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Business (retail) insurance at a glance

What challenges do retailers face?

As a retailer, your business is a valuable asset to your community – but you also have complex challenges. You may be vulnerable to changes in the economy, extreme weather events, injuries to staff, product contamination and competition from powerful overseas brands.

What’s more, as more retailers move some or all of their business online and increasingly use in-store technology, you are more likely to be targeted by cyber-criminals.

“In-store technology will provide experiences that cannot be replicated online, increasing the convenience of shopping and payment through in-store product information and comparisons, and promotion of brands.”

CBRE, 30 Predictions for 2030: The future of retail in Australia, 2019

Who should consider it?

Whether you run a small café or a large restaurant; a corner store or a nation-wide chain, you’ll be exposed to risk. Even if you don’t have a physical store, your business is still exposed to risks like cybercrime, fraud or injury to customers from a faulty product.

A range of covers can be arranged to suit retailers in all sectors, including beauty, hairdressing, clothing and footwear, department stores, food and liquor, furniture and electronics, plus many more.

Did you know?

  • Australia’s retail sector is worth over $325 billion (Australian Retailers Association website, 2020)
  • After healthcare and social assistance, which employs 13.7% of the workforce, the retail sector is the second largest employer in Australia, employing almost 11% of the population (Business Insider Australia, Report: A guide to change in the retail industry, 2018)
  • The cost of cybercrime is estimated to cost Australian businesses more than $1 billion each year – and this figure is rising ( NSW Small Business Commissioner, Cyber Scare: A look at small to medium-sized business and the emergence of cybercrime in Australia, 2017)

What can insurance cover?

A business pack can be tailored to meet your specific risks and needs. Remember that it’s compulsory to have workers compensation insurance to protect your employees

Type of cover

Potential benefits

Property and fire

Protects your building and contents such as tools, stock or other equipment against damage caused by events like fires, storms, explosion, falling trees or malicious damage.

Business interruption

Covers the costs of operating your business, like paying staff and covering bills while you recover and rebuild, if your premises are damaged or destroyed by an event such as fire.

Commercial vehicle

Protects cars, trucks, buses, utes and other vehicles that you use in the day-to-day operations of your business.

Cyber insurance

Safeguards you and your business against expenses and legal costs if your website or point-of-sale system is hacked and your customers’ details are stolen.


Covers the cost of glass breakage, including shop front windows, display cabinets and signage.

Machinery breakdown

Covers the cost of repairing key business machinery such as fridges, air conditioning or cash registers if they break down.

Public and product liability insurance

Protects your business against claims of negligence if a customer, supplier or member of the public is injured or their property is damaged while on your premises, or by a product that you sell.


Protects your business if someone breaks into your premises and steals equipment or stock. This cover may also include money from stolen from your property.

Workers compensation

Covers the cost of your employees’ wages, rehabilitation and medication if they become injured or sick through their work.

What usually isn’t covered?

Case Study

Paul and David own a thriving café in inner-city Melbourne. Most of their customers are people who work in the city. They employ a close-knit team of waiting staff, chefs, kitchen hands and baristas.

A burst water main floods their café one night, causing serious damage to the interior, kitchen and serving area covered by their policy. The business needs to close for nearly three weeks for repairs, which means they could have no trade or income during this period.

Fortunately, Paul and David have Business Interruption insurance. This means they’re able to cover their usual bills and pay their staff while they’re getting repairs done and are unable to open their doors. This takes some of the stress out of dealing with the accident – and means their valued team should not suffer financially.

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