With the Internet and technology expanding every day, more and more people are building home businesses. Self employed individuals and independent contractors are particularly prominent on Cape Cod and in Southeastern Massachusetts. However, many people may not realize that in most cases, your standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover the risks of these businesses. The only hope homeowners have of receiving any compensation is if their policies have special endorsements. For example, a homeowner who has a policy to cover a home daycare facility would be covered when filing a claim for that type of business. Also, some policies have very limited coverage for items such as computers or other business property. For these reasons, it is important to have business insurance coverage, instead of making the mistake of believing Homeowners Insurance will suffice.
There is a litany of solutions available within the realm of business insurance including: General Commercial Insurance, Commercial Auto, Bonds, Builder’s Risk, Employee Practices Liability, Flood, General Liability, Umbrella and Workers Compensation; among many, many more. Business Insurance policies typically include coverage for personal injuries, so a person taking legal action for slander or libel would fall under this category. Both customers and competitors can sue a business. An off-premises injury would be covered. For example, a person running a cleaning business who takes a vacuum to a home where a resident trips over the cord would be covered if that person files an injury claim. It also covers trade shows and typically meets the standards some of those events require.
When it comes to property, anything a homeowner has is usually excluded. Many people spend a considerable amount of money on a computer and accessories to make the business run more efficiently. If anything were to happen to these items and they were not covered, it would be a considerable loss for most new business owners who had to replace them. Commercial insurance coverage will also protect inventory. For example, a person who runs a home cosmetics business who has to keep a decent stock of items around would be devastated if there were a fire and all of those cosmetics were not covered. Damage of others’ property, insurance for valuable papers and several other bonuses are included with business insurance.
This form of coverage is designed to protect both property and interests, which is why it is so comprehensive. People who are providing advice or non-tangible services and products will also need a professional liability insurance policy. This will cover claims based on accusations of bad advice. Another common term for this insurance is errors and omissions coverage. If there are employees, business owners are also required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage. There may also be other insurance needs based on the size and type of business being run.
Simply hoping that a homeowners policy will cover a person if a claim is filed will result in frustration and many complications if the business sustains a loss. Businesses have significantly higher risk rates than homeowners, so you can generally always count on claims being denied if they are related to business but filed against a homeowners policy. To learn more about business insurance and what options are best for individual needs, discuss concerns with one of our knowledgable representatives.