Grocery Store Property Considerations
Shoppers have many different options for fulfilling their grocery needs. According to the retail grocery industry there are as many as 15 possible formats that could be used to classify the retail grocery industry. However, the majority of food establishments can generally be grouped into a few major types of operations including super centers, wholesale stores, convenience stores, conventional stores, and the newer supermarket stores.
Often grocery operations of this kind can own, or be responsible for, extensive amounts of property. Consequently, grocers will often require the same fire protection considerations as any large property risk. Underwriters will closely review the age, construction, and updating of all buildings and equipment along with the types of both private and public fire protection that is available. Additionally, ongoing maintenance of buildings and equipment will be investigated to ascertain that appropriate safeguards and procedures have been instituted. For example, is equipment regularly inspected to check for overheating problems or worn/damaged electrical cords or wiring? Are all fire sprinklers and/or fire extinguishers annually inspected and/or tagged? Is is located in all appropriate work/storage areas?
When reviewing the condition and ongoing maintenance of structures and equipment, insurance companies will also want to ensure that proper housekeeping is maintained in appropriate work, storage, and public areas. For instance, underwriters will normally ask if stock and storage areas are kept orderly, clean and free of debris; and if trash is regularly removed and kept in outside dumpsters away from any potential ignition sources. Is smoking only permitted in designated smoking areas and are non-combustible receptacles provided and routinely emptied.
Cooking operations will pose a major property concern. Underwriters will want a full description of the fire suppression system used in conjunction with cooking equipment. Does it adhere to all NEPA guidelines? Cleaning and inspection maintenance schedules will also be of a concern. How often are hood and vent systems cleaned and inspected? Who provides such services?
The presence of flammable or combustible liquids and materials will require a review to ensure that proper handling, storage, and disposal procedures are being used for these materials.
Many grocery operations use one or more types of computerized equipment in their operations. These items can pose special hazard considerations not normally found with more traditional equipment. Some of the issues that will most likely be reviewed be an underwriter include the availability of replacement equipment, accessibility to back up power sources, and the vulnerability of critical equipment to electronic related hazards (i.e. water damage, electrical surging, equipment breakdown, temperature/humidity change, etc.).
Swingle, Collins & Associates specializes in grocery store insurance coverage The descriptions of coverages listed on this website are brief and subject to the provisions, limitations, and exclusions that can only be expressed in your policy and related endorsements. For additional information of how Swingle, Collins & Associates can assist in meeting your coverage needs for grocery store insurance please contact your dedicated risk manager to discuss the benefits and services of personal homeowners insurance coverage.
The information contained on this page is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It contains general information on insurance issues and may not reflect the most current developments in insurance coverage and is unlikely to apply in all factual scenarios. The information does not include all the terms, coverages, exclusions, limitations or conditions that may be contained in the actual insurance contract language. The policies themselves must be read for those details. Sample policy forms will be made available upon reasonable request.