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Wholesale & distribution insurance helps protect your business against third-party injuries, faulty products, damaged or stolen inventory, injured employees and other specialized risks. Get information on costs, coverage options and more.

Commercial Insurance For Wholesalers and Distributors

A large part of our economy depends on wholesalers & distributors – from manufacturers who make products and the stores the sell them. Business insurance can protect your operations from common distribution and wholesaler liability issues.

Wholesale and distribution operations have many of the same physical damage and property coverage concerns as warehouse operations. In both, the value of both real property and stocks of merchandise is very high. Loss control and other techniques appropriate to the types of merchandise involved are needed.

For these reasons, adequate and appropriate wholesalers and distributors insurance coverages are important. The commercial automobile exposure can also be significant, based on the extent of merchandise delivery.

In addition, transportation or motor truck cargo insurance on the merchandise must also be arranged. Employee theft is always an issue and can be a significant exposure, depending on the type of property involved.

Finally, the types of merchandise and material handled makes workers compensation insurance another very important coverage.

What Type Of Insurance Do Wholesalers And Distributors Need?

Below are some recommend wholesalers and distributors insurance policies for wholesaling and distributing businesses. These coverages are extremely important because they ensure that your business will not suffer large out-of-pocket costs as a result of any claim and/or lawsuits you are found liable for, and legal fees – even if you are sued frivolously.


Package policies are the most convenient and cost effective way to combine a number of coverages in one wholesalers and distributors insurance policy. For some operations in this category, the businessowners policy may be the best choice for eligible businesses willing to exchange some coverage flexibility for reduced premiums.

  • Businessowners Policy (BOP)
  • Commercial Package Policy (CPP)


The premises and products liability loss exposures are usually limited, except in cases where the operation imports products directly. With direct importing, the wholesaler becomes more like a manufacturer with respect to any products-related losses or damage.

Wholesalers that distribute alcoholic beverages need separate liquor liability coverage because they are subject to the liquor exclusion in the CGL. Wholesalers and distributors insurance protects the operations from liability exposures.

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Coverage
  • Claims-Made to Occurrence Coverage
  • Employee Benefits Liability Coverage
  • Employment-Related Practices Coverage
  • Liquor Liability Coverage
  • Owners and Contractors Protective (OCP) Liability Coverage
  • Product Recall or Product Withdrawal Expense Coverage
  • Product Contamination Insurance
  • Railroad Protective Liability Coverage
  • Special Events Liability Coverage


The commercial auto exposure can be significant, depending on the extent of delivery of goods to customers. If the wholesaler has no delivery operations, the exposure may not be more than a salesperson’s private passenger fleet.

  • Auto Medical Payments
  • Business Auto Coverage
  • Collision Coverage
  • Comprehensive Coverage
  • Hired & Non-owned Automobile Coverage (HNOA)
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage


Employers are required to provide coverage for on-the-job injuries sustained by their employees through a workers compensation policy. Automation in many wholesale operations has dramatically reduced the number of employees but workers compensation coverage is still required for those that remain. If the wholesale or distribution operation is located in a coastal area or along navigable waters, and workers load and unload ships or other vessels, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act coverage is also required.

  • Workers Compensation and Employers Liability Coverage
  • Excess Workers Compensation Self-Insurance Bonds
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Coverage
  • Stop-Gap or Employers Liability Coverage


The increased limits of wholesalers and distributors insurance needed are based on the types of products handled and distributed along with the contractual relationship of the wholesaler with its suppliers and customers. Higher limits are particularly important if the insured directly imports any products or does any repackaging.

  • Excess Liability Coverage
  • Umbrella Coverage


Inventory represents the largest property value for most wholesalers. Many wholesale operations have periods when these values increase dramatically and should consider the peak season or value reporting options to prevent underinsurance.

Business income is an important coverage need and business income from dependent and secondary dependent properties wholesalers and distributors insurance coverage should be considered in cases where the insured has only a few suppliers or customers.

Types of Property
  • Building
  • Business Personal Property
  • Personal Property of Others
  • Improvements and Betterments
Property Coverage Forms
  • Building and Personal Property Coverage Forms
  • Commercial Output Policies
  • Condominium Coverage Form-Unit-Owners Coverage
  • Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage
  • Legal Liability Coverage
  • Standard Property Policy
Perils Insured/Causes of Loss Forms
  • Basic
  • Broad
  • Special
  • Earthquake
  • Flood Coverage
  • Mine Subsidence
Property Coverage Options to Consider
  • Debris Removal Coverage
  • Ordinance or Law Coverage
  • Outdoor Trees, Shrubs and Plants Coverage
  • Spoilage Coverage
  • Utility Services-Direct Damage Coverage
Valuation Options
  • Distilled Spirits and Wines Market Value
  • Functional Replacement Cost
  • Peak Season Limit of Insurance
  • Replacement Cost
  • Value Reporting
Time Element Coverages
  • Business Income with Extra Expense Coverage
  • Business Income without Extra Expense Coverage
  • Extra Expense Coverage
  • Leasehold Interest Coverage
Time Element Coverage Options to Consider
  • Business Income from Dependent Properties Coverage
  • Ordinance or Law Increased Period of Restoration Coverage
  • Utility Services-Time Element Coverage


Coverage on goods in transit and electronic data processing coverages are probably the most important inland marine coverages for most wholesalers. They transport and deliver most of the goods they sell and rely heavily on computers for most of their transactions and operations. Specialty inland marine coverage forms have been created for specific dealers and should be considered in lieu of commercial property coverage forms.

  • Accounts Receivable Coverage
  • Camera and Musical Instrument Dealers Coverage
  • Contractors’ Equipment Coverage
  • Difference in Conditions (DIC) Coverage
  • Electronic Data Processing Equipment Coverage
  • Fine Arts Coverage
  • Fine Arts Dealers Coverage
  • Goods In Transit
  • Signs Coverage
  • Valuable Papers and Records Coverage


Losses due to employee theft are almost always the primary crime coverage concern. However, computer and funds transfer fraud may also be major loss and coverage concerns because most invoices and billings are handled electronically. Fraudulent impersonation coverage can be very important because of potential losses due to trickery.

  • Computer and Funds Transfer Fraud Coverage
  • Employee Theft Coverage
  • Forgery or Alteration Coverage
  • Inside The Premises-Theft of Money and Securities Coverage
  • Inside The Premises-Robbery or Safe Burglary of Other Property Coverage
  • Money Orders and Counterfeit Money Coverage
  • Outside The Premises Coverage
  • Crime Coverage Options to Consider
  • Destruction of Electronic Data or Computer Programs Coverage
  • Employee Theft and Forgery Policy
  • Extortion Coverage
  • Fraudulent Impersonation Coverage
  • Inside The Premises-Robbery or Safe Burglary of Money And Securities Coverage
  • Inside The Premises-Robbery or Burglary of Other Property Coverage
  • Inside The Premises-Theft of Other Property Coverage
  • Kidnap and Ransom Coverage
  • Lessees of Safe Deposit Boxes Coverage
  • Securities Deposited With Others Coverage
  • Telephone Toll Fraud
  • Unauthorized Reproduction of Computer Software by Employees Coverage


Most wholesale operations do not have significant exposures that require surety bonds. However, some types of surety bonds may be required, depending on the nature of their contracts with others or their involvement with governmental entities.

  • Miscellaneous Surety Bonds


Air cargo transportation may occasionally be needed, depending on individual transportation circumstances, customer requirements or emergency situations that arise from time to time.

  • Air Cargo Coverage


Ocean cargo insurance should be considered for goods the wholesaler ships overseas. Because the policy has war risk exclusions for certain geographical areas, the status of countries to which the goods are shipped must be reviewed and war risk coverage considered if available.

  • Ocean Marine Cargo Coverage
  • Ocean Cargo War Risk Coverage


Depending on the unique features or peculiar characteristics of their operations, some wholesalers may have unusual exposures. One or more of the following wholesalers and distributors insurance coverages may be appropriate.

  • American Expatriate Coverage
  • Business Legal Expense Coverage
  • Commercial Credit Coverage
  • Cyber Liability Coverage
  • Data Security Breach Coverage
  • Directors and Officers Liability Coverage
  • Environmental Impairment Liability Coverage
  • Export Credit Insurance Coverage
  • Fiduciary Liability (Pension, Welfare and Employee Benefit Funds) Coverage
  • Identity Theft Insurance Coverage
  • International Insurance Coverage
  • Patent Infringement Liability Coverage
  • Risk Retention Group Liability Coverage
  • Solar Energy System Coverage
  • Tax Liability Coverage
  • Terrorism Insurance Coverage
  • Transportation Brokers Contingent Cargo Coverage
  • Underground Storage Tank (UST) Liability Coverage
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones)

How Much Does Wholesalers And Distributors Insurance Cost?

How much does wholesalers and distributors insurance cost? The premiums vary depending on the amount of risk exposure, and it depends on the endorsements and deductible selected. The cost of wholesalers and distributors insurance varies.

Get A Wholesalers And Distributors Insurance Quote

Not all wholesalers & distributors polices are the same. If you are shopping for new insurance, or just want to see if you have the best fit policy, let one of our expert agents take a look at your situation. In most cases we can save you money and offer you better policy options than you currently may have.

Wholesale & Distributors Insurance By Industry

  • Air Conditioning and Heating
  • Audio and Video Equipment
  • Beer and Ale
  • Beverage
  • Cabinets
  • Camera and Musical Instrument
  • Candy
  • CD
  • DVD and Videos
  • Clothing
  • Coffee Dealers
  • Commission Merchants
  • Confectioners
  • Dairy Products
  • Drugs
  • Dry Goods
  • Electrical Appliances
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Electrical Supplies
  • Electronic Equipment and Instruments
  • Envelopes
  • Exporters and Importers
  • Extract
  • Florists
  • Food Brokers
  • Fruit
  • Furniture
  • Furriers
  • General Merchandise
  • Gifts
  • Glass-Plate
  • Glassware
  • Greeting Cards
  • Grocers
  • Hardware
  • Jewelers
  • Lamp
  • Liquor
  • Lumber Yards
  • Meat
  • Motion Picture Distributors
  • Novelties
  • Paint
  • Petroleum
  • Restaurant Equipment
  • Roofing Materials
  • Rugs
  • Seed Merchants
  • Shoes
  • Stationers
  • Theatrical Supplies
  • Tires
  • Tools
  • Toys
  • Wallpaper
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