of liability insurance to select from.

At the basic level, Public Liability insurance (PLI) is intended as the cover which will protect business owners against losses associated with injury or property damage that was incurred by third parties (members of the public who are not associated with your business) while located on your business premises, or are in the vicinity of your business operations. 

Some examples of the cover provided would be if a customer entering your flower shop trips on a loose floorboard and falls, sustaining some injury.

Another cause could be if the automatic watering system suddenly loses control and sprays an area of the premises while customers are still inside, causing damage to their clothing or other losses.

Public Liability insurance should be considered the minimum level for any business reliant on public access.

To expand the range and level of cover, you can consider General Liability insurance (GLI).

This next-level covers a broader range of potential legal issues for business owners.

The policy includes all of the areas included in Public Liability coverage.

It then adds any payments for medical costs and legal expenses arising from any claim, and legal defense in case of allegations of copyright infringement in your publications or advertising, slander, libel and similar.

Asset insurance

If you are operating a retail flower shop, it means you occupy some physical space that you either own or rent.

Any such physical location should carry sufficient insurance coverage up to the value of the building and contents against losses from natural occurrences like storms and floods, as well as man-made events like vandalism or fires.

If you are growing your own produce in more exposed and high-risk areas like open fields and fragile structures like hot-houses, you may need add-on cover for more unusual events like earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes.

Most commercial insurance policies also cover the value of the contents of the premises, like equipment and furniture, computers, and the inventory.

Take into account that for flower shops, the level of risk of damage can be quite high, coming from water, storm and roof damage etc.

Florists are vulnerable to water damage from burst pipes that can quickly ruin the whole operation.

Commercial auto insurance

If your business is delivering flowers to your customers, make sure that you have the right kind of vehicle insurance.

Commercial vehicle insurance is different from private auto insurance.

You may be breaching your private auto insurance policy’s rules if you are using your personal auto for deliveries.

Such a policy will almost always exclude commercial activity.

Workers Compensation Insurance

This is required by law in most states. Each state sets the designated number of employees at which the requirement applies.

You can go to the US Department of Labor website for more details specific to you.

Workers compensation insurance is needed regardless of whether employees are full-time, part-time or casual and will cover against claims should an employee suffer an injury or become sick directly attributable to working.

Workers compensation insurance costs depend on worker remunerations, calculated as a price per $100 of pay.

Flower shop business insurance costs

The cost of insurance depends on several factors, such as:

  • Your length of time in business
  • Size and location
  • Levels of coverage you choose (Note: Florists that provide services to government offices, including local district, state and federal bodies, may have a legal requirement for a certain level of liability coverage. In the case of commercial properties, landlords and lenders may also stipulate coverage levels)
  • Your claims history

Every flower shop business has its own unique features, which means that your own insurance requirements will need to be calculated accordingly.

In the table below, we will give some very general guidelines for what a florist can expect to pay for their policies.

This is based on the knowledge we have gathered for similar types of businesses facing the same risks, such as Fabric stores, Perfume stores, General retailers, Bookstores, Photographers, and other retailing customer-oriented businesses.

Before making your decision, consult with local insurance agents and brokers, and also shop around the local insurance companies.

An excellent way to start locating the professionals you need is to do a web search in your favorite search engine with terms like “retail insurance” including your locale as a keyword.

In the table, we are showing the possible insurance levels recommended for established florist businesses.

We are also offering the likely expected range of the levels of insurance cover you should be looking for and the annual premiums you can expect to pay. Discuss all of these options with your insurance agent, broker or company before finalizing.

Cover Level of cover Likely cost per year
Public liability $1 million per year, maximum $250,000 single claim $200 – $350
General liability $1 million per year, maximum $250,000 single claim $400 – $600
Professional liability / E & O $20,000 full year, $1,000 single claim with $250 deductible $150 – $250
Commercial property Calculated on insurable value (IV)  with $250 deductible $.30 – $.45 per $100 IV
Equipment Based on insurable value (IV) – per $10,000 with $250 deductible $120 – $175
Vehicle Depends on the insurable value (IV) with $250 deductible $1200 – $3000

FAQ

Do florists need insurance?

A flower shop interacts with customers, clients, and members of the general public.

It needs public liability insurance so that if anyone suffers accidental injury (typically called a “slip-and-fall”) inside your place of work, or if you or any of your employees accidentally causes some damage to a customer’s property when performing any work-related activity inside the customer’s premises, the consequential medical or repair/replacement costs are covered. 

Public liability coverage is essential for businesses that regularly deal with members of the public, whether it’s in your flower shop, in a client’s home or business, or in any place accessible to members of the public such as fairs, shows or exhibitions.

Also, businesses that engage purely online will be interacting with the public when delivering, picking up supplies or receiving deliveries.

The terms “third party” and “general public” include visitors, customers, casual viewers and delivery personnel.

What does General Liability insurance cover?

General liability insurance includes all of the covers provided by public liability insurance, like injury claims arising from someone getting hurt on your business premises (NOTE:  this does not include your employees’ injuries, for which Workers Compensation insurance is needed to recover work-related injuries or illnesses).

The extra cover compared to public liability includes:

  • Any medical costs and rehabilitation expenses if someone gets injured on your business premises or as a result of your negligence in their own home
  • Any damage to customers’ assets that you or your employees cause
  • Allegations of slander, libel, privacy violations or wrongful eviction.

None of the liability insurances cover every kind of allegation, such as deliberately breaking state laws by deceptive practices.

However, they give the significant benefit of shifting the duty of defense over onto the insurance company.

Instead of you having to find and fund a legal team, your insurance company’s experts will be conducting the case on their own behalf.

Can florists get short-term insurance cover?

If you run a seasonal operation, catering for closures during winter months, you can arrange insurance cover for specific periods, such as weekly or monthly insurance.

This will give you a lower flower shop insurance cost compared to full-year cover.

How to reduce premiums

A good way to reduce premiums is to accept an up-front deductible amount, which means you pay the first part of any flower shop insurance claim, up to the agreed amount.

Insurance companies like avoiding “nuisance” claims that mean high administration costs. Discuss this with your insurance broker to see how much you can save.

Business Owners Policy (BOP) insurance

Most insurance companies offer a combination of commercial property and general liability insurance as a single package at a lower cost.

This is called Business Owners policy (BOP).

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