Do I Have Coverage for My Home Business on my NH Homeowner's Insurance?

If you run a business out of your house, like a growing number of people in New Hampshire, you may think you don’t need a commercial policy.  After all, you have a NH homeowners policy and you work from the home, so you assume that should cover everything...right?

NH Home Business InsuranceUnfortunately, we all know what happens when we assume...  so, it is important to know the facts.  The fact is that most standard NH homeowner's insurance policies provide a minimal amount of coverage for a home-based business, if any coverage at all.  Yikes!  

What May or May Not be Covered for a Business on a NH Homeowner's Policy?

If you work out of your home, the typical homeowner's policy may cover a limited amount of business equipment, such as a computer, printer, office supplies, etc. but this coverage limit is very low and not intended to cover much. (Coverage limits are even less if business property is used outside the home.)

The bigger issue is the lack of liability coverage that will extend from your home policy for any business operation.  This includes any activity stemming from the nature of a business.  For example:

  • If you have a booth at a trade show and someone trips and falls on a cord running a laptop- there would not be coverage. 
  • If you have the mail person deliver a package for your business and they slip in the driveway on ice, there would most likely not be coverage.
  • If the order you kept in your garage before delivering to a client was destroyed in a fire, there would most likely not be coverage.

Is there a Way to Add Commercial Coverage onto a Homeowner's Policy?

Though a typical homeowner's policy won’t cover any claim stemming from a business, some insurance companies do offer a small business endorsement that can be added onto a policy.  This is a good option for an incidental business owner who may have turned a hobby into a business and wants extra protection.  An example of this could be a tutor, music instructor or crafts-person.

Check with an insurance professional to see if your line of work would qualify and if your carrier offers such coverage.  If not, you may want to reach out to an independent agency that offers insurance through numerous insurance companies, and not just one.

How Do I Get Coverage for My NH Home-Based Business?

To receive more comprehensive insurance coverage for your home-based business in NH you may need to purchase insurance designed for this situation. Just as with other businesses, you need to consider:

What coverage is right for your home business?  

That will depend on several factors including the nature of your business, volume of business, number of employees (if any) as well as where you conduct business (from your living room or around the world)?  The insurance needs will be different for a person who works from home conducting a weekly quilting class vs. a business consultant working with multi-national companies even though both work out of the house.   That is why it is critical that you consult with an insurance professional

What Type of Insurance Do I Need for My Home-Based Business?

Most businesses, regardless of where operated from, can purchase a Business Owners Policy (BOP).  BOPS are great package policies as it reasonably priced and often includes coverage needed by many small businesses such as:

  • Property insurance for both buildings and contents
  • Business interruption which would cover the loss of income resulting from a covered loss like a fire.  It may also include the additional expense necessary to set up your business at a temporary location while repairs are being completed.
  • Liability protection should your business be held legally responsible for causing harm to another party.

Though BOPS provide essential coverage to many types of businesses, it does not include coverage for professional liability, business vehicles or workers compensation. These coverages would need to be purchased separately.

You have worked hard to build your business.  Many small business owners make the mistake of believing that their homeowners policy will cover their home-based business, only to find out that they have very minimal coverage if any.  

Purchasing small business insurance will make sure you get the coverage you need to protect your business against a variety of situations.  If you run a business out of your house, speak with an insurance professional today.

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