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More than half of the businesses in the United States are based out of the owner's home, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. And given the doors that the Internet has opened for entrepreneurs, this number isn't surprising. What is worth noting, though, is that most at-home businesses don't have adequate business insurance to protect them from the devastating costs of liability claims and property damage.
Even if your home-based business has minimal equipment to protect, you could still be held liable for mistakes in the services you deliver or injuries or illnesses that your products may cause. And without appropriate coverage, even the best-run home business may end up having to close its doors for good.
Our business insurance experts understand the unique concerns and risks of your industry. We work with you to create a protection plan that accounts for the scenarios, accidents, and disasters that could jeopardize your assets. Let us help you find the appropriate coverages that keep you safe so you can focus on growing your business.
When shopping for business insurance, the world is truly your oyster. And when you partner with insureon, you benefit from our distinctive, quality service:
- What You Need, Right Away! Our all-online application process means you don't have to wait around to get the coverage you need. In most cases, our business insurance experts can take you from quote to bind within 24 hours.
- Top-Tier Insurance Carriers. We send you multiple competitive quotes from the best insurance providers in the nation within minutes of your application.
- Home Business Specialist Insurance Agents. Our home business insurance experts understand your industry and know the unique risks you face. This allows us to connect you with industry-specific policies that adhere to the state and federal regulations and keep your business secure.
- Tailored Policies. We give you the coverages that keep your business protected—no extras, no frills. Just competitively priced, reliable protection.
We offer insurance products that keep your at-home business financially secure should an accident, disaster, or liability claim occur. Take a look:
General Liability Insurance for In-Home Businesses
General Liability Insurance (GLI) protects home businesses from third-party liability claims alleging bodily harm or property damage. Say, for example, you sell cosmetics and someone has a severe allergic reaction to your wares. They could sue you for medical expenses. Unfortunately, most small businesses don't have the disposable funds to handle expensive lawsuits on their own. Even if your business is ultimately not liable for the damages, the cost of hiring an attorney could be enough to bankrupt a startup.
If such a scenario were to arise, an adequate General Liability policy can cover legal defense costs, medical expenses, settlements or judgments, and other litigation fees. Your policy may even include foregone income for the time you spent in court. Because GLI protects against some of the most common—and costly—claims a business may face, most small-business owners consider this coverage to be a cornerstone in their protection plan.
General Liability covers accidents that occur on your business premises, but it can extend to cover mishaps that happen at your appointments, sales meetings, or events. For example, if your handcrafted candles cause a fire at a craft fair, your policy may cover the property damages others suffered. If they sue your home-based business, your policy can also account for litigation expenses.
Property Insurance / Business Owner's Policy (BOP) for Home Businesses
No matter whether you rely on a legion of equipment, supplies, tools, and inventory to run your business or you offer your services via a laptop and smartphone, a Property Insurance policy can provide a valuable safeguard. Most Homeowner's Insurance policies do not offer any coverage for business-related items. Some even go so far as to cancel your policy if you don't have the appropriate business insurance coverage for your at-home studio or office space.
So when a fire, tornado, or theft robs you of your business essentials, a Property Insurance policy offers funds to replace your gear. That way, you can quickly get back on your feet after a loss or serious upheaval. Some policies will even have Business Interruption Insurance, which provides income for up to 12 months while your business repairs and recovers from a disaster.
If your business is considered low-risk and meets certain other criteria, you may be eligible for a Business Owner's Policy, or BOP. This policy offers a wide range of coverage by combining General Liability and Property Insurance into one package at a discounted premium. Talk your insureon agent if you're interested in learning more about this option.
Inland Marine Insurance for Home-Based Companies and Startups
Home-based businesses that frequently travel to sell their goods or transport equipment to deliver their services can benefit from adding Inland Marine Insurance to their Property Insurance policy. With this coverage, if you have an accident on the road or something happens to your equipment and inventory en route, you will have the means to replace your gear.
Errors & Omissions Insurance for Home-Based Companies
Errors & Omissions Insurance (aka Professional Liability Insurance) is an essential policy for any home business that offers advice, guidance, or services to clients and customers. If a client ever sues your business and alleges you were professionally negligent, provided incomplete or shoddy work, or made mistakes (or they are simply unhappy with what you offered), your policy will cover the legal fees and court costs. In the event of a settlement, your coverage will also compensate your client on your behalf.
Because the costs of professional liability lawsuits can exceed millions of dollars, the policy's limits are available in increments of $1 million. Be sure to outfit your business with our Professional Liability protection to ensure your business can survive a costly court battle.
Workers' Compensation Insurance for Home-Based Businesses
Even if you are the only person who works for your at-home business, your state laws may still require you to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance. And if you do have employees, assistants, or even contractors working for you, there's a good chance your state requires that they be covered by this policy.
If you or one of your employees are injured while performing work-related duties, Workers' Comp kicks in to cover immediate medical expenses and foregone income during recovery. Should your employee sue your business due to their on-the-job ailments, your coverage can also fund court costs, settlement expenses, and attorney's fees to defend your business in court.
Talk to our insurance experts today to find a policy that adheres to your state's laws governing Workers' Compensation.
Business insurance is just one part of the protection-planning puzzle. Here are some helpful tips to help you continue to build a solid risk management strategy for your at-home business:
- Assess your risks. Many home-based business may not be aware of the coverages they need. To help give you a better idea, examine the risk level of operations, the number of employees you have, and how often you travel to conduct business. These factors will highlight potential risk exposures and indicate which coverage options offer an appropriate solution. You'll also want to consider your state's laws, as they may determine which insurance policies your business must carry.
- Keep duplicate documents and records for all aspects of the business. In case of a natural disaster or emergency, be sure you have backup documents of your business records and contacts. You may even invest in fireproof file cabinets or keep copies of important documents safe at another location.
- Don't underestimate the value of E&O Insurance. As a home-based professional, the likelihood of a professional liability lawsuit may seem remote. But mistakes can and do happen all the time. Even when you haven't made a mistake, an unhappy client can still sue. Be sure you have a policy in place that can handle the high cost of these claims.
Insureon provides customized insurance coverage for the following home businesses and freelance professionals …
- Administrative Support Services
- Answering Services
- Background Check / Screening Services
- Balloon Artists
- Clowns, Magicians, Entertainers (Excluding bands)
- Cosmetic Sales Professionals (Avon, Mary Kay, etc.)
- Sellers of Crafts, Handicrafts, and Candles
- Dance instructors
- Disc Jockeys
- Embroidery Professionals
- Expediting Services
- Sellers of Jewelry (Costume)
- Picture Framers
- Scrapbooking Professionals
- Stenciling Professionals
- Wedding & Party Planners
- Wedding Cake and / or Cookie Sellers
Ready to safeguard your home-based business against accidents and unexpected events? Fill out our all-online application today, and depending on your business needs, we can send you competitive quotes in minutes!