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Millions of Americans operate a business from their home. While you may have some coverage under your Florida or South Carolina homeowners policy for certain business equipment such as your computer, it is vital your insurance agent and your homeowners insurance company know about any business activities you conduct from your home.
Here are some of the homeowners insurance factors you must consider in your home-based business.
There is limited coverage under your homeowners policy for your business contents. A recent survey by the Independent Insurance Agents of America found that most home-based business owners lacked enough insurance, assuming their homeowners coverage was sufficient. Most homeowners policies offer limited coverage for business contents. The amount offered varies by company and depends on the homeowners form each company uses to provide coverage. If you submitted a claim, the adjuster would help you determine which contents were personal versus which you used in business. This can complicate the adjusting process and greatly limit your recovery.
Do you operate an internet-based company? Many Americans do. If you keep an inventory of goods in your home, you must insure these items with a separate policy designed for your business.
Business visitors mean increased liability exposure. Client traffic increases the chances that someone will sustain an injury on your property. Homeowners policies typically will not pay for injuries to business guests that occur in your home. A business policy addresses this possibility.
Do you have administrative or other in-home help? Simply because we pay people as “independent contractors,” workers’ compensation rules may still apply if your worker is hurt in your home. The Florida or South Carolina governmental agency responsible for workers’ compensation injuries will determine if your helper is a consultant or you are required to furnish workers’ compensation coverage. Too often, small business owners find out too late the person they thought was an independent contractor is actually deemed an employee. When that happens, the business owner may be financially responsible for any injury.
Most insurance companies typically exclude home child or adult daycare activities. Even if you care only for one or two children or elders, check with your agent. Any injury to someone who relies on your custodial care can mean big problems for the home-based business owner.
Construction contractors need special coverage. If you are handy, you may find yourself taking on odd jobs to earn money. If you are a handyman or contractor and store materials in your garage or storage shed these materials will not be covered under most homeowners insurance policies.
Professional consultants need specialized coverage. When professionals lost their jobs during the economic downturn, many turned to consulting to earn a living. While your liability coverage under your homeowners insurance policy provides a lot of broad coverage, it will not cover your negligence when you act in the capacity of your company or in your professional capacity as a consultant.
What should the home-based business owner do? Many innovative policies will protect your home-based business. The Business Owner’s Package Policy or the In-Home Business Policy can help protect you and your family from an unexpected loss. Contact a Frontline Insurance agent today for more information on how you can protect yourself if you operate a home-based business. Use our Agent Locator to find an agent in your neighborhood.
Never rely on your homeowners policy for business coverage. Ask an agent for help to determine your business insurance needs.