Here at InsuranceHub, we have experience helping furniture stores that sell:
- New or used furniture
- Unpainted or naked furniture
- Custom handmade furniture
- Bedroom furniture
- Living room suites
- Dining room and kitchen tables and chairs
- Decorative items
- Floor coverings
Thankfully, here at InsuranceHub, we understand the risks involved with stocking, selling, delivering, and setting up all types of furniture. Whether you are a mom and pop store or part of a major chain or franchise we would like to help. Whether you have one location or many across the state we would like to help protect what matters most to you.
Types of exposure that furniture retailers need protection from:
Property exposures: This can be high due to all of the floor models being plugged into electrical outlets for display. Be sure to only use licensed electrical contractors so that your wiring meets current codes. As you know, many furniture items are very flammable. Plus, they can be damaged by fire, smoke, and water.
Do you finish or repair furniture? Paints, varnishes, strippers, degreasers, and solvents are highly flammable, Be sure to lock these up in metal storage cabinets. Keep all greasy rags stored in metal containers. Plastics, wood, fabric, and packing materials are all flammable too. Do not allow smoking on your premises.
You are also facing breakage problems if you are selling fragile items like mirrors, lamps, and glass tables.
Finally, install a monitored security system with cameras.
Crime exposures: Are you currently doing background checks on all employees? Do you have set procedures in place in case of a hold-up or a shoplifting incident?
- Install cameras.
- Install a security system.
- Do background checks.
- Use separate employees to collect, deposit, and disburse cash.
- Make daily deposits so cash doesn't build up and stay overnight.
Inland marine exposures:
- Do you offer credit to your customers? Then your accounts receivable is at risk.
- Computers coverage: This covers electronic devices that you use to monitor inventory & transact sales.
- Equipment floater: Do you have forklifts to move furniture in your warehouse?
- Goods in transit: Do you pick up and deliver furniture to client locations?
- Valuable papers and records: Keep backup copies of all customer and vendor records, including computer records. Keep these stored off site.
Premises liability exposure: Your biggest threat comes from slips, trips, and falls in your store or warehouse. Keep all aisles clean and free of debris. Repair all carpet frays and worn spots. Repair all cracks or holes in flooring. Keep all exits clear and accessible. Is the emergency lighting being tested regularly? Do you have sufficient exterior lighting? Are you cleaning snow and ice as soon as possible? Be sure to have enough employees on duty to supervise customers and their children.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair. They should be generally level, have no snow and ice, and be free of exposure to slips and falls. If the business is open after dark, there should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area.
Do you use interior decorators and have employees making deliveries, setting up, and installing furniture purchases for customers? Have a written policy book for all conduct at the customers' homes and locations. Do you use or recommend independent contractors? Be sure to get copies of certificates of insurance to verify that the contractors have the proper limits of liability.
Products liability exposure: Your biggest concerns are:
- Children's and infants' furniture.
- Direct import of the products.
Make sure that all applicable standards and regulations are being met. Are you doing any furniture customization? Then you are acting more like a manufacturer than a retailer. Talk to your agent about this.
Automobile exposure: Do you provide pickup and delivery services? Be sure that all drivers have a clean license and MVR. Are you providing preventive maintenance on all vehicles? Are you keeping full documentation of all maintenance performed?
Workers' compensation exposure: This can be high. Your employees are unloading furniture, stocking your store, loading customer vehicles, and delivering and setting up furniture at the client's location. Improper lifting can cause back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains. Teach safe lifting practices.
Cuts and eye injuries can happen from mirror and table top glass breakage. Provide all employees with safety equipment.
Are power tools being used to assemble and repair furniture? Teach safe tool usage. Make sure that employees are using safety gear.
Do you have written policies and training set in place in case of hold-ups and shoplifting? Otherwise, your employees could get hurt.
Here is the minimum recommended furniture warehouse insurance coverage:
- Business Personal Property
- Business Income
- Employee Dishonesty
- Money and Securities
- Accounts Receivable
- Goods in Transit
- Valuable Papers and Records
- General Liability
- Employee Benefits
- Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage
- Hired and Nonownership Auto
- Workers' Compensation
Other furniture store insurance coverage to consider:
- Leasehold Interest
- Real Property Legal Liability
- Computer Fraud
- Equipment Floater
- Fine Arts
- Employment-related Practices
- Stop Gap Liability