If you have ever dreamed of starting a home business, you have probably considered all of the advantages: no more commuting, no more office politics, and no more pointless meetings. As the boss, you set the schedule and the priorities. What you earn is yours, and it’s all the direct result of your own hard work. You are responsible for your own success. Of course, there are tax benefits, too. The costs associated with part of your home used specifically for the business is an expense that can be deducted. That includes a percentage of your mortgage, your property tax,insurance, and your utilities. Most of all, you have the flexibility to be there for your family when they need you.
If you are all set to take those first steps toward working from home, be sure to consider your Alberta insuranceneeds. With a new purpose, you assume new responsibilities.
Know the risks
If you are going to operate a business from your home, don’t make the mistake of assuming your existing homeowner’s policy is enough. Unless you have discussed your plans with your Alberta insurance agent and been told your current policy is sufficient, your business might not be protected from fire, theft, or liability. In fact, a study done recently by the Insurance Bureau of Canada shows that 39% of those operating home businesses do not have the right coverage.
Consider these scenarios:
A fire in your home office destroyed your computer, records, and your product. Unfortunately, under most homeowner’sinsurance policies, it probably wouldn’t be covered. Even worse, if you haven’t told your insurer that you were operating a home business, your existing policy could be voided, leaving none of the damage or losses to be covered.
Similarly, if someone broke into your home and stole your computer or inventory you would again be left without coverage. The same is true if business products or equipment are stolen from your car or truck because the contents of a vehicle are usually covered under your homeowner’s insurance.
If a customer came to your home to pick up a purchase and slipped on the walkway severely injuring himself, you would be liable if he sued you, and because the injury was business-related, it would likely not be covered by your homeinsurance policy.
Know your options
Home-based business insurance covers your inventory, office furniture and equipment, damage to your home due to a covered loss, and it also provides liability coverage for employees, delivery people, and your clients and customers. If your business does not include anyone coming to your home, you might be able to add your equipment to your current homeowner’s policy as an endorsement. If you provide professional services under contract, you should also consider errors and omissions insurance. Some contracts require it.
When you began working from home you might not have even realized you needed additional insurance. Or, maybe you thought about it and decided you could get by with your existing Alberta insurance coverage and save some money while you tested the waters. Remember your reasons for starting a home business in the first place. Personal freedom and more time with your family were likely at the top of your list. All that could be lost without the right coverage. When considering a home business it is essential to call your insurance agent and discuss your plans thoroughly, so you can get the coverage that meets your needs.
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