Retail businesses play an important role in the Australian economy and this industry is worth over $300 billion. Here at GSK Insurance Brokers, we provide retail insurance to a range of businesses across Australia and we understand the unique risk that your sector faces on a daily basis. Today, we look at some of the most common threats to retail and what you can do to protect your business.

1. Customer injury

One of the biggest threats that retailers face is the risk of customer injury while on your business premises. A simple slip could result in a costly claim if a customer is injured. Even if you operate from home, this threat still exists if you have customers attending your residence for business purposes. Although measures such as regularly checking for obstructions and hanging warning signs can assist, the risk still remains. Public liability insurance protects you financially if customer injury or damage to customer property occurs on your premises.

2. Theft

Theft is a significant source of financial stress for Australian retailers and can put a significant dent in revenue. To avoid this threat, there are a number of measures which can be put into place such as security tags on items, a security presence in the store, security cameras and warning signs that offenders will be prosecuted. Of course, even with these deterrents in place, theft may continue to pose a problem. Theft and property damage cover can assist your business from the financial implications of theft.

3. Unexpected interruptions

For most retail businesses, you rely on regular customers to create turnover. So, how would you cope if your business was suddenly unable to operate? An unexpected event such as significant damage to your building not only means that you need to go through the hassle of managing the repairs but also means that you can’t operate as normal. While larger businesses may be more financially able to keep up with expenses, medium and small businesses often suffer if operations are interrupted. Business interruption insurance covers the losses your business is experiencing while you’re unable to operate. This can help with ongoing cash flow to minimise ongoing costs and make up for lost income.

4. Data breaches

In an increasingly digital age, retail businesses often find themselves responsible for confidential customer information. This is particularly the case if you operate an online store rather than a physical premises. Cyber crime is becoming a big issue for Australian retailers and can have serious ramifications for your business. With that in mind, it’s important that measures are put in place to ensure cyber security. This includes strengthening online security and firewalls to deter would-be cyber attackers. However, if a data breach does occur, cyber insurance can provide financial protection against the implications of such an incident. The associated costs could include liability from a third party, recovering or replacing data, crisis management and loss of revenue.

5. Employee injury

When it comes to workplace injuries, it’s not your customers that you need to consider. Employees are also at risk of injury and this could have financial consequences for your business. Ensure that you take the time to develop an occupational health and safety policy and familiarise your staff with the expectations of the business around safety. Follow up with practical measures such as warning signs, protective equipment where applicable and staff training. In the event that an employee is injured, workers compensation insurance protects both employees and employers financially. This form of cover is compulsory in Australia if you have employees working for you.

6. Property damage

You can’t control the weather and it’s natural events such as storms which often have a significant impact on businesses. The retail premises themselves may be damaged during bad weather and stock in warehouses can also be impacted. Weather events such as storms can also result in power cuts which can impact food retailers if it results in spoiled food. Insurance cover for property damage is essential to cover your business against the financial implications of unexpected events.

Protecting your risks

At GSK Insurance Brokers, we customise your retail insurance depending on the needs of your business. Our extensive experience with retail clients gives us the depth of knowledge to ensure that all of your areas of risk are covered. Our personalised approach to customer service means that we take the time to get to know you and your business for targeted insurance solutions.

For more information about retail insurance for your business, speak with GSK Insurance Brokers today.

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