If you have your own business, you should be thinking about business insurance. It's not just for a big business - it can be for your home business.
With business insurance, your concerns are really three-fold:
- Protect your business assets against damage or theft.
- Protect yourself against liability claims from your clientele.
- Protect yourself from employees (if you have any) who may have a legitimate claim for at work injury against you.
Lets start first with the home business scenario. With a home business, one of the biggest issues is to protect your home business equipment. Often, this will mean insurance on your technology (computers or other equipment) and business assets (like your fax machine). If you run your business from home, you may think these items are covered. However, a standard home insurance policy will not always give you enough protection for expensive assets like computer equipment or specialized machinery.
The answer can be a homeowner's endorsement for your equipment. This allows you to simply add to your existing homeowners policy, rather than having to negotiate a completely new policy specifically for your business. Be sure to check the details if you take this approach. You'll want to be sure that your business is covered properly, even if you are taking advantage of your homeowners policy.
The biggest challenge is if you also require liability protection for your home business. Most homeowner policy endorsements to cover your equipment will not give you liability insurance protection. If you are providing a service to clients, liability insurance can be essential. A client could sue you if a project goes wrong. If you are selling a product, a client could sue for damage caused by the product. Liability insurance will protect your personal assets in both these cases.
What if you have employees? Again, an endorsement to a homeowners policy is not a possibility. Once you need business liability and employee liability, you will need your own separate policies.
If you need to consider more comprehensive insurance for your business, you are likely looking at a Business Owners Policy (BOP).