Starting a flower shop comes with some fun and enjoyable tasks; from designing the shop, getting new tools, purchasing flowers, and lots more, but one task that needs to be done before opening the doors is shopping for business insurance. Like most florists, you know everything there is to know about flowers and plants, but things like creating a website, accounting, and insurance may be at the bottom of your list of priorities since they are new and not necessarily the most fun to do.
As a professional florist, you have risks that are different from other small businesses, primarily due to working with living things. There are several risks a florist faces that you may not be aware of including; customers walking into your shop and injuring themselves, loss of inventory, delay or damage to orders, injury to employees, damage or theft of your business vehicles, and many others.
Whether you are a one-person online flower shop or a large florist with lots of walk-in traffic, florist insurance is designed to help protect the business owner, it’s employees, and the business from financial danger.
With the exception of Worker’s Compensation insurance, most states do not require insurance, however, without coverage, your business can be sued. The result is that you as the owner are liable for paying the claims, many times regardless of fault. Here are some key florist insurance coverages worth considering.
Customers coming into your flower shop and getting hurt is a major concern and is what most people think of when discussing insurance. General liability will cover your business if a customer comes in and then slips and falls when picking up an order or injury from a display or hitting their head on hanging baskets. General liability will also cover third-party bodily injury because of an animal eating a plant or medical expenses from a customer having an adverse reaction to leaf shine spray.
The average claim for customer damage or accidents in small businesses is $30,000, which means having coverage can save you from a hefty bill down the road.
Business property insurance is commonly thought of to protect your building, but it can also cover expensive equipment like refrigeration, the workspace, computers, and more from fire damage, weather damage, or theft. Most lenders and landlords will require this type of coverage to protect the building.
Business interruption insurance provides reimbursement of lost income if you aren’t able to operate the business. This could be due to the destruction of your facility due to fire or weather, or even temporarily having to shut the business down to broken equipment.
In an example where the building was destroyed due to a fire, business property insurance would pay to fix the property, but business interruption would provide much needed income while the repairs were being made. Even more important, if this damage happened during a peak season, say during Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc., this type of coverage is even more important because those lost sales can’t be made back up.
If your business makes deliveries, having a delivery vehicle is important to your business. Business auto is available to protect the vehicle from accidents, theft or vandalism, and injuries to employees. This coverage is especially helpful as it provides liability protection should an employee have a costly accident when making a delivery.
Even if you or your employees use their personal vehicle for the business, it’s even more important to get business auto insurance coverage because most personal auto policies won’t cover claims if the traffic accident occurred while being used for business purposes, such as making deliveries or even picking up supplies.
If you grow any of your own flowers and plants and there is a weather event or climate control breakdown, your crop could be damaged and not sellable.
Even if you don’t grow your own plants, spoilage inventory can protect you if say your coolers break over the weekend and that big order you just arranged is now spoiled.
An often-overlooked insurance is one where the flower shop owner is sued because the customer claimed you ruined their wedding due to the wrong flowers being delivered, or not being delivered at all. This can be a common occurrence as there may have been shortage of stock due to a weather event or that particular flower was highly sought after right when you needed it. Or even worse, you scheduled the delivery for the wrong day and now the flowers won’t be ready for the wedding. It does happen!
Professional liability or errors and omissions insurance can help protect your business against this type of claim by covering legal defense and damages.
If your flower shop has employees, one of the few required types of insurance for florists in most states is Worker’s Compensation Insurance. This insurance helps protect a business in the event an employee is injured while on the job by covering medical bills, lost wages, and legal costs. By having worker’s comp insurance, the employee won’t be able to sue the business owner in the event of an injury.
Injuries on the job for the floral industry are common such as back injuries, cuts, and falls.
While thinking about insurance for your new flower shop doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing, it’s vital in order to protect the business.
How much does florist insurance cost?
The cost of florist insurance is going to vary greatly depending on:
- What type of insurance is being purchased
- Amount of coverage
- Where the business is located
- Services the business provides
- And even the credit score of the owner
The average range that a flower shop spends on a standard $1,000,000 general liability insurance policy could range from $30-$125 per month.
Is florist insurance required by law?
There is no specific “florist insurance”, however, there are several risks a florist will want to be sure are covered, with the primary ones being general liability, business auto, and business property. There isn’t a legal requirement for any of these, however, your lender, landlord, and in some cases vendor may require your shop to carry insurance.
The one type of insurance that may be required for your flower shop is worker’s compensation. Almost every state requires worker’s comp, but even in states that don’t require it, it’s typically a good investment to protect the business in case the employee is hurt while working.