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Account for Accidents in Your Grocery Store Business Plan
5 min read
Don't let surprises stall your grocery store business plan.
You know what stinks? A broken white wine vinegar bottle in an aisle of your grocery store.
It stinks in more ways than one because, well, have you smelled vinegar? Plus, the broken bottle represents a loss for your store and a fall waiting to happen.
You have to address all kinds of accidents in your grocery store business plan. We’ll show you how to account for those risks with insurance and solid strategies.
Plan for Slips, Trips, and Falls
It’s easy to see how slips, trips, and falls create big liabilities at your grocery store.
Customers and employees could take a tumble because of:
- Slick parking lots and sidewalks
- Loose floor mats
- Fallen products
- Messes and spills in the aisles
You need to address all of these dangers in your grocery store business plan.
Slick Parking Lots and Sidewalks
Check out this in-depth snow and ice removal guide from Strategic Grounds.
Also take a close look at your store’s maintenance responsibilities. You need to repair holes, cracks, or anything that could cause a customer to fall.
Loose Floor Mats
You should replace the store’s floor mats if they slide or get bunched up. Use mats that absorb moisture and have material that keeps them from sliding.
This one often goes back to training and inventory control. When employees stock shelves, they shouldn’t stack items as high as they’ll go.
Let’s say an employee is putting cans of green beans on a shelf. She shouldn’t stack the cans more than two-high. Otherwise, the cans get wobbly and roll away.
It’s a really bad idea to put products up so high the average customer can’t reach them.
Messes and Spills in the Aisles
A bottle of white wine vinegar slips from a customer’s hand. It hits the floor and shatters.
What happens next?
Hopefully, the customer will fetch a store employee who takes care of it. It always helps to have a manager talk with the customer and check for injuries.
Have a wet floor sign or employee right by the mess as soon as possible. Block off the aisle if you have to.
Think about giving your staff walkie talkies so one person can stand by the mess and redirect customers as another employee gathers cleaning supplies.
How Commercial General Liability Helps You
Let’s change the messy vinegar scenario.
The customer doesn’t fetch a store employee after he drops the bottle. He thinks he’ll be charged for the vinegar, so he scoots out of there.
Another customer pushes her cart down the aisle. She has a cold, so she can’t smell the vinegar fumes. She’s absorbed in her shopping list and doesn’t see the spill.
Her foot hits a crunchy shard, and she slips. She tries to brace for impact, but she bangs her elbow and hand hard as she comes down on glass.
She’ll need an ambulance, and this is where general liability insurance kicks in.
General liability insurance is designed to help you pay for any hospital bills the customer might have, as well as:
- Attorney fees stemming from covered legal claims
- Settlements and judgements
- Advertising injury claims
- And more
Fires, Natural Disasters, and Inventory
Business property insurance is designed to help you cover:
- Certain kinds of water damage
- Income loss
- Specified natural disasters
You can't control some of these things. You can’t stop a natural disaster that leads to income loss. The same goes for certain kinds of water damage.
You do have some control, though. Companies like FireServ will work with you to set up a fire prevention system.
When Machines Don't Cooperate
Air conditioning breaks down. Computers crash. Refrigerators quit.
It costs you time, money, and Texas-sized headaches to fix stubborn machines.
This coverage helps protect against covered losses caused by:
- Boiler damage
- Electrical arcing
- Motor burnout
- Operator error
- Power surges
- Short circuit
Talk to your agent about adding equipment breakdown coverage for:
- Electrical distribution systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Refrigeration systems
- Telephone systems
You update your grocery store business plan as the retail world continues to change. Your local Pekin Insurance agent will stay with you every step of the way, whether you need coverage for general liability, business property, or equipment breakdown.