Business Insurance For Your Home-Based Business

business insurance for your home-based business text overlaying image of someone typing on a laptop with houses around itYou’ve finally made it, you are your own boss and you run your business out of your home. You’re not alone. There are currently more than 20 million people in the country who work from home. Of those, almost 70% are running their own home-based business. The question is, is your home business properly insured or are you one of the many who are underinsured because you assume your homeowner’s insurance will cover your business? Below we’ll go over what business insurance policies you may need and why. 

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Homeowners Insurance Is Not Enough

While you were starting your company, you know doubt gave a lot of thought to many different aspects. What kind of business, what supplies you need, how shipping works etc. We’ve got one more to add to your long list of worries. If you think that your homeowners policy you have is enough to cover your business against damages and liability, you’re more than likely wrong. The typical homeowner’s insurance policy will only pay out for up to $2,500 in damages inside the home. And only about $100,000 for liability. In some cases it won’t even cover anything for claims related to a business. Additionally, some parts of your homeowner’s insurance can be actually void if you’re operating a business out of your home without other proper coverage.

Policies You Need

Now that you know your home business needs specialized policies, you will need to give some thought to the kind of insurance coverage that your specific business needs. First ask yourself a few questions:

 

  • What is my business property’s value?
  • Do I have employees?
  • Do I use a vehicle for my business?
  • What type of risks are associated with my business?
  • Do customers come into my home?
  • Do I digitally store sensitive information?

 

Once you’ve answered those questions it’s time to think about the policies that will work best for your business. Since Business insurance for a home-based business typically consists of a variety of different policies. You’ll want to carefully consider whether or not you will need more than one of the following types of protection:

Commercial Property Insurance

This policy will provide protection for all of the physical property associated with your company from damages and accidents. Such as fire, theft, or vandalism. If the value of the equipment in your home office is more than what your homeowners insurance policy will cover, or if you keep more than $10,000 worth of inventory in your home, you may need this insurance. Even if you don’t use the expensive equipment on your own property, such as landscaping equipment or handyman tools, if you store the equipment and use it elsewhere you will also need this policy. If you don’t keep any high-value business property at your home, or if your homeowners policy will cover damages, you may not need it. For instance if you are a freelancer and only use your personal laptop for work, then you probably do not need commercial property insurance.

Commercial Liability

Commercial liability covers claims made by third parties (customers, clients, general public). This type of business insurance will pay for any legal defense expenses if your company is sued for causing bodily injury, damage to property, or advertising injury. This includes anything from hiring an attorney to paying court-ordered settlements and any other legal costs that arise. This policy is needed for any home-business that interacts with customers or clients. You’ll want to have at least $500,000 of coverage to protect you against any potential claims that may be made against your business. Specifically if you work off-site with the general public or if you have customers or clients that come to your home for any reason. 

Cyber Liability

Having a home-based business means you probably use your computer and the internet. Whether it be to store client information, payments, and even client’s products (such as graphic design or writing if you’re a freelancer). If you use any kind of technology you need to protect your business against the threats that come with that technology. These threats include hackers and data leaks and can damage your company beyond repair. With cyber liability your business will be covered for any losses that stem from the cyber attack. This includes investigating services, data recovery, and identity recovery. It can even cover damage to your customers or business partners such as legal fees, customer notifications, and settlement costs.

Errors & Omissions

If part of your business provides intangible services, such as financial advice, providing personal training, doing someone’s taxes, or consulting, you will need this policy. This policy will cover your business if a customer sues you for damages that result from your advice or consulting. It also covers your business if you don’t meet a deadline, breach your contract, or are accused of negligence. In most cases a standard liability policy will not pay out for this form of damage as it’s not physical. So, it’s important to have if any part of your business involves giving professional advice in any way.

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Workers’ Compensation

If you have any employees, workers’ compensation should be something you look into. It covers the lost wages, medical costs, and death benefits in the event that your employee is injured or becomes sick or passes away from a work related incident. Depending on the state you live in, you might legally have to have this policy. Some states require any business with at least one employee (besides yourself) to have it while others only require it if you have a certain number of employees. To find out more about the workers’ compensation laws in your state check out our workers’ compensation state by state guides.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is just like personal auto insurance except it’s specifically meant to cover vehicles used for business purposes. It covers damages and medical costs that come from unexpected car accidents as long as the vehicle belongs to a business or was operating for work. This could be a truck and trailer for landscaping, a van you use to haul goods. Or even your personal vehicle if you meet with clients or deliver things to your clients personally. Your personal auto insurance will only provide limited coverage. And may not even cover your vehicle at all if it were being used for business purposes. This could leave you with massive debts that could be avoided with the proper insurance.

Health Insurance

We know, health insurance doesn’t sound like business insurance. However, being self-employed means, you don’t get benefits like a group health insurance plan through an employer. Because YOU’RE your employer. This is commonly overlooked and health insurance for yourself is just as important as any other business insurance. Because protecting yourself protects your business. You’ll want to look into getting yourself an individual policy. Or a family policy if you have dependents or a spouse. This makes sure you stay healthy and never have to dip into the money your business relies on to pay for expensive medical bills. Because you are your business, without you, everything comes to a halt. 

Add-Ons and Packages

That seems like a lot of insurance, especially if you have a generally small business at the moment. There are easier ways to cover your small business if you don’t actually need the full extent of the coverages listed above. There are add-ons and packages specifically meant to give your smaller business property and liability insurance but on a more reasonable scale. These options are:

 

  • Endorsements – As we noted above, your homeowners policy might cover some damages but not all. If your home-based business generates less than $5,000 a year you might be able to add a business endorsement to your standard homeowners policy. This endorsement will increase the amount of your standard policy. As well as ensure none of your homeowners policy is void due to having a home-based business.
  • In-home business policy – These policies are essentially business owner’s policies (BOP), a combination of property and liability coverage, but on a smaller scale. These packages will allow you to bundle smaller business property insurance and liability policies without the cost for coverage that a standard BOP would offer. Typically, the packages will include up to $10,000 in property coverage. And allow you to add anywhere from $300,000 to $1million in liability coverage. This bundle is much more affordable than buying standalone commercial property and commercial liability coverage.

Don’t Stress With EZ

All this information may be overwhelming and a lot to process, especially considering how much you already have going on as a business owner. EZ.Insure is here to assist you, whether you are confused, need help enrolling, or in need of some guidance. We are able to put you in touch with a representative who will answer any questions that you might have. You will have access to one highly trained agent. Who will direct you in the direction of the policy that is best suited for your work from home business.

 

To discuss your commercial insurance needs with one of our representatives over the phone, please dial 877-670-3538. If you are interested in health insurance that we discussed, you can reach us at 877-670-3557. You can also get a free instant quote by entering your zip code in the box below. You will never be harassed by an endless stream of sales calls, and there will never be any fees associated with using any of our services. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on building your business.

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Flood Season Is Here: Is Your Business Covered?

Every year, the U.S. suffers on average $8-10 billion dollars in damages from freshwater flooding. Massive storms in August 2016 pushed that number to around $15 billion. But what do these numbers mean for individual business owners? 

At least 13 million properties in the U.S. lie within flood zones, according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). If your business is located in a flood-prone area, it is definitely wise to check your flood coverage, as well as check whether or not you are required to be covered. buildings with high water flooding the area.

The average cost to a business affected by a flooding event is a concerning $90,000. Moreover, about 25% of businesses that close due to flood damage never reopen, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Flooding is obviously a serious issue, so let’s take a look at the ins and outs of insurance coverage for this catastrophic event.

Is Your Business Covered?

The first question you need to ask is whether or not your business is covered for floods. If you have a standard commercial insurance policy, the answer is no. Damage caused by some types of natural disasters – such as those involving lightning or wind – are usually covered, but water-related destruction is usually treated as a separate case. If you want your business to be protected from flood damage, then you will need to buy a special policy.

Is Your Business Required to Be Covered?

Some businesses are actually required to purchase a flood insurance policy. Flood insurance is mandatory if your business is located within a flood zone and is mortgaged through a lender that is insured or regulated by the federal government. Whether you are located in a flood zone is not a matter of opinion; rather, FEMA has created flood maps that designate certain areas as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). An SFHA is an area that has been determined to have a 1% annual chance of flooding every 100 years. Flood maps are available online; check to see if you are located in one of these areas.

cartoon of a woman pushing a door closed to prevent water from coming in.
It may be wise to consider flood insurance, especially remembering that the average claim for flood damage is around $90,000.

Should Your Business Be Covered?

You might feel that if you are not located specifically in an SFHA, then you do not need to purchase flood insurance. While you are not required by the government to do so, it may be wise to consider it, especially remembering that the average claim for flood damage is around $90,000. Some recent studies are suggesting that FEMA’s maps are inadequate and don’t show the full picture of flood risk, so you may be laboring under a false sense of security. Even FEMA acknowledges that over 20% of flood claims come from businesses located outside of SFHAs. 

Take into consideration your actual risk. For example, is your business in an area that experiences heavy snows in winter and warm springs, leading to fast thaws? Are you in an area prone to moderate to heavy rainfall? If so, clogged drains could spell disaster. Ask yourself questions such as these and, if the answer is yes, it is probably best to consider adding a flood policy.

How Do You Get Flood Insurance?

Whether you are required to get flood insurance or you have decided that it is best for your business, the only way to get a policy is through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, the government does not sell policies directly; you will have to contact an insurance professional who is familiar with the NFIP. To get started, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or speak to an agent by calling 888-615-4893. 

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Once you decide to buy flood insurance, it is important to know what it covers (and doesn’t cover). Generally, for small to medium-sized businesses, there are two types of policies:

  • Commercial Contents: this type of policy provides coverage for your inventory, merchandise, machinery, tools, equipment, fixtures and any other contents within your business. Covers up to $500,000.
  • Commercial Building: this type of policy covers the actual structure of your business. If you don’t own the building, then the policy will cover any improvements you made to it. Also covers up to $500,000.

You can purchase both types of policy, thus giving you up to $1 million in coverage.

What Doesn’t It Cover?

two hands with pens in them pointing at paperwork.
Discuss with an agent what type of flood insurance you want and what coverage you are looking for. They will notify you what flood insurance does and does not cover.

You should also be aware that there are some things these policies don’t cover, including:

  • Vehicles
  • Financial losses caused by business interruption
  • Property and belongings outside of the building
  • Mildew and mold may be covered, but is evaluated on a case-by-case basis
  • Damages caused by sewer or drain backup (unless caused by a flood, which is defined as waters covering at least two acres or affecting two properties). Remember that if waters come from above (like rain clogging gutters and leaking onto your inventory), you may be covered by your standard  commercial insurance policy.

Now that you have the facts about flooding and the protection available, you can make an informed decision about what is best for you and your business. If you need help connecting with an agent, or have any questions about any aspects of commercial insurance, EZ.Insure is here to help – and we will always do it completely free of charge. And we’ll never hound you with phone calls the way other companies do. To get started, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or speak to an agent by calling 888-615-4893.

Get The Most Accurate Local Quotes From Ez.Insure

The time has come, and you find yourself in need of a new insurance plan. A sense of anxiety sets in, and you slowly become overwhelmed with researching. When shopping for insurance, it can be hard to find a company that provides you with the best services. This includes providing you with accurate quotes on the plans you are searching for. Whether it be Medicare Supplements, health insurance plans, or commercial business plans, EZ.insure has got your covered. How?

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Researching and comparing all the different companies and plans can lead to time wasted, frustration, and inaccurate information.

Instant Quotes

Well it’s simple, we provide you with instant accurate quotes so you can compare plans for yourself, and choose which best suits your needs and budget. No more jumping from site to site trying to compare plans, we do it for you in seconds. Not savvy in computers? That’s okay! We offer a plethora of highly trained agents within your area that can provide you with all the quotes, compare the plans, and sign you up. All of these services are free!

How We Provide Accurate Quotes

Unlike other companies, we make sure we do our research and homework. Ez.Insure uses state-of-the-art technology that provides accurate live quotes. Live quotes mean that the quotes provided are the prices you would pay for the plan if you signed up today. Because the market changes, as well as personal situations, the prices of insurance changes as well. 

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Ez.Insure uses state-of-the-art technology that provides accurate live quotes.

As soon as you submit a form, you will see your free quotes and your agent based on your needs. Before you even speak to an agent you will know who they are, some of the companies they work directly with, and what some of the plan prices they offer are.

Avoid all of the work of trying to find an accurate quote. Searching online can leave you with inaccurate quotes, and false information. If you’re not an industry expert, scams, errors, or simple ignorance can cost you tons of money, making this process even more difficult. It’s your health, and it’s important. 

EZ.Insure offers accurate quotes instantly. You will not be left in the dark. We will provide you with quotes of all the plans, without any hidden fees. Just instant, upfront information, and what the plan covers exactly. This will help you make the best decision regarding your own healthcare, and also alleviates further headaches like unexpected bills for medical expenses. Save your money and time. To get started, enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a specialized agent within your area, call 888-350-1890, or email replies@ez.insure.