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Insurance for Home–based Businesses

Many home–based business owners are under a mistaken belief that their existing insurance policies automatically protect their businesses. Often this is not the case. Instead of assuming you have the right coverage, meet with an insurance broker to evaluate your newfound business needs.

Here are the major types of coverage that the home–based businessperson should consider and discuss with his or her broker:

Homeowners

This protects the home and your personal property and possessions from damage due to fire, theft, flood and vandalism. You also may want to consider additional coverage beyond the basic homeowner policy for your computer — software, hardware and data.

Automobile

Since an existing policy may not cover business related problems, you should consider getting an automobile business policy. This covers property in the car or claims and losses that result from business use of a vehicle.

Health

Check out COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.) This law allows you to continue your previous employer–sponsored group medical insurance, dental and prescription drug coverage on an individual basis after you leave your job. Another way to lower your health care costs is simply by shopping around.

Business Property

You should seriously consider obtaining business insurance that covers damage or loss to business equipment in the home office. You can also obtain more extensive coverage for damage or loss to business inventory and equipment, including loss of earning, and errors and omissions.

Comprehensive General Liability

CGL insurance can be critical to your financial health. It does two things. First, it covers you for personal injury damage suffered by visitors to your property for business purposes, i.e., they trip and break their leg going up the stairs to your house. Secondly, should you get sued, it is supposed to cover the cost of your legal defense.

Business Interruption

This covers losses from an inability to conduct business due to fire, flood or disaster.

Malpractice

Used by professionals such as doctors and lawyers to cover for damage resulting from substandard work. This can also include errors and omissions and product liability insurance.

Workers Compensation

If you are going to have employees, you are likely required by your state to carry workers' compensation insurance for work–related injuries to employees.

Disability

Easy to overlook, disability insurance is very important to the home–based entrepreneur. It covers you when you can't work because you are disabled due to injury.

Life

Why are you going into business for yourself? I bet one reason is because you want to provide a better life for your spouse and children. Well, what happens to that dream if you die? The dream will likely die too. Life insurance keeps the dream alive.


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