By John Pearson
Those who work at home know all about unexpected expenses. Not only do you have office expenses and the cost of doing business, but what happens in the event of a disaster? Earthquakes, fires, flooding, and burglary are all issues that companies account for in their security planning. However, those working from home often forget about these issues. If you are self-employed or working as a contract employee from the comfort of home, you need protection for your business.
Don’t Forget the Common Sense Approach
If you own a home, you need home insurance. Home insurance is needed when you work out of your house even more. When you are ready to start looking at different home insurance policies or terms, don’t forget your common sense. First, always shop around. It’s not likely that the best quote will be your first quote. Second, include everything in your valuation, specifically costly business equipment or supplies. Third and finally, be clear on what you do and don’t need.
Coverage is always the hot topic when it comes to any type of insurance, but especially homeowner’s insurance. You need something that will cover the structure, property, and of course, the home’s contents. When discussing coverage, be sure to explain your work situation with the potential insurer. For example, if your business has a separate entrance from the outside of the home, that may affect your coverage options. Work closely with quotes that come from various companies as they may value the same expensive objects differently. To protect equipment, including computers and physical data storage, you may need additional levels of coverage with different insurers.
Businesses with Visitors and Guests
From hair artists working from a salon built at home to Airbnb hosts, home-based businesses not only include clerical positions anymore. You need to tell your insurer if you regularly have visitors to your home for your business. This can impact your policy, and it will place its contents at high risk.
Letting your home, renting or leasing any part or your home for any duration of time may compromise your policy. If you plan on earning a little extra money through Airbnb or similar, you need to check on your policy terms. If something happens such a break-in, there may be no availability for compensation because you had a history of renting a room. However, some policies are allowing people to add-on coverage for acting as home-hosts.
An additional factor to consider when having guests in your home frequently is public liability insurance. Consumers, or the general public, will often target businesses with frivolous lawsuits. Don’t drown in legal fees from claims of slip-and-fall accidents or a scratch from a previously unexposed nail. Public liability coverage can protect you from claims made from people who came into your home as a customer. This type of coverage can also take over legal fees, court expenses, and more.
Don’t Go without Coverage
No business or homeowner should be without coverage. Be sure that you choose a policy which includes all of your business equipment, but also accommodates your specific business needs. You may need to combine a basic policy with add-on options.
John Pearson is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.