Chemist – Commercial Risk Summary
Description of operations
Chemists can range from the small pharmacy that fills prescriptions to retail stores that offer a pharmacy service and also sell sundries, to huge super or discount chemists that sell all varieties of general merchandise and drugs.
Chemists can be attached to and related to doctors’ offices, clinics, or hospitals, or they can be chains or franchises. Medical supplies and equipment rentals may be part of the operations. Lunch counters or cafeterias may be on premises. Food items or snacks may be sold. Some will offer a variety of services that have little or no relationship to drug sales, such as cosmetic or beauty supplies or even beauty shops, shoe repair, or key duplication.
Property exposure ignition sources to fire are limited in a retail operation if no cooking is involved. With cooking, the normal restaurant exposures will exist. If a fire does start, the loss can be substantial. Theft is a major exposure with the exposure increasing with the amount of narcotics and other popular street drugs kept on hand. Alcohol and cigarettes add to the theft potential. Appropriate security measures must be taken.
Crime exposures are from Employee Dishonesty and Theft of Money and Securities either from robbery or safe burglary. Employee dishonesty is controlled through inventory monitoring, control of the cash register, disciplined controls and division of duties. Theft prevention requires careful control of money kept in the cash drawers and regular bank drops.
Premises liability is always a concern in a retail exposure where the public comes to the premises. On-premises eating facilities pose their own set of hazards to review. Floor coverings must be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked, with backup systems in case of power failure. Extra care must be taken regarding aisle space and waiting areas due to some of the customers’ condition. The rental of medical equipment poses its own unique set of hazards and the type of items rented need careful analysis. Car parks and pavements need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and fall. If the business is open after dark, adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area must be present.
Products and professional exposure are tied together. The training, experience, background, and expertise of the personnel handling and dispensing of drugs are very high concerns and need thorough review.
Motor liability can be a high exposure if delivery services are provided. This risk must be carefully evaluated, as well as the training and records of all drivers and the care and maintenance of the vehicles used.
Employers’ liability exposure is due to lifting which can cause back injury, hernia, sprain, and strain. What kind of training do employees receive, and what type of material lifting or conveying device is used? What kind of training is done for the crime and theft hazards? What kind of security is provided for employees? Additional losses may result if cooking operations exist, such as cuts, slip and fall, and burns. Delivery drivers may be subject to robbery if they transport high value street drugs.
Minimum recommended cover:
Machinery and Contents, Business Interruption, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Book Debts, Computers, Deeds and Documents, Public/Product Liability, Employee Benefits, Excess of Loss/Difference in Cover, Commercial Motor Liability, Employers’ Liability
Other covers to consider:
Building, Material Damage, Computer Fraud, Employment Practices Liability
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