Garden centre insurance
As the owner of a garden centre, you are no doubt aware of the unique risks faced by businesses in your industry.
Given the likelihood that you’ve got stock stored outdoors and numerous outbuildings to maintain, there is a wide variety of areas in which your business could be exposed, which is why it’s important to purchase an appropriate insurance policy to protect the financial stability of your business.
It is also important to ensure your insurance package is specifically suited to your needs, so read through your potential policy wording carefully before making a final decision. You must also make sure you’ve got cover for any areas of your garden centre that may face different risks, such as cafés and play areas.
Some policies that may be offered as part of a garden centre insurance package include:
- Contents insurance:
It may be useful to purchase contents insurance, which can protect your business contents and equipment against damage, theft or loss. You may consider purchasing business equipment insurance which can provide financial protection if your garden centre equipment is damaged, lost or stolen and needs repairing or replacing. This includes your phones, computers and other valuable assets such as your cash register, tools, plant or machinery, tractors, pottery and containers.
- Stock insurance:
Contents insurance can include your stock, but you can purchase additional stock insurance to specifically cover your internal and external stock against destruction due to fire, flood, diseases or pest infestation. Stock insurance for garden centres often includes stock cover in the open that’s vulnerable to theft, and can include protection against the deterioration of refrigerated or frozen stock on an all-risks basis – including electrical failures. Many insurers offer automatic seasonal stock increase to help cover the increased value of stock during the busiest times of the year.
You might also consider goods in transit insurance which can provide financial assistance for stock and contents that you regularly transport to and from your garden centre – including any containers, ropes, and tarpaulins that are used for transportation. You may consider purchasing vehicle insurance to cover your van, car or other vehicles that transport your products, employees or equipment.
- Public liability insurance:
Any business open to members of the public can benefit from public liability insurance. This cover can help provide assistance with the legal expenses if you have to defend against claims by members of the public that your business has caused them injury or illness – or has resulted in damage to their property.
- Business interruption insurance:
Business interruption insurance can be useful if you find yourself unable to trade due to circumstances beyond your control which are covered in your insurance policy. This cover can provide financial assistance to cover the loss of revenue you experience during the time it takes you to recover from this incident. It can also cover any increased costs of working that may arise if you need to set up your business in a temporary location.
- Product liability insurance:
If you manufacture, grow and sell products at your garden centre – such as plants, fruits and vegetables, chemicals and pesticides or horticultural tools and equipment – you may benefit from product liability insurance. This cover can provide financial assistance if you need to defend against claims that your product has caused injury or damage to a third-party or their property.
- Buildings insurance:
If you rent your garden centre premises then buildings insurance may not be relevant to you - it’s likely your landlord will already have it in place - although this is worth confirming.
If you’re a tenant, you may consider purchasing tenants improvements insurance which can cover any changes you make to the main structure of the building or its fixtures and fittings including any additions you make to the windows, such as signage. This can be covered under glass cover, which also typically includes protection against risks such as the weight of snow on greenhouses.
However, if you do own your garden centre’s buildings then it’s likely you'll want to insure them against damage or destruction. Buildings insurance can provide financial support in the event that the main structure of any of your buildings requires repairs following weather damage or vandalism.
Alternatively, you may find you are required to purchase buildings insurance under the terms of your lease. If you’ve installed special structures as part of your garden centre such as greenhouses, igloos, polytunnels or special shades, this can also be covered under buildings insurance.
- Employers’ liability insurance:
If you employ staff of any kind at your garden centre – including temporary, casual or unpaid staff – then you will be legally required to purchase employers’ liability insurance. This cover can help you in the situation that a member of staff claims they have suffered illness or injury as a direct result of working for you. If you need a legal defence in the event of such a claim - or need to pay compensation as a result - employers’ liability insurance could financially reimburse you.
Another type of employee insurance that you may want to consider taking out is employee dishonesty insurance. This can help to negate the financial effects of fraudulent or malicious acts of staff members, covering the losses you experience in such instances.
- Cash on premises cover
Cash on premises cover protects your business’s money against theft and loss. This cover can include money kept in cash registers and safes, and when it’s being transported to and from the bank. It typically includes assault cover, which can provide compensation if there is an injury during a theft of money. Some insurers provide a seasonal increase on cash on premises cover, to account for busy periods where you may have more cash at your premises.
Additional covers you may consider adding to your garden centre insurance package include:
- Personal accident cover: This can provide payments to cover the loss of income you may experience if you are unable to work due to an accident or serious illness.
- Engineering insurance: If you rely on simulated environments to grow your plants, you may benefit from engineering insurance which can provide financial assistance to cover engineers’ fees and inspections.
- Environmental insurance: this can cover any costs associated with statutory clean-up.
Garden centres can vary widely in the products and services they offer, as well as in the nature of their premises and daily activities. As such, it’s likely that each will be exposed to a number of different threats - and will require different forms of insurance to provide suitable protection.
Your garden centre insurance policy should be moulded to fit the exact needs of your business. Whether this is in terms of the stock and products you keep on site, or additional facilities provided for customers on your premises – it should be reflected in your insurance policy.
For example, your garden centre’s stock may solely consist of flowers, plants and other greenery - or it may also include garden equipment and accessories, food products and even live animals. These differences could influence not only your business contents and stock cover, but also your public liability insurance.
What's more, it’s not uncommon for garden centres to host additional facilities for customers to use – such as a café. If the café belongs to a separate, third party business, then they will be responsible for taking out their own insurance. However, it’s still worth making sure that your insurer is aware of the presence of additional businesses, as it may have implications for your own.
The most important thing is to get an insurance policy that's right for you, so be sure to tell your broker about any aspects of your business that you'd like to protect.
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