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Insurance for bookshops

Insurance for bookshops


As the owner of a busy bookshop, you’ll understand the day-to-day difficulties that can come with running a small business. One of the main concerns that you may have to deal with is the need to keep your business, staff and customers safe from the range of risks that they might encounter.

Whether you’re a specialist bookseller catering to a small but loyal customer base - or you own a bigger, busier bookshop - it's likely you'll have assets that you want to protect against potential threats. Taking out the appropriate bookshop insurance can help to guard against these risks.

Some of the key forms of insurance cover that are likely to make up your bookshop’s insurance policy – and to which you may choose to add or adjust – could include:

Buildings insurance:

If you own the building in which your bookshop is based, you may think it’s worth purchasing buildings insurance. This can help provide financial assistance if your business premises – and its permanent fixtures and fittings – are damaged or destroyed due to unexpected strong weather or malicious damage. If you rent your business space, your landlord is responsible for purchasing buildings insurance – check with them to make sure they have done so.

If you would like to make changes to your bookshop and you are renting the premises, you might want to purchase tenants improvements insurance, which can help finance any replacement or repair needed in the case of unexpected damage – typically due to strong weather or malicious acts. You might also consider purchasing glass cover, or shop front cover, which can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing the windows, signage, window decals or the awning of your bookshop. If you would like more generalised shop cover, click the link to compare shop insurance quotes.

Contents insurance:

Contents insurance can cover the cost of replacing or repairing damage to the contents inside your bookshop, including shelving, counters and furniture. While contents insurance can cover your business equipment too, you can also purchase business equipment insurance separately. This can cover the cost of repairing or replacing cash registers, computers, refrigeration and other equipment, plus any tools you use in the running of your business.

Goods in transit insurance:

If you regularly deliver or collect books, or attend exhibitions, book fairs or other events, you might want to consider goods in transit insurance. This can provide protection against damage caused to your books while they are being transported.

Stock insurance:

As books are particularly susceptible to becoming unfit for sale following fires and flood, you might want to consider purchasing stock insurance. This can provide financial assistance should you need to repair or replace your stock due to weather damage, fire, flood, or theft.

Employers' liability insurance:

If you employ staff, contractors, casual workers, volunteers or temporary staff – whether paid or unpaid – you are legally required to purchase employers’ liability insurance. This can help cover the cost of defending against, and paying compensation for, any claims made by your staff for having fallen ill or suffered injury due to their employment with you.

An optional precaution you can take is employee dishonesty insurance, which can help recover any loss of revenue you suffer due to fraudulent acts made by any of your employees.

Public liability insurance:

This is likely to be one of the core types of cover that will be included in your policy. It can provide vital protection for you should a customer suffer injury or damage to their property while on your premises. As your bookshop is likely to welcome members of the public on a daily basis, this cover is integral to protecting you against any claims an injured customer may make.

Business interruption insurance:

Business interruption insurance can provide the financial assistance needed to cover your losses if you are unable to trade for reasons covered in your insurance policy. Examples of this include the destruction of your stock in a fire or flood, your business premises being destroyed due to unexpected heavy weather or malicious damage, or losing access to your building premises. These examples are by no means exhaustive, and your policy will define the scenarios in which your business interruption cover could pay out.

Money insurance:

Money insurance can help cover your business money – whether it is in transit to and from the bank or on your premises – including the cash in your till and stored away in safes.

Multi-shop insurance quotes:

There’s a chance that you own more than one bookshop – if so, you may be able to insure your multiple businesses under one insurance policy. Not only does this help to reduce the number of documents and policies that you have to manage, but it can also save you time when it comes to renewal. However, it’s important to note that multi-shop insurance does not always work out as the most cost-effective method to protect your businesses. You may find that it’s cheaper for you to take out individual policies for each of your bookshops, rather than one covering all of them.

As you can see, there are a number of factors that you may need to consider when taking out business insurance – and a number of options for customised cover that you can choose from to fit your bookshop’s requirements. Each bookshop is likely to take out slightly different forms of cover, as each business’s individual circumstances will shape the insurance that they need. For instance, your bookshop’s location can sometimes influence the cost of your buildings insurance – if you are based in a high-crime area, you may be deemed to be at higher risk of theft and malicious damage. Or, if you’re situated on a busy high street, you could require more comprehensive public liability cover to account for higher footfall.

When purchasing insurance, it’s important for bookshop owners to detail any additional goods or services that could affect the cost or cover provided by their policy. For example, consider the following situations:

  • If you sell or use audio books or new forms of media that may require licenses and download rights, it’s likely that your insurer will need to know.
  • Selling high value items – such as specialist books, first editions, antiques, rare books or collectibles – could affect your contents cover.
  • If you hold book signing events at your bookshop, you’ll need to think about any problems that may arise from hosting authors at your store. An event such as this could affect your public liability insurance. Whatever your business’s circumstances, it’s good practice to make sure that you read your insurance policy wording carefully, to ensure you are fully covered for any eventualities you may experience, and that you fully understand any exclusions in your policy.