Retail stores, wholesale distributors, warehousing businesses and apparel stores are an enormous part of the economy that make up almost 12% of the entire workers compensation insurance market. Most carriers are willing to quote coverage for this industry, but prices vary considerably between insurance companies. This is because many carriers change their appetite for this industry from year to year based on a number of different factors.
This is common among carriers. Based upon what has happened in certain industries a carrier may deem that industry a better or worse risk. If the carrier deems the risk better they will offer lower premiums in an effort to get businesses in that industry to purchase from them. On the contrary, If a carrier deems your industry to be a higher risk they will raise premium in an effort to recoup what they expect to be claims during the policy period. They may even deny coverage altogether if they determine that your business and your industry is an area where they do not want to risk their book of business.
Retail stores do have a unique set of risks that business owners need to be aware of during their daily operations and when they go to purchase commercial insurance. Especially when you go to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. Retail stores tend to have higher traffic than other businesses. You would think this would cause claims to go up for general liability but not for workers’ comp. Actually it causes claims to be more frequent with employees as well. Employees are exposed to more people which can lead to more frequent and severe sickness like the cold and flu. It also can result in more frequent slips and falls.
Having a well-documented safety program in place is essential for retail stores. It should be an extensive part of the new hire training and it should be done regularly throughout the year with all employees. These do not have to be extensive training programs. They can be as short as a 15 minute conversation or even watching a workplace safety video. They should always be documented and they should occur on a regular basis. The frequency of your meetings is dependent upon your business and the workplace safety expert you consult. It is helpful to create a committee to be in charge of the workplace safety program. This is important because these employees can be supporters of the program and can garner support throughout all employees.
These are extremely important things to put in place for your business because it is the right thing to do for your employees and for your business. When you are doing those things for your business your insurance carrier will notice. It will result in less injured employees, better return to work outcomes and lower rates for workers’ compensation premiums’.
Common Workers Compensation NCCI Class Codes:
- • 8039- Retail Department Store
• 8044- Furniture Store and Drivers
• 8008- Clothing and Apparel Store
• 8045- Retail Drug Store
• 8017- Store Retail- Not Classified Elsewhere
• 8010- Hardware Store
• 8013- Jewelry Store
• 8046- Auto Parts and Accessories Store