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What Is Covered By Shop Theft Insurance?

By Maria Hickey on January 4th, 2023

One of the biggest worries shop business owners face is the risk of their shop being broken into and burglars making off with their stock, petty cash and the contents of their shop safe.

As a leading UK business insurance provider, our team at Brisco Business Insurance are often asked by clients, are shops insured against theft? This guide goes into detail about how theft insurance for shops works so you can help protect your livelihood with the right insurance coverage.

No matter what type of brick-and-mortar shop you own, your premises are at risk of vandalism and theft. While there are sensible steps to take to help protect your shop with added security measures, taking out specific shop theft insurance coverage will ensure that any assets lost during a break-in will be replaced at cost price. This will enable you to get your shop up and running and make money again as soon as possible.

What does shop theft insurance cover?

It helps to understand that ‘shop theft insurance’ isn’t a solo insurance product you can buy alone. It is coverage that is included as part of your shop insurance policy, which will be made up of many different elements.

For example, your shop insurance policy will likely comprise of elements that are most useful for brick-and-mortar retail shop businesses. This may include buildings and contents insurance to cover the cost of rebuilds, repairs and refurbishment to the physical structure of your shop premises following a damaging fire or other serious events such as flooding or storm damage.

However, during a burglary, you may lose your stock, but the cost of replacing your stolen stock won’t be covered by your contents insurance. This is why taking out stock or inventory insurance is sensible to cover the cost of replacing your stolen or damaged stock.

Should the burglars steal your essential shop tools or equipment during the break-in, such as your office computer, laptop or tablet, these won’t be covered by your stock insurance. To replace these stolen goods, you will need to take out business equipment insurance, which is specifically designed to replace stolen shop equipment or items that are damaged beyond repair.

Adding these different insurance elements to your shop insurance policy will make it easier for you to manage your insurance protection and not worry about having multiple renewal dates for separate coverage.

However, it is worth understanding that shop theft insurance will not usually cover issues like shoplifting. This is because to make a claim, you will need to show evidence of a break-in, such as a broken door lock or smashed shop window.

Do I legally need shop theft insurance?

While having shop theft insurance isn’t required under UK law, it makes so much sense to invest in it because your shop insurance will prove invaluable should the worst happen. The only insurance legally required under UK law is employer’s liability, which is needed by every business that employs staff.

If you employ staff in your shop, even if only part-time or on a temporary or seasonal contract, you must have this insurance and can face a hefty fine from HMRC for each day your shop operates without it.

What your shop needs in the way of insurance will vary greatly depending on the type of business you run. However, some commonly used shop insurance elements are applicable across the board, no matter what size and type of shop you own. These include:

  • Buildings insurance: If you own your shop building, this insurance covers the cost of rebuilds, repairs and refurbishments to the structure of your property, such as walls, floors, ceilings and roofs.
  • Contents insurance: This will cover the costs of replacing your shop’s fixtures and fittings, such as display cabinets, counters and furniture needed to operate your shop.
  • Stock insurance: This coverage will help you replace and restock your inventory following loss or damage to your shop from theft, vandalism or an event such as fire or flooding.
  • Business equipment insurance: This will cover the cost of replacing essential equipment, such as computers and laptops, needed for your business.
  • Public liability: Should a customer slip and fall in your shop and sustain an injury or damage to their personal property, this insurance will cover the costs of a compensation claim made by the customer.
  • Product liability: Even if you sell products in your shop made by other people or manufacturers, you can still be held liable for selling faulty or damaged goods should they cause harm or illness to a customer.
  • Employer’s liability: This is required by law if you employ staff in your shop. It helps to protect your staff should they fall ill or have an accident while carrying out their role.
  • Business interruption: Should your shop suffer from a devastating event such as a fire, flood or significant storm damage, you must close down your business to conduct repairs and refurbishments. This insurance will cover lost income costs and keep your essential bills paid while your shop is out of action.

Where can I compare shop theft insurance quotes?

Brisco Business Insurance makes shop theft insurance comparison simple with our easy-to-use ‘Compare Quotes’ tool on our website. You can compare shop insurance quotes from the UK’s leading insurance providers in just a few clicks.

While it can be tempting to choose the cheapest shop insurance quote available, it will pay you to carefully read the small print to understand exactly what coverage the policy will provide. Depending on the type of stock you sell in your shop, it may be the case that you will need more stock insurance coverage if you sell high-value stock such as jewellery or designer clothes.

Remember that our Brisco Business Insurance team is always here to help if you need assistance building your shop insurance policy. If you are still determining whether or not you need a specific insurance element added to your policy, we will offer you free advice and guidance to help make it easier for you to choose the coverage your shop needs.


No matter what type or size of shop you own, it is essential to protect it from burglars and smash-and-grab criminals that can often leave a trail of devastation in their wake. Following a burglary, you will want to feel reassured that you have the right shop insurance in place to cover your losses.

It is also helpful to know that you can do many practical things to lower your shop theft insurance premiums by having robust security measures in place, such as high-quality security locks, burglar alarms and CCTV to capture and broadcast live footage of criminal activities.

To successfully claim on your shop theft insurance, you will need evidence of forced entry so make sure you take photographs of the damage done to your doors, windows or other entry points before you start clearing up and repairing the damage.

If you need help choosing the right shop theft insurance for your shop, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team at Brisco have many years of experience finding the perfect shop insurance for thousands of UK businesses. With our help, you can easily compare business insurance quotes and find the policy that meets all of your needs.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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