How To Decide If Your At-Home Business Insurance Should Be Part Of Your Homeowner's Insurance
The number of Americans who work from home is rising, with currently 1 in 5 Americans working from home at least occasionally. While working from home can provide you with many benefits, such as getting rid of a long commute or allowing you to start your own business, it can also be complicated. Figuring out issues like taxes and insurance can be confusing for people who work from home.
Protecting your business assets is important, so you will likely want to get some sort of business insurance in addition to your homeowner's insurance. But how do you know if an additional rider is enough or if you should take out a separate policy? The following questions will help you make that decision.
Do you have clients or business associates visiting your home?
If people are visiting your home for business purposes, meaning they are not visiting for social reasons, any injury to them will usually not be covered by a homeowner's policy. Instead, you will want to get a public liability policy. So if you have clients or business associates stopping by your home office or if you regularly receive packages for your business at home, you may want to take out an extra, separate policy to cover potential injuries to these people.
If you are are employed by someone else but often conduct meetings in your home, then you should talk to your employer about providing you with a stipend for additional home insurance to cover personal injury to these visitors.
Are you an employee or self-employed?
If you are an employee and only work at home occasionally, then damage or theft of your work-related items may be covered under your homeowner's insurance. Additionally, items such as a work laptop may already be covered against theft or damage under your employer's insurance.
If you are self-employed and work from home full-time, then it is less likely that work-related items will be covered under a homeowner's policy. Depending on the value of your work property, you would take out either an additional rider or a separate policy.
What business-related items do you store in your home?
If you simply have a small home office and work in a virtual field, such as web development, then you may be able to insure your home business equipment through an additional rider on your homeowner's insurance.
However, if you have specialty equipment or if you store goods that you are selling at your home, then you will likely need an additional, separate policy to cover theft and damage of those items. Your insurance company will inform you of the limits associated with various plans and riders that are available to you.
Do you accept payment for use of your home features?
Sometimes, you may not be aware that you are running a home business. However, if you accept payment from friends to use parts of your home, then your insurance company may consider that part of a home business.
For example, if you have a climbing wall installed in your garage and you accept payment from neighborhood friends who use it in order to pay for its maintenance, you may not be making a profit, but that would still likely be considered a home business and you would need additional insurance to cover possible injury related to your climbing wall.
Alternatively, if you have a swimming pool that neighborhood kids use on occasion but no one pays you for its use, then personal injury to those who use the pool may be covered by your homeowner's insurance.
In a world where the lines between work and home are continually blurring, it is important to make sure that you are covered for both domestic and business activities in your home. Click here for more information on homeowner's insurance.