Retail Ghost Towns on the Rise

// December 6, 2017
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the age of e-commerce, U.S. brick and mortar retail stores are suffering. In fact, analysts at Credit Suisse estimate that 2017 could bring more than 8,640 store closings in total, which means the U.S. retail industry is on pace to close more stores this year than were shuttered during the Great Recession in 2008.

This trend became increasingly apparent last year when the popular department store Macy’s announced plans to close 36 stores nationwide. More recently, a JLL Research report indicated that as many as 324 department stores – representing 36 million square feet – will soon be vacant.

But when a company decides to close its doors, they are not relieved of their risk management responsibilities. Vacant buildings and vacant retail spaces are still susceptible to a range of loss exposures from fire, vandalism and theft to water, wind and collapse.

For example, inadequate security in vacant buildings can often result in both theft and vandalism. Additionally, fire and water damage have the potential to destroy idle properties; in buildings left unpatrolled, these occurrences can go undetected for longer periods of time, not to mention the slip and fall exposures that still exist in and around properties regardless of occupancy. Ultimately, while vacant buildings may not require the same level of maintenance while occupied, they are still susceptible to claims activity.

USLI is your vacant solution. Our appetite for vacant exposures is broad; we can consider vacant tenant leased space, vacant buildings, vacant homes, vacant condos, partially vacant buildings and vacant buildings undergoing renovations. In short, if it’s vacant, USLI has the answer.

Additional product features include:

  • No restriction on the length of vacancy
  • Independent contractors coverage available
  • 3, 6, 9, or 12-month policy terms available
  • Low minimum premiums

Let USLI be your go-to market for vacant exposures!

Beyond coverage, USLI offers policyholders centralized access to business solution vendors through our Business Resource Center.

  • Background checks
  • Identity theft protection
  • Safety
  • Marketing and social media best practices
  • Website design and search engine optimization

Contact your Commercial Lines underwriter today for more information or for a quote.


As always, thank you for your support and business.


Kate Shuron
Product Leader | 888-523-5545 Ext. 2064

Dennis Hufford
Assistant Product Leader | 888-523-5545 Ext. 2183

Ginna BriggsWritten by Ginna Briggs
December 7, 2017