If you run a business from your home, don’t make the error of believing your current homeowner’s insurance policy covers the loss of expensive business equipment. Although many homeowner’s policies offer a small amount of insurance coverage for inventory, there are strict exclusions for liability claims arising from any “for-profit” activities.
While some office-only types of businesses can be insured against liability claims under the homeowner’s policy, professional liability insurance needs would not be included. Insurance packages created specifically for in-home businesses are available at a moderate cost.
An average homeowner’s policy provides only $2,500 coverage for business equipment, which frequently is not enough to cover all business property. You may also need to consider coverage for liability and loss of income. Be aware that insurance companies differ quite a bit in the types of business operations they cover. Taking the time to shop around for coverage options, as well as pricing, will pay off in the long run.
No matter what type of policy you choose, if you’re a professional working out of your home, you probably need professional liability insurance. Depending on the type of in-home business you operate, special policies may be required. You have three basic insurance choices, depending on your specific business:
Homeowner’s Policy Endorsement
In order to double your standard coverage for business equipment, such as computers, you may be able to add a simple endorsement to your existing homeowner’s policy . For as little as $25, you can increase the policy limits from $2,500 to $5,000. Some insurance companies will permit you to increase your coverage up to $10,000 in increments of $2,500.
In-Home Business Policy/Program
An in-home business policy renders more comprehensive coverage for liability and business equipment than a homeowner’s policy. These policies, which are also referred to as “in-home business endorsements,” differ substantially depending on the insurer.
What if you have additional employees working in your home? Some in-home business policies allow a certain number of full-time employees, usually up to three. In-home business policies include extended liability insurance for higher amounts of coverage. For example, they may provide protection against lawsuits for injuries caused by your product and/or service offerings.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
Developed specifically for small-to-mid-size businesses, a Business Owners Policy is an excellent tool if your home-based business operates in more than one location. A BOP covers business property and equipment, loss of income, extra expense, and liability. These coverage plans are offered on a much broader scale than the in-home business policy.