Working from Home
Among the many things that have drastically changed in the past year is the popularity of working from home. Whether you run your own business or work for a company that allows you to work from home, many people have or still are doing their work without leaving the comfort of their homes. But, are you fully insured? The home is insured, so that means the business’s property and liability are covered right? The answer is most likely no. Let’s explore why that is.
Personal vs Commercial
First off, as you may already know from previous topics, a personal auto policy excludes coverage for commercial use of a vehicle. The same concept applies to a home policy. If you work for or operate a business inside of your home, the liability, and whatever property is used for the business, are generally excluded from a home insurance policy. However, there are ways to prevent this coverage gap.
Employees Working from Home
For those who are employees of companies that are working from home, the business’s insurance policy will most likely extend to cover whatever business property you are using while at home (ex: computer, phone, etc.). If you use some of your own personal property in your work, for example using your own personal laptop, it may be worth verifying with your employer that in the event of a loss your property would be covered. Also, depending on your exposure, whether the business’s liability coverage extends to you may be worth discussing.
For business owners who operate out of their homes, there are a couple of options.
The first and most obvious option is to call your insurance agent and have them write you the proper commercial insurance policy or policies. For small businesses, this is often very inexpensive depending on the business operations and which types of policies are required.
Another option some home businesses have is adding a Home Business Endorsement to your home policy. This endorsement is offered by several insurance carriers and is meant for smaller businesses. There are requirements in order to qualify for this coverage including a maximum number of employees (usually 2-3), a max amount of sales/business income, and a limit on the amount of property covered. In order to find out if your small business qualifies, be sure to have a conversation with your insurance agent.
Some examples of types of small businesses that would potentially qualify for the Home Business Endorsement include personal accountants, IT contractors, craftspeople, consultants, educators, among many others. Independent contractors can also qualify for this coverage, and liability coverage may also be provided for some employees of businesses.
Talk to Your Agent
You can avoid coverage gaps through conversations with your insurance agent. The average person does not know the ins and outs of insurance policies, so keeping your insurance agent informed about your situation alerts them about any potential exposures you may have. Your CRG agent tailors your insurance to fit your budget while providing the protection you deserve.