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Online retailers must protect themselves as lockdown drives huge surge in internet shopping this Christmas

Online retailers must protect themselves as lockdown drives huge surge in internet shopping this Christmas

Online retailers were already expecting a record season of sales this Christmas before a second lockdown in England was announced, causing shops selling non-essential goods to close their doors until at least early December. Research from retail data analyst Springboard, which has been tracking shopper numbers, predicts that footfall on England’s high streets will drop by almost 90% during this lockdown[1]. Prior to the lockdown announcement, survey results had already indicated that over 60% of consumers were planning to shop more online during the seasonal period.

The closure of physical shops in the lead-up to Christmas will force even more shoppers online this year. Insurance broker PolicyBee wants to get the message out that, in light of the huge increase in demand for their products, online retailers need to check their insurance policy covers them completely. Otherwise, they risk missing out on potentially record profits this Christmas if disaster strikes, for example their stock being wiped out by flooding or fire, or access to their business premises being interrupted.

PolicyBee’s e-commerce insurance is designed specifically for businesses operating online rather than from physical premises. Stock and property insurance pays to replace lost stock, so retailers can carry on trading, and business interruption cover reimburses online businesses in the event they cannot trade as they normally would.

Liability insurance is vital after sales are made as it protects the retailer from costly legal fees, as well as paying the compensation bill. Whether retailers make the goods they sell or source them from elsewhere, product liability insurance covers them against claims in the event of a product causing damage to a customer or their property. Public liability insurance would cover a claim by a courier who trips while collecting goods or a member of the public who is accidentally injured while visiting a seller’s stall at a Christmas market, for example.

Catherine Roberts, insurance expert at PolicyBee, commented: “Online retailers are preparing for a huge drive in sales this Christmas. No retailers need the stress of things going wrong during what looks certain to be their busiest festive season ever. Insurance policies exist to cover online retailers against liability compensation claims, loss of stock due to theft, fire or flooding, and business-halting cyber-attacks.

“The online retailer policies we offer cover almost any genre of business, selling goods such as antiques, books, jewellery, sports equipment, electronics, handbags and perfume. Retailers must sell at least 70% of their goods online and can sell to consumers anywhere in the world, not just within the UK. This means clients are still covered if they sell up to 30% of their goods in person via pop-up stores or at markets.

“The second national lockdown has led to the best trading conditions ever for online retailers of all sizes. In order to capitalise on this opportunity, they need to be ready and have everything in place – including the right insurance.”

For more information on policies for online retailers visit  

Article by PolicyBee LLP

Online insurance broker specialising in professional insurances.