Home Business Insurance - Part I
If you have your own business you should have some type of insurance to cover it. What kind and how much
insurance depends upon the type of business you have and the risks involved in it. In these articles I
will only go over the issues involved for home based businesses. Regular home owners insurance usually doesn't
cover many of the problems you could encounter while running a business in your home. Things it typically
doesn't include are liability coverage and business property.
Remember, if something would happen to your home to think about all the things that would need to be replaced. The actual rebuilding of your house or separate structure (if you work in a building that is detached from the house), business property and equipment and any papers or files that you need to run your business.
One of the first things you should do is assess the risks of your business. The following are some of the things to consider.
- If your office is part of your house your should make sure your regular homeowners insurance is high enough to cover rebuilding all of it.
- If you work in a separate building that is not actually attached to your house, like a separate garage or shed, your homeowners insurance is likely to not cover rebuilding it.
- Be sure to make a list of all the equipment you use for running your business. These include: all computers, printers, scanners, desk, filing cabinet, any inventory and other suppplies like business cards, stationary, etc.
- Back up everything important on your computer and try to find a place away from you home to store it at.
- Don't forget that business property could be destroyed, lost or stolen while you are away too - from your car, in storage or while being shipped somewhere.
- If you have customers or clients come to your home, remember you could be sued if they injure themselves while there.
- Depending upon what your business does, you may need to consider whether or not you may cause some type of harm while away from your place of business too - like if you make house calls.
- If you sell some type of product that could cause injury of some type of damage you would be liable for this also.
- If you hire an independent contractor to do some work for you, you are responsible and can be sued for their mistakes.
- If you have employees you have more risks to consider - you need to have Worker's Compensation insurance, Employment practices liability and employee benefit liability.
- You might also need professional liability insurance (Errors and Omissions) for many types of businesses.
In summary - if you have a business you are running from your home - don't forget to make sure you have all the insurance you need to protect you from liability. There are many risks involved with running a business and you should do your best to protect yourself from them.