With gas stations becoming a staple amongst the community, gas station insurance can prove to be an essential investment for owners. Gas stations are necessary for the transportation industry. As a result, the popularity of gas stations as a retail chain is increasing more than ever. According to Statista, gas stations contribute to gross outputs of around $112 billion nationally.
If you run a gas station, you can select from various coverages and customize an insurance coverage tailored to fit your needs. Proper coverage will secure your investments from possible risks that can run down your business.
What kinds of risks do gas stations face?
In a gas station, you are dealing with chemical substances that can cause significant amounts of losses and injuries. Similarly, hardware malfunctions can also halt your business operations and put a hiatus on your daily income. And these are only risks associated with running your gas station.
Most gas stations also work with convenience stores. Running convenience stores leads to exposures that can include customer injuries, theft, vandalism, and so on. According to the FBI, in 2017, out of the total robberies occurring in the nation, 3% occurred in gas stations, and 6.6% occurred at convenience stores. Gas stations are exposed to several chemical criminal risks because of the nature of the business. Consequently, these risks often result in loss of property and lives.
There are various safety measures you can adhere to minimize risks. However, to secure yourself from these possible exposures, you must arm yourself with proper insurance coverage.
Workers Compensation Insurance:
Suppose your employee is operating the counter in your gas station. Suddenly, a thief breaks in and robs your store, but in the process, he injures your employee as well. In such a scenario, you will not only shoulder the losses from the theft but will also have to pay for the treatment and your employee’s lost wages.
According to The Enterprise, employees at gas stations and convenience stores are among the most vulnerable to workplace violence and harassment. While working in a gas station, an employee faces risk of:
- Back and neck injuries
- Thermal burns
- Chemical burns
- Broken bones
- Head wounds
- Concussion and other traumatic brain injuries
- Soft-tissue sprains, strains, bruises and scrapes
Workers compensation insurance is essential coverage that you need for your business. It provides necessary coverages for your employee’s illness, injuries, or even death resulting from any workplace-related mishap.
If your gas station runs outside Texas, workers compensation policy is not optional. Moreover, failure to provide proper workers compensation coverage to your employee can lead to severe penalties.
General Liability Insurance:
For instance, your customer is pumping fuel in their car in winter. During the process, they slip on ice and fracture their leg. In this scenario, general liability insurance covers the customer’s injury. In fact, according to Law.com, in 2015, Gloria Cevallos sued a Lake Worth speedway station over the slippery surface by the pump and was awarded $266,854 by the jury.
Accidents can occur in the workplace at any time that may result in a customer injury. In such situations, you must have general liability insurance.
The general liability coverage protects you from claims occurring on the physical premises of your business.
This may include:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Medical payments
- Legal defense and judgment
- Personal and advertising injury
Business Interruption Insurance:
There are possibilities that your gas station will have to shut down due to disasters or accidents within the workplace. At such times, while your income may come to a temporary halt, your business expenses, as well as your bills, will not stop flowing in.
Business interruption insurance will help you cover the costs when your gas station shuts down temporarily.
Commercial Property Insurance:
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there was an estimated annual average of 5,020 gas station fires throughout the nation, resulting in $20 million in direct property damage. Gas stations have risks of chemical and fire hazards that can result in millions of property damage. Moreover, unlike a general store, gas stations require equipment and build-outs that are more appropriate for handling a gas pump. Such equipment is expensive and can cause massive losses in cases of any damage.
Commercial property insurance is, therefore, important for your business. It protects your commercial property from perils such as fire, theft, and natural disaster.
It provides coverage for commercial properties such as:
- The building that houses your gas station
- All workplace equipment
- Accounting records and essential company documents
- Fence and landscaping
- Signs and satellite dishes
Business Owners Policy:
If you are looking for a basic insurance policy to tend to all your general needs, a business owners policy would be a cost-effective option.
BOP is a bundle of commercial property insurance, general liability insurance, and business interruption insurance. Therefore, it is affordable for gas station owners. A BOP generally provides coverages for:
- Equipment breakdown
- Building and contents
- Business income and extra expense
- Electronic data
Commercial Auto Insurance:
In situations where you have to use the company’s vehicles to complete your work, you can face variety of mishaps. These mishaps can include accidents, damage or vandalism that can lead to substantial costs. At such times, you will need insurance to make up for the business losses. Thus, it is best to have this policy if you make use of commercial vehicles in your gas station. Commercial auto insurance covers:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Combined single limit
- Medical Payments
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Collision coverage
Cyber Liability Insurance:
Your customer will not always make payments in cash. They will also be using credit or debit cards for payments. Card payments equates to storage of highly sensitive personal data. This can prove to be a liability to you if not handled well. Furthermore, with the personal information that the customer will pass on to your business, you will always face the threat of a data breach lawsuit. However, it never hurts to be prepared when dealing with digital information of your business and customers. Cyber liability insurance will protect you from any claims arising from:
- Breach of data
- Customer notification expense
- Fraud monitoring costs
You can also add cyber liability policy as an endorsement to your BOP.
Liquor Liability Insurance:
Dram shop laws are the laws that hold businesses liable for serving or selling alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons who then go on to cause third-party injury or property damage. Depending on where dram shop laws are operational, liquor liability laws vary from state to state. Most importantly, it is a general rule of thumb that if your gas station sells or serves alcohol, you might need a liquor liability coverage. The liquor liability insurance provides coverages for:
- Third-party bodily injury
- Third-party property damage
- Legal costs
- Additional claims, such as assault and battery
Commercial Umbrella Insurance:
Running a gas station means that you expose yourself to substantial losses. A gasoline-fueled incident can lead to damages and injuries that may prove to be very expensive. However, there may be situations where your standard gas station insurance policy will not cover the total expense.
In such situations, you will need a commercial umbrella insurance policy.
Commercial umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance that covers your business when your auto liability, general liability, or other coverages are not sufficient to pay for damages. It covers your business when the coverage expense exceeds your policy limit. Furthermore, it also helps to protect your business from the financial risk of massive lawsuit.