Home Businesses (Retail)

Home -Based Retail Operations

A variety of businesses are routinely operated in homes. This article discusses aspects of particular operations. Refer to Home Businesses – Basics for background information on coverage as well as our other articles discussing different in-home businesses.

Retail – Persons with in-home retail operations must look beyond an HO policy for coverage.

Running a home-based business isn't right for everyone.  But if your one of those  suited to such endeavors you should review your homeowners insurance policy for gaps in coverage.
Home-Based Retail Business owner prepare packages

The Businessowners Policy (BOP) provides broad coverages for buildings, personal property, loss of business income and extra expenses incurred to remain in business (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments. If you have more than $1,000 of goods in transit, you will need to add additional coverage. Goods stored at other locations must be added to the policy, normally as an additional location.

You will need workers compensation coverage for any employee, even part-timers. You may need commercial automobile insurance if you deliver anything or if your vehicle is larger than a car, van or small pickup or if the vehicle is owned by a corporation.

Note: some insurance companies can offer amendments to your homeowners policy that can cover certain, in-home businesses.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

All- Around Safer Driving

Driving can be safer.  Traffic Roundabouts are safer all-around.  Fewer accidents means fewer auto insurance claims and that means saving on car insurance.
Traffic Roundabouts are Safer All-Around

When’s the last time you consider the impact of a street or highway intersection? For us, it was on our first trip to Savannah, Georgia.

Intersections should be designed with driver and passenger safety in mind. However, In the US, roughly 2.5 million auto accidents occur in intersections each year. That’s 10% of the 250 million vehicles in the US.

Solving the intersection dilemma in a roundabout way

The Dilemma: Intersection or Roundabout.  Ask your TruePoint agent how you can save on car insurance.
The Dilemma: Intersection or Roundabout

For decades Americans have had a fancy for cars imported from Europe. US consumers have found numerous reasons to support their purchase of imported autos. Arguments included performance, economy, style, and a plethora of other advantages. But the most frequent and compelling has been safety.

In recent decades America has been importing another vehicle for auto safety. This time, it’s not automobiles, and it is considerably less popular with American drivers. Roundabouts, an alternative to intersections, have long been popular in Europe. Also known as traffic circles, rotaries, or road circles, they replace intersections.

Turning Left is Dangerous to Your Health
Turning Left is Dangerous to Your Health

Roundabouts have been slow to catch on in America. Why? I’ve seen some reasons, none of which make sense. What does makes sense are traffic circles:

  • Speed                           Slower speeds reduce damage and fatalities
  • Eliminates Left Turn   Why does UPS give drivers routes designed to avoid turning left? Because it reduces accidents and delays.
  • Energy Efficient          Braking to a full stop waste fuel. Starting from a dead stop is even more inefficient.
  • Trigonometry              Eliminates many of the more dangerous angles in which a car can be struck.
  • Safety                          Most important, roundabouts lead to improved safety.

The Institute for Highway Safety reports that roundabouts reduce crashes involving injury by 75%. Even more amazing the study reports collisions with fatalities are reduced by 90%.

Coming full circle on street and highway intersections

Saving Lives and Lower the Cost of  Insurance.  Do you want to reduce the cost of auto insurance?  Think Round!
Saving Lives and Lower the Cost of Insurance

Why isn’t your insurance agent talking about roundabouts?

There may be a good reason, but I can’t think of a single one at the moment.

Insurance agents sell products that indemnify the insured in the event of a loss. Good insurance agents work with prospects and customers to help identify risk. They then provide input and access to effective solutions.

By raising awareness of the safety benefits of traffic roundabouts, we at TruePoint Insurance believe that we are doing our part to reduce risk. We’re arming our clients and prospects with the data that supports traffic circle safety.

Compared to the intersections commonly used in America, Roundabouts significantly reduce risk. The 37% reduction in overall collisions may pale in comparison to the 75% reduction in injury collisions. And while both fall short of a 90% reduction in fatality collisions, this is still jaw-dropping data.

The agents of TruePoint Insurance encourage each of you to take a stand. Raising awareness is the path to safer streets and roads. Saving lives by performing an action that will save money on insurance.

Roundabouts significantly reduce risk when compared to the intersections used today. The 37% reduction in overall collisions may pale in comparison to the 75% reduction in injury collisions. And while both fall short of a 90% reduction in fatality collisions, this is still jaw-dropping data.

The agents of TruePoint Insurance encourage each of you to take a stand. Raising awareness is the path to safer streets and roads. Saving lives by performing an action that will save money on insurance.     

TruePoint Insurance, Insuring Georgia
Trust TruePoint with all your insurance needs

Home Businesses (Landlords)

A variety of businesses are routinely operated in homes. This article discusses aspects of particular operations. Refer to Home Businesses – Basics for background information on coverage as well as our other articles discussing different in-home businesses.

A century ago, landlords ruled.  The collected rent from tenants while provided conditions that would not be considered proper habitation today.
Today’s Landlords are held responsible for their actions

Landlord

The homeowners policy is designed to cover landlord-occupied residential buildings, landlord-owned personal property, and loss of rents (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments. Note that the maximum occupancy that may be covered under an HO policy is a four-family dwelling. A dwelling policy may be used for 1-4 family structures that are not also occupied by the landlord.

For landlords with residential property containing from five to sixty units, a Businessowners policy (BOP) is usually appropriate. It insures buildings, landlord personal property, loss of rents (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments.

Most Bed and Breakfasts do not qualify for coverage either in the homeowners or dwelling insurance program. Bed and Breakfasts will require a combination of tenants coverage for the resident owner/manager, and a BOP to cover buildings, landlord owned personal property in boarders’ rooms, loss of business income (rents and fees) and the extra expense to operate (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments.

Modern landlords are subject to many legal requirements.  A large part of today's law revolves around renters and  landlord insurance.
Contracts often drive rental insurance policies

For landlords who have office or retail tenants, the BOP provides broad coverages for buildings, landlord personal property, loss of rents (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments.

Worker compensation is necessary for any employee. Talk with your agent. Most states require workers compensation for resident managers even if you provide only free lodging as payment. Make sure you have certificates of insurance for any subcontractors (painters, plumbers, etc.) you hire to do work for you. If the subcontractor has no insurance, you may be responsible for the subcontractor’s work-related injuries.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Home Business Basics

Homeowner (HO) policies aren’t meant to insure businesses that are run out of a home. Premiums paid for homeowner’s coverage are for handling losses related to the ownership and use of a residence and related structures. Therefore no liability coverage is available for business activities such as customers who slip and fall on your premises, damage to business property (owned or in your control), injury caused by things you make (product liability), or damage due to services that you promote or provide. It is also unlikely that an insurer would provide a legal defense against business-related claims.

Generally, an HO policy does not provide workers compensation coverage for any employee. Medical expense and liability coverage may be available for workers who are ineligible for worker’s compensation, such as maids, butlers, or nannies, but such coverage only applies if an injury occurs while performing residential tasks.

Example: You send your nanny to deliver copies of your business proposal and, on the way to the client, she is seriously injured in a fall. Your policy won’t provide any medical expense coverage for your nanny because she was performing a business-related chore.

There is no coverage for detached garages, barns, or similar structures on your residence premises if they are used in whole or part for the business.

Example: You store $3,000 worth of equipment and supplies that you use in your job in your garage and the garage burns down. The fire loss to the garage becomes ineligible because of its partial business use.

A basic HO policy may protect certain property. However, the coverage may be limited to as little as a few hundred dollars. Items qualifying for limited coverage include business personal property kept in or around your home, business personal property kept at a location other than in or around your home or landlord’s furnishings. One way to improve your coverage is to add policy options that do the following:

  • increase the coverage limits for business personal property
  • cover garages and other buildings that are rented to others
  • protect electronic business equipment which is usually used in a vehicle while such equipment is located outside of a vehicle
  • provide theft coverage for the landlord’s property
  • acquire limited business personal property and liability coverage for an in-home daycare
  • cover a condo unit owners’ liability for damage caused by renters
  • provide premises liability coverage (i.e. a customer slips and falls)

A variety of businesses are routinely operated in homes. This article discusses aspects of particular operations. Refer to part one for background information on coverage basics as well as our other parts discussing different businesses.

Sales Office

Usually, an HO policy does not offer much protection for business property. In fact, available coverage may be up to only $2,500 for personal property used for business and kept on the residence premises. Further, no coverage applies to a business property such as inventory, product samples, or items being held for delivery. Finally, even optional coverage excludes property related to a business conducted on the premises. For example, you are a cosmetic sales rep who also holds make-up parties in your home. For customer convenience, you keep an inventory of cosmetics at home. The HO policy will not cover this property.

If you are a salesperson operating out of your home and have limited inventory, some companies will cover you with a Businessowners Policy (BOP). A BOP provides broad coverages for buildings, personal property, loss of business income and extra expense incurred to remain in business (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments. If you have more than $1,000 of goods off-premises in transit, you will need to add additional coverage. Goods stored at other locations must be added to the policy.

If you cannot qualify for a BOP and a home business endorsement or separate policy fails to meet your needs, your agent will probably have to build a special commercial package policy to handle your business. Commercial lines agents have both the expertise to design the appropriate coverage and access to the markets that offer policies for your sales business.

In part one of this article, we discussed what coverage issues must be considered when running a sales office out of a home. Besides the protection previously mentioned, you will need workers compensation coverage for any employees, even part-timers, and, if you deliver anything or if your vehicle is larger than a car, van or small pickup, you may need commercial automobile insurance. Another reason for buying a commercial auto policy is if any auto is corporately owned.

Professional Offices

Regarding doctors, attorneys, architects or similar occupations, whether your home office is your only office or simply a satellite office, you will need to work with an insurance agent who is familiar with the coverages that are appropriate for professionals.

BOPs are suitable for most professional offices and can cover buildings, personal property, loss of business income, extra expenses incurred to operate the business (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments.

Consult with your agent or your professional association(s) for professional liability and errors and omissions coverage.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.