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Supermarkets: Addressing the Risks in an Evolving Market

Preventing slip-and-fall incidents remains a prime concern, but supermarkets also have to deal with a variety of other risks, such as tainted food, liquor sales, pharmacy operations, vehicle accidents and even criminal activity. Because an incident involving bodily injury can happen at  even the most safety-conscious stores, supermarkets should assess whether their excess and umbrella coverage is adequate for losses that may reach into the millions of dollars.

Supermarkets should be aware of the “dram shop” laws in their states and how they impact liability. In many states, establishments that sell liquor to individuals who eventually cause injuries or death may be held liable.

Dram shop liability and criminal penalty statutes, National Conference of State Legislatures, June 14, 2013

Because claims involving supermarkets can be expensive as well as damaging to their reputation, companies should take a number of steps that can help mitigate these risk exposures, such as:

  • Ensure your excess and umbrella coverage includes limits that are sufficient to cover potential claims
  • For those companies that have in-store pharmacies, banking facilities or alcohol sales make sure coverage is specifically targeted for these risks
  • Companies should consider coverage that includes catastrophe management expenses to help protect their reputation

The Many Layers of Supermarket Risks

Get details on some of the key risks facing supermarkets today and how to make potential risk exposures more manageable in our advisory, "Supermarkets: Addressing the Risks in an Evolving Market".