Have a holly, jolly Christmas
It’s the best time of the year.
There is nothing like the holiday season in a retail store. Holiday music is playing, decorations are hung, and customers are searching for the perfect gift; all wearing masks and staying six feet apart!
As business owners, the holiday shopping season is a critical time of the year, and for most stores, Christmas is one of the busiest seasons. So, we want to make sure your business is taking the necessary measures to reduce the risk of accidents, and potential liability for your business.
If an accident, say a trip and fall, does occur in your store, your commercial general liability insurance should protect you in responding to a claim made by an injured customer. General Liability Insurance, also known as Commercial General Liability (CGL), is designed to protect you and your business from any matter or incident to which you may be deemed liable. This type of policy provides coverage to a business for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage caused by the business’s operations, products, or injuries that occur on the business’s premises.
For example, you own a clothing retail shop, your insurance policy should protect you if a customer was to injure themselves by tripping over a step in your shop. Should you, the store owner, be proven liable for the customer’s injuries, the CGL portion of your policy should respond to cover lawsuits/damages, etc.
As an insurance broker, we work with our customers to make sure they minimize their risk through loss mitigation steps so that this season is kept merry and bright for all. Here are eight tips to help keep your customers safe while shopping in your store.
- Ensure all holiday décor is secured to reduce the risk of trips or falls.
- Keep all plugs and cords safely out of traffic areas or properly secure them to the floor.
- Ensure all large decorations, such as trees, are secured so they do not fall.
- Keep all boxes and merchandise organized. A cluttered store is a trip and fall hazard.
- Have items in reach and easily accessible to customers; when this is impossible, assign a staff member to assist.
- Ensure you have proper signage to identify any potential hazards, such as uneven flooring, low lighting, or small steps.
- If you plan to use a third-party snow clearer, make sure they provide proof of insurance before offering them the job.
- If you plan to clear off your own property, steps, storefront, etc., please keep a logbook on dates and times of when this work was performed. If you are given notice of an injury, this will be very helpful in settling any claim.
One thing is for sure; this holiday season is going to look a little different. Please review the following COVID-19 specific tips:
- Please remind both staff and customers to wear a mask.
- Stay 6 feet apart from people who are not in your “bubble”.
- Encourage regular hand washing.
- Have directional signage, limit the number of customers allowed in your store, and enforce social distancing.
- Remind all staff members to stay at home if sick. Having a staff member or two “on-call” is an excellent way to ensure you have the right number of healthy workers this season.
- Offer free contactless pick up for customers that may not feel safe entering the mall/store.
- Have all COVID-19 regulations and protocols clearly posted for everyone to see.
Following these tips will help everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday this year.
If you would like more information on keeping your business safe, or if you have any questions on your insurance, please call Mike, our friendly business insurance specialist at 709.726.4498.