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Shop Insurance

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What is shop insurance?

Running a shop involves lots of different tasks – managing stock, deliveries, orders, customers and premises. With so many things to keep track of, having the right insurance in place to protect your business is vital.

If shop premises are damaged, or stock is lost or stolen, the cost to put it right could mean the end of the business. Having shop insurance in place can give peace of mind should anything go wrong.

Obviously, a shop can be anything from a sole trader right through to a multi-site retail chain. The insurance policies for each will be tailored to each shop owner’s needs, but there are a few principles most shop insurance policies will have in common.

By comparing quotes from a range of providers you can find the best cover for your shop.

Who needs shop insurance?

A shop in the UKIf you sell any kind of product from your premises, you are likely to need shop insurance. Businesses that need shop insurance include

  • Florist insurance
  • Butchers
  • Bakery
  • Coffee shop
  • Hardware shop
  • Newsagent
  • Grocery store
  • Convenience shop
  • Kiosk
  • Retail chains
  • Pop-up shot
  • Fast food
  • Fish and chip
  • Pizza delivery

The level and type of covers vary depending on the type of stock sold, the number of employees and the location or premises.


Most shop insurance policies are built around core elements like public liability and employer’s liability cover. Other types of insurance can be added to a basic policy to cover any aspect of your shop business.

Public liability cover – As most shops will be open to the general public, public liability insurance is essential. If a customer is injured or hurt on your premises, public liability covers the cost of any resulting legal claim. If a compensation payout is ordered, public liability cover for your shop will also protect your business.

Even if you only operate a small shop, the minimum level of cover required is £1 million, although policies are available with up to £10 million cover.

Employer’s liability – Accidents can happen in a shop, both to customers and staff. Employer’s liability covers any if a serving or ex-employee brings a claim. For example, if a staff member injures themselves at work. Or, if an ex-employee brings a claim for unfair dismissal. Regardless of the size of your shop, employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement. Your business could incur a fine if this cover is not in place.

Product liability – Any products you design or sell in your shop could be faulty. If a faulty product causes injury or damage to a person or third-party premises, product liability coverage limits the expenses your business will incur.

Even if products are given away for free, it is worth having the right kind of cover. Free products can fail just the same as paid-for ones!

Premises insurance for your shop

Your shop premises are a vital part of your operation. Any damage due to fire, flood, theft or vandalism can take months to repair. If your premises are unfit to open for trading, your business can quickly get into trouble.

Buildings insurance – covers the fabric of the building, and usually includes cover for fixtures or fittings too. Check with the insurer whether specific items such as awnings, shutters or signage are covered on your policy.

Stock insurance – Without stock, you’re going to have a hard job running a shop! Stock insurance will cover losses through fire, flood or theft, and help you get back up and running quickly.

Business interruption insurance – If for any reason you are unable to work, business interruption covers costs for the period of absence. This is particularly useful for sole traders.

How can I get cheap shop insurance UK?

The cost of cover will depend on factors like the size of your shop, the type and value of what you sell, and what type of premises you have. Generally, by reducing the level of risk associated with your shop, you may be able to lower premium costs.

  • Have adequate security measures in place to reduce the risk of theft. This might include CCTV, store security or alarms
  • Keep all shop premises well maintained, and repair minor damage wherever possible. General wear and tear will not usually be covered by shop insurance policies.
  • Have the right cover for your industry, and don’t pay for the cover you don’t need. For example, a clothes boutique is unlikely to need cover for frozen food losses if a freezer fails.
  • Ensure all staff have relevant and up-to-date health and safety training to reduce the risk of illness or injury.
  • Know the value of your stock. Make sure you are not paying over the odds to cover stock value you don’t need.
  • By comparing a range of quotes from different shop insurance providers, you can tailor the amount of coverage so it is right for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to have public liability insurance?

Running a shop means interacting with members of the public. Your business needs to have adequate cover in place in the event a third party is injured or hurt on your premises.

Am I covered for theft from my shop?

If you have stock cover in place, you could recover the cost of any stock stolen. If you run a shop, it’s likely you may also handle large amounts of cash on the premises. Having insurance to cover theft of takings can be a good idea in these cases.

Is stock covered outside of my shop premises?

Most shop insurance policies cover stock inside the shop itself. But there may be other times that you need to protect your stock, for example, if delivering, or collecting. Most insurers offer goods in transit cover for shop stock. If you visit trade shows or other off-premises events with stock, check that your policy still applies.

Are my outdoor fixtures covered by shop insurance?

All policies vary, so you should check with your insurer whether items like awnings, seating or signage are included in your policy.

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