Having a comprehensive home insurance policy is a must for any home owner. These policies generally protect both the structure and contents of the home, along with some coverage that is extended to guests and workers in your house. One thing that may not be adequately covered, though, is your business. If you have a home-based business, the following guide can help you make sure you are covered.
What is generally covered by a basic home insurance policy?
While the details can vary depending on your insurer and coverage selections, home office equipment is usually covered. This includes items like computers, printers, fax machines, and other essentials. If you have a lot of higher-priced equipment, you should first document it. Keep receipts and photographs of all items, along with copies of these documents in a safe area – such as a safe deposit box or in digital cloud storage. It's also a good idea to call your agent to make sure that the items do fall under your home insurance policy. In some cases you may need to purchase an umbrella policy to cover certain items, such as expensive or specialized equipment.
What about off-site coverage?
This is where it can get tricky. If you perform services outside of your home, such as traveling computer repair, your equipment may not be covered if it is damaged or stolen from outside of your home. While a general home policy will cover items that aren't necessarily in the house, it may not cover business-related items if they aren't in the home. In this case, you will need to get a business policy to cover the equipment you use when making service calls.
Does it matter if clients come to my home?
Yes. Although a standard home policy will cover injuries that happen to guests, it may specifically exclude clients for a home-based business. If you have clients that visit regularly, it is a good idea to add home-business coverage to your standard policy. Make sure the policy does include medical and injury coverage for clients and customers.
Are there special considerations depending upon the business?
Each type of home-based business may carry further insurance needs. For example, if you are operating a home daycare, you will need a specific policy that is tailored to daycares. It is also likely that your insurance company will require proof that your daycare license is up-to-date. You may also need extra coverage if your business is deemed hazardous. For example, some insurance companies may require additional coverage if you work with hazardous or flammable chemicals, such as if you have a home photography studio with a dark room.
Contact an insurance agent like one from Holt Insurance Services to find out the specific needs for your situation so you can make sure both your home and your business is protected.