Today more than 43 million Americans are operating full- or part-time businesses from the comfort of their homes, and these numbers continue to grow every year. One of the secrets to running a successful home-based business is being able to separate your business activity from your home activity.
Whether you spend two hours or 62 hours per week on your at-home endeavor, it remains a business with all the risks and rewards associated with owning a business. To safeguard against the risks, you need to be aware that your homeowners insurance policy offers limited or no protection for your business while it is being operated from your home.
If you rely on your homeowners policy as your only means of insurance protection, you may find your business underinsured or uninsured in the event of a loss.
Doesn't My Homeowners Policy Cover My In-Home Business?
Homeowners policies were never intended to cover business exposures. Consequently, coverage for the items you use in your business such as computers, fax machines, filing cabinets, tools and inventory are limited to $2,500 in your home and $250 away from home under most policies. And your homeowners coverage provides no liability insurance for your home-based business.
How Do I Get The Coverage I Need?
First, let's take a look at what coverage you may need. Insurance coverage generally falls into two categories. This is true of homeowners, auto and most business policies. Those two categories in business terms are:
- Property Coverage--Your business structures and possessions are covered against loss or damage caused by certain covered risks such as fire and theft.
- Liability Coverage--This means that if you become legally obligated to pay money to another person for bodily injury or property damage caused by your business, your insurance company will cover those costs (up to the maximum indicated in your policy), including the costs of defending your business in the lawsuit. This liability coverage extends to medical payments for injured parties, for which you may be held responsible.
Of course, every business has its own special requirements. There are many specific insurance coverages available to address the needs of your in-home business. Make sure you click here to discuss your specific situation with one of our Trusted Choice insurance agents.