When you own an outdoor adventure store, your business-as-usual is anything but. Whether you retail sporting equipment and apparel, offer lessons and classes in the great outdoors, or rent equipment that gets your clients to new heights, you have different considerations than the average shop owner next door. And that means you need business insurance protection that’s as unique as you are.
If you want to minimize risk and cover your assets, without tying up too much cash flow, take a minute to walk yourself through what your liabilities are.
Consider Outdoor-Adventure-Specific Business Risks
Business insurance is all about effectively managing risks. To be more specific, it’s about finding a solution to the specific risks that your adventure sports shop faces.
Here are some of the more common risks you may encounter on a daily basis when you open up shop:
Most business owners face the risk of a third-party injury occurring inside their place of business, or even outside on their property. But when you own an adventure sports business, your risk of third-party injuries is even greater. For example, do you offer lessons, classes, guided tours, or skills camps? If someone gets hurt in one of your classes or while using equipment that you’ve provided, you could be liable for their injuries.
What if equipment you’ve rented or provided to a customer causes property damage while outside of your shop? A Segway that you’ve rented for a tour goes rolling through someone’s flower beds. A bike that you’ve provided for a group lesson crashes into a parked car. An employee delivering kayaks to the lake is involved in an auto accident. There are numerous ways that you could be liable for third-party property damage caused by your equipment, customer, or even an employee.
If you have people who work in your shop, there’s a good chance you need to provide them with coverage in the event they are injured while doing their job. Whether that’s inside the shop (from a bike falling off a display, or from a tool used to do a repair) or outside of the shop (from falling off a surfboard or down a mountainside during a lesson), your employee’s injuries are definitely your concern.
Every shop owner faces the risk of theft, from inventory to equipment and other assets. But when you own an adventure sports business, you have even more opportunities for your hard-earned assets to be stolen.
Your rental equipment is out on the beach, trail, mountain, and water where anything can happen to it. You load up inventory and take it off-site for demos and exhibitions. When your inventory and equipment spends as much time out of the store as in it, theft and damage are very real threats to your bottom line.
It can be hard to imagine that your shop is at risk for cyber theft, data hacks, or other malicious activity, particularly when you are a small business or spend most of your day outdoors. But small businesses are actually at more risk of a hack or cyber crime than large corporations. When you consider how many software programs and technological tools you use to run your business, you can see how the risks of a data breach can quickly add up. One lost tablet, stolen laptop, or breached software program could put all of your sensitive information, including confidential customer information, in serious danger.
Do you ever send your employees out in your vehicle to pick up inventory, drop off supplies, or transport customers? If you own any vehicles in your business’s name, or if your shop rents, leases, or uses vehicles for business purposes, you face the risks of the road on a regular basis. And if your employee is on their way to drop off a load of surfboards, wetsuits, and a tent to the beach where you offer surf lessons, and is involved in an accident along the way, your store could be left holding a bill for any injuries or property damage that occur. (Not to mention the cost of replacing your property if those boards are broken in the accident, too.)
How to Transfer Your Business Risks with the Right Coverage
Insurance is a way for you to take the risks that you face as an adventure store owner and transfer them to someone else. The best way to do that is to match up your risks to the policy that will best cover them.
Coverage for third-party injuries, property damage, and advertising injuries. This policy can help protect you against lawsuits or medical bills if a customer is injured during your mountain bike skills camp, or while shopping for skateboards inside your shop.
Coverage for your business assets, whether you own or rent your shop space. This policy can help protect you against the loss of your inventory, equipment, and other assets due to theft or damage.
Coverage for the vehicles your business owns and uses. This policy can help protect you in the event of an auto accident or damage to a vehicle that you use for your shop operations, even if one of your employees is driving.
Coverage for your employees in the event they are injured or become ill while doing their job. This policy can help pay for medical expenses and lost time if your employee is hurt while performing their work, even if it happens outside of the store during a lesson or workshop.
Coverage against data breaches and cyber theft. This policy can help protect you in the event you are hacked, or lose a laptop or tablet full of sensitive customer information.
Adventure Sports Insurance
Coverage for the claims scenarios you are most likely to face as an adventure sports business owner. This policy starts with general liability and commercial property coverage for your shop, and can be custom-tailored to include any additional coverage you want for your specific business. Enjoy the peace-of-mind that comes from an insurance package that was designed specifically for your industry, and all of the risks that come with it.
If you’re not sure what risks you may face as the owner of an adventure sports store, or how you can get the most coverage for your budget, talk to an insurance professional who has experience with your unique industry. If you’re just starting out in the business, an experienced insurance advisor can help you understand the claims scenarios and risks you’re most likely to face, and can help you custom tailor a solution that will best fit your adventures sport business.
When you do business in the great outdoors, you face situations that other business owners couldn’t even imagine. But with the right insurance protection for your adventure store, you can rest easy. No matter what comes your way -- you’ve got it covered.