How to Protect Your Ontario Grocery Store

How to Protect Your Ontario Grocery Store

December 22, 2022 / 5 mins read

You’re providing an essential service to your customers. While you look after their food needs, you also need to be mindful of accidents, contamination, and theft.

Whether your Ontario grocery store is part of a chain, an independent, or a specialty store, a grocery store insurance package tailored to your needs will protect your business.

Ask your Western business insurance expert about what type of grocery store insurance package is best suited to your business.

If you’re a grocery store owner in Barrie, Aurora, King City, Brampton, Mississauga, the Greater Toronto Area, Newmarket, Vaughan, Markham, Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa, Guelph, Woodstock, Cornwall, Parry Sound, or wherever you are in Ontario, we’ll tailor your grocery store insurance package to meet your needs.

Why do I need a grocery store insurance package?

You need a grocery store insurance package to help protect your business from the different types of risks that you are exposed to daily.

Your grocery store insurance package can provide coverage for risks such as a customer getting injured, food contamination, equipment breakdown, theft, or property damage.

Here are insurance coverages recommended for Ontario grocery stores:

Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: Grocery stores can have wet surfaces both inside and out, resulting in slips and falls. Customers accidentally knocking items off a shelf or dropping a product can also create potentially hazardous situations for themselves and other customers. Produce that has fallen on the floor can also be a hazard.

You need commercial general liability insurance because it protects your grocery store when there is a third-party bodily injury or damage on the premises.

  • CGL insurance generally covers medical fees, legal expenses, and settlements regardless of the outcome of a lawsuit by a customer against you.
  • Your policy should protect you from libel, slander, copyright infringement, and false advertising allegations.

It’s important to understand that without commercial general liability insurance, you would be responsible for paying any liability costs out of your own pocket.

It’s not uncommon that a grocery store owner would carry at least $2 million in CGL coverage, or $5 million and beyond depending on the size of your operation.

Speak to your Western business insurance expert about the commercial general liability insurance that you need to protect your Ontario grocery store.

Product Liability Insurance: As a grocery store owner, occasionally you will get defective or contaminated products that could be sold and make a customer ill. When this happens, you could be held liable for any damages.

Product liability insurance helps protect you against liability claims and lawsuits arising from the products you sell and distribute.

If a product makes a customer sick, this type of insurance can help cover costs from a potential lawsuit.

It also protects your grocery store from damages from design, manufacturing, or marketing defects, such as incorrect labelling and safety warnings.

Product Recall Insurance: This type of coverage reimburses you from financial losses sustained when a product is recalled whether the government or a manufacturer orders the recall. The costs can include the recall expense, replacement costs, lost profits, and brand rehabilitation expense.

A grocery store owner can face financial ruin without product recall insurance because you would have to absorb the losses yourself. This can be financially debilitating especially if you are named in a third-party personal injury or property damage lawsuit.

As a grocery store owner, you can check the federal government’s latest recalls and safety alerts website. You can also check the Canada Consumer Safety Act for taking corrective measures on recall orders.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Your grocery store has expensive electrical and mechanical equipment to keep your frozen and fresh food non-perishable and safe for consumption.

This type of insurance provides coverage for property damage from the sudden and accidental breakdown of insured equipment not automatically covered by a standard commercial property policy. You’ll need to have a list of the equipment at your retail store and how much it’s worth.

Commercial Property Insurance: Whether you own or rent your grocery store location, commercial property insurance protects your store and its contents from insured risks that can happen, such as fire, theft, flood, or vandalism.

If vandals smash a store window, commercial property damage could cover the costs of replacing the window and cover any damage or vandalism inside your business.

Commercial property insurance typically includes flood insurance, but what if there’s a heavy rain and the sewers back up and your business is flooded?

You should consider adding sewer backup or overland flood coverage extensions, which standard business insurance policies typically do not cover.

You’ll need to do a total inventory of all your business property to determine how much commercial property insurance you will need for your grocery store.

Let your Western business insurance expert explain in detail what is covered with commercial property insurance.

Crime Insurance: This coverage should be a part of your grocery store insurance package.

It can protect you from theft, credit card fraud, forgery, counterfeit, and other types of fraud that employees sometimes commit.

Business Interruption Insurance: Business interruption insurance supports you when your grocery store can’t operate due to a covered loss. This type of insurance can be the difference between recovering from a loss and closing your grocery store permanently.

There are many losses that can force your grocery store to shut down. Some examples include:

  • Damage to your storefront from fire or vandalism
  • Damage to a neighboring business
  • A major reduction in revenue due to a client/supplier facing losses of their own
  • A disruption in your supply chain

Business interruption insurance can help with expenses such as:

  • Payroll
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Property taxes
  • Alarm monitoring
  • Relocation of your business

Cyber Insurance: Your grocery store probably processes many numerous debit and credit card transactions every day in store. Do your customers also order their groceries online? What if your system is hacked by cyberthieves?

Without cyber insurance, you will have to pay out of your pocket for the cost of restoring your grocery store’s system if it is hacked. You may also be liable for damages to third parties whose information has been stolen and you may have to pay for notification expenses to inform customers affected by a breach.

Ask your Western business insurance expert how cyber insurance can protect your grocery store as part of your insurance package.

Commercial Auto Insurance: If you have a business car that you use for your grocery store, it won’t be covered by your personal car insurance policy.

You will need commercial coverage as part of your grocery store insurance package.

You will need fleet insurance if you own five or more vehicles and use them exclusively for business purposes, such as grocery deliveries.

How much grocery store insurance do I need?

It will depend on the size of your Ontario grocery store, number of employees, annual revenue, past claims, and your location.

It’s unlikely that all grocery stores would pay the same monthly or annually for their coverage.

Ask your Western business insurance expert to determine the right level of coverage for your grocery store.

Western Insurance has licensed BUSINESS INSURANCE EXPERTS to get your Ontario grocery store the right insurance package. Our experts are available now to help you navigate the business insurance journey to protect your grocery store.

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