Steve Tombarelli is the senior vice president, business expansion & innovation at the Strategic Insurance Agency
Alliance (SIAA). He says COVID-19 is going to create a lot of new home businesses.
Some will come out of the layoffs from COVID and others from finding they like working in a home office from home. In his comments on the topic in an article from
PropertyCasualty360.com, Tombarelli said a lot of this will come because people suddenly find themselves loving working at home.
“Those who make work-at-home a permanent part of their lives will likely feel more freedom than they do at a corporate office,” Tombarelli wrote. “But they should know that their homeowners insurance will, in most cases, fall short of covering
all of the potential business risks they face and require separate coverage.”
He says this is a real positive for the independent insurance agent and a chance for them to educate clients to importance of knowing their homeowners policy will not
protect their business nor their business property. They need to go with a BOP.
“They can offer insight into why a BOP is an essential part of operating a business from home. Whether the business involves selling a product or service, BOP coverage
is affordable and should cover a small-business owner’s inventory, supplies, business needs, equipment, and all other tangible items,” he wrote.
Tombarelli also said it’s very, very important for the independent agent to understand the business
of the new small-business client.
“For example, business owners should consider client traffic to their homes, travel to their clients’ homes and deliveries of supplies from vendors,” Tombarelli’s article said. “Anyone coming to the home-based
business could become a liability if they trip and fall on-site or get hurt as a result of a visit. If a home-based business is using a personal vehicle to conduct business, the business owner should have a commercial liability automobile insurance policy
for complete protection.”
He also suggests introducing clients to other forms of insurance that they may require.
The first is cyber liability coverage. Tombarelli said a lot of small businesses are going to rely on cloud computing and
home technology and their own websites. They aren’t going to be as secure as those of the businesses they left or worked for in the past.
He said agents need to emphasize that 28% of all breaches are from small business owners.
is professional liability coverage. That’s also known — as you know — as E&O. They need to know about proper limits to cover defense costs and damages if the lose to a customer in a legal battle.
Work comp is also important if employees are involved.
“Small-business owners, especially those self-employed for the first time, will appreciate the advice from their independent agent,” Tombarelli concluded. “Without a separate business policy in place, there could be serious financial costs in
the event of a claim, and the homeowner or renter may be at risk of losing their personal assets. It can be a high price to pay.”Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com