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Pet stores provide highly-specialized services. They might sell food, pet supplies and specialty care equipment. They might provide grooming, boarding and veterinary services. Let’s also not forget that many pet stores still lovingly sell animals or run adoption services. image of pet shop owner opening for the day

Working in such an environment means the store could cause problems for visitors. Customer harm might put the store in the line of fire. This might mean that it must assume responsibility for their losses. The good news, however, is that general liability insurance might help in these cases.

What’s General Liability Insurance?

Most people buy insurance to help them pay for personal damage they sustain in accidents. Coverage can help pay for losses. However, what policy covers the damage you do to others? That’s where general liability insurance can come in handy.

Accidents, you cause to others can cause them to experience losses. The parties might claim that you or your business, are responsible for the losses. Therefore, they might sue or request compensation, calling your financial security into question. If you have a liability policy, it can often cover damages such as these. Coverage can help businesses even if they have no intentional fault in the party’s injuries.

Let’s say that a 40-lb box of cat litter falls off a high shelf and injures a customer. Or, perhaps one of the pets in your adoption kennel bites a customer. Your store might be able to use your liability policy to pay for the client’s medical bills or lost income. The policy might also cover resulting legal costs.

Talk to your insurance agent about the specific coverage your pet store needs. At times, you might need to make coverage modifications to make the policy more effective.

Preventing Liability Risks in Your Store

Every day when opening your store, look around and ask yourself what risks might threaten customers. Then, do what you can to eliminate or minimize the trouble.

  • Post hazard warnings in high risk areas, such as near kennels or sensitive products. Make sure you always have employees available to assist customers.
  • Keep walkways clear and free of clutter. Also keep the store clean, sanitary and free of environmental hazards.
  • Make sure professionally-trained employees can supervise interactions between customers and animals. Never allow customers to abuse pets, or vice versa.
  • Stock the store in a safe manner. Check your products to make sure they remain safe for use and consumption. Don’t place hazardous items like disinfectants near non-hazardous items like food. Remove expired or contaminated items from stock immediately.

You cannot go without liability coverage. However, taking steps to keep your store safe might help you avoid having to make a claim in the first place.

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