Cover Your Assets
By: Attorney David M. Hammer
While the world has undoubtedly changed in the last few weeks, we want to make sure you are prepared for changing needs in the insurance world. Now is the time to review your policies and make sure you have the proper coverages.
Home Business Insurance
Many folks are starting home-based businesses.
Many home-based business owners are not aware of the need for insurance with their business. A home-based business does need insurance. Home-based businesses, at a minimum, should have general liability and property insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover any damage or losses experienced at a business operated from the home.
General liability will help pay for expenses resulting from a lawsuit if someone claims their property damage or injury was the result of something business related.
Business insurance protects the property and contents of the business whether it’s operated out of a specific room in the home or in a separate building on the property. It covers contents, equipment, the building, exterior fixtures and/or signage and surroundings.
You may need worker’s compensation insurance to cover employees who may be injured in the course and scope of their employment.
You should also look into and evaluate the need for business interruption insurance. This insurance would pay benefits if for some unforeseen event, your business is not able to continue normal operations.
Life changing events may require an adjustment to your current Life Insurance Policy. Life changing events may be: marriage, divorce, having children, purchasing a home, job change, retirement, and significant income changes.
As you get older, your insurance needs change, consult with your agent, he or she may recommend changes to existing policies, or changes from whole life to term policies, or term policies to whole life policies.
Homeowners Insurance is very complex and often difficult to understand in terms of what is, and what is not covered. As like most policies of insurance, they are written to try to benefit the insurance company, not the policy holder.
A typical homeowners insurance policy WILL cover:
- Your home and attached structures like your garage
- Stand-alone structures like fences and tool sheds
- Basic living expenses if you have to temporarily leave your home
- Repair or replacement of some personal possessions
- Negligence lawsuits
- Medical expenses for family and guests if they’re injured on your property
A typical homeowners policy WILL NOT cover:
- Government action
- Nuclear hazards
- Wear and tear
If you live in an area where earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, or tornados are common, ask your agent about a separate policy to cover losses for the specific type of damage.
Most homeowners policies have exclusions for animal related injuries such as dog bites, if your policy does have this exclusion, ask about a rider, this is coverage added to your policy to cover a specific loss
Most homeowners policies have limits on the amount they will cover in the event of expensive jewelry loss. You may want to consider a separate jewelry insurance policy to cover expensive valuables, watches, diamonds
Stay tuned for part II where we will go over more insurance coverages you can purchase.