More and more people are starting home-based businesses for everything such as marketing homemade products, home daycare, catering or a home office for consulting. From an insurer’s prospective, this adds new types of risks to your home and therefore requires additional insurance.
The operation of your home-based business might mean that you have more people coming and going to your home requiring a higher liability limit than currently provided on your homeowner’s policy. Also, some insurers might refuse to cover a third party claim by a customer or employee who is injured in your home. This means you will need to have liability coverage to protect you from potential lawsuits arising from these increased exposures associated with your business operations.
If you are running a professional office, you may require professional liability. This is a coverage that protects you from lawsuits based on your performance as a professional. The most commonly know form of this coverage is malpractice; although it’s usually mentioned in relation to medical professionals, malpractice insurance actually covers many other professions as well. Another area of this type of coverage is errors & omissions insurance. This protects your company from liability resulting from inadvertent mistakes that wind up doing damage to a client. Attorneys, accountants, tax professionals and similar professionals require this type of coverage, since simple mistakes on their part can have far-reaching consequences.
If your company produces a product, you should consider product liability insurance. This protects you from any claims regarding the product itself, such as in the case of a manufacturing defect that causes injuries. As you grow, you may also consider need employment practices liability insurance and employee dishonesty coverage.
A company that uses vehicles as part of its daily business will require a commercial auto policy, which protects the company from the impact of an accident involving the business owner or any employees behind the wheel of a company car or while on company business.
Property coverage is included in a small business insurance policy to cover the contents of your office or other business space as well as any equipment belonging to the company from theft, fire, or other damages. Home-based business covers all the things you need to run your business including furniture, equipment, desktop and laptop computers, software, cell phones, fax machines, inventory, lost income and operating costs.
Your home business may share your home, but it can’t share its insurance. In fact, without separate coverage, your business could void your home insurance altogether. If you have a home-based business, discuss with your broker the nature of your operations to ensure you qualify for either a home-based business policy or a commercial policy.