When Your Hobby Becomes a Small Business

Feb 06 2019 2 min read

So, your hobby has turned to a passion; you have gone from engaging in your favourite pass time for fun and perfected it and now you make some money on the side for it. Good for you! Congratulations on being self-employed, or at least partially.

This happens often, some of the most recognizable brands have started in the garage and we all are very familiar with their names: Apple, Amazon, Google, Disney, Mattel. But what do you do in the meantime while you are still operating out of the garage or basement?

As an insurance company, we see many businesses that take flight and leave the home address and become a full-time venture. So, it is best to take a look and dive into our policy wording to discover what is covered under your homeowner insurance policy and at what stage do you need to start a new policy insuring your home-grown business? It can be an easy process if you let us help.

There is countless liability exposure when you operate a home business. Perhaps the foot traffic increases coming into your home if you are a hairdresser, barber, at home care provider, pet groomer, personal trainer, or music teacher. Think that covers it? Hardly, but it goes without saying that people have started to do various types of business from the home, and that means customers will become to your home much more often. Perhaps you do not have people coming to your home and you make toys and crafts and participate in the local farmers market or annual fair. As a homeowner what you need to ask your insurance professional is simple: Am I covered for this under my homeowner insurance policy? When reviewing the wording of most every insurer, the answer is most often not.

It is always the recommendation to check with your insurer and disclose all the information about your home business to determine if you home policy covers it or not. You might be pleased to find out that you can extend from your homeowner policy for certain home-based businesses. It all depends on the business you operate, but in many cases, you will need to obtain a commercial policy. Your insurance provider does not want to leave you without coverage for your interests, remember that it is our job to cover you and we need to get it right. To start, your insurer will need to know that basis of what your business is and will require full transparency. Are you selling a product or service, what are your anticipated sales in the next year, what is the value of your current stock, equipment, or merchandise, how often is someone coming to your home in relation to your business? The answers to those starter questions are the framework that your insurer uses to decide if the business can be covered under an extension from your homeowner policy or if the business needs its own Commercial General Liability policy. We make it easy, either way, in fact, we take the time to discuss all the necessary details and complete all the paperwork required.

The bottom line is simple, always makes sure you are covered. Your risk is real and the threat of a claim against you is always possible. Never leave yourself vulnerable when protection is only an insurance policy away!

Article Written by Adam Heeg
Erie Mutual Insurance Account Executive

Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.

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