Insurance may look very different depending on your industry. Your risk factors, your company’s physical presence, employees, tools, and equipment are all huge factors in the overall business insurance package that will be suited to best meet your needs. What does this look like for home stagers and purchasing business insurance?
What is home staging? Home staging is a relatively new industry within the real estate sector that manages to combine both real estate know-how and interior decoration. It requires a great deal of expertise, skill, and experience to perfect. In the course of their work, home stagers may work with a variety of different professionals, including delivery workers, carpenters, wholesalers, retailers, electricians, and plumbers. Therefore, home stagers must have some base understanding of how these industries work as well as how they can mesh to create one unified project.
Home staging is no small job, nor is it a line of work to be snuffed at. You work hard to perfect what you do. Protect your operations with home staging business insurance. Here’s how it works.
What is “Home Staging” Business Insurance?
Risks – physical and otherwise – vary by business, so it only makes sense that each individual business acquire specific coverage that best matches the kind of work that they do. For home staging businesses, risks may come in the form of natural disasters impacting their physical place of work, or they could be liability risks from dissatisfied or even injured customers.
Here are some examples of various coverages you may wish to include with your overall home staging business insurance package:
Professional Liability Insurance
Since you are providing advice, your business may need more than your standard general liability insurance. If you are leaning closer to interior design and offer advice for a fee, professional liability insurance may be necessary. This helps ensure any legal costs associated with a breach of duty or perceived negligence can be covered.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
Liability risks are more common than you’d think, and incidents can happen for any reason. If it resulted in a lawsuit, your business could be out tens of thousands of dollars for pain and suffering, medical expenses, defense costs, and various judgment awards. Suffice it to say, commercial general liability is the base level of liability coverage any business has to carry.
Commercial Property Insurance
One of the biggest concerns with home stagers is that their inventory may be damaged at their warehouses or storage locations – and it’s completely out of their control. Anything could happen, from theft and vandalism to a fire or natural disaster. Or, alternatively, what if your home office was damaged by a visitor? That could put you out hundreds or even thousands of dollars and may even stall your operations temporarily. Commercial property insurance protects your physical place of work, and special policies may include coverage for damage to any goods that are being staged. Commercial property insurance may also extend to warehouses and sheds.
Given that the transit of goods, materials, and supplies is an integral part of what you do as a home stager, goods-in-transit- should be included in your overall home staging business insurance package. While goods are being transported from your work premises to the home being staged, they may be at risk of damage. This could be the result of an accident, mishandling, or poor packaging. Your goods-in-transit may be insurable if they are contained in a vehicle your business owns or by a common carrier.
Business Interruption Insurance
What if something happened to your physical place of work that caused you to stall your operations until repairs were complete? Business interruption insurance is designed to cover your business for ongoing costs and loss of income during a period of forced closure because of an insurable loss. For your home staging business, this could be imperative.
Risk Management Tips for Home Stagers
Insurance is a great and highly necessary part of a comprehensive risk management plan, but it should never replace good judgment and following proper protocol. Here are some risk management tips for home stagers:
If you do your hiring process yourself, take your time to thoroughly background check each individual contractor and company. This could make or break your end product.
Avoid “accidents waiting to happen” by practicing basic caution. Avoid leaving candles unlit in homes being staged. Do not place breakables in open hallways and areas where they can easily be trampled.
Ask yourself the right questions. What could go wrong? What are the consequences if a risk does occur? How can you mitigate your existing risks?
Be proactive. Consider potential disasters and prepare yourself accordingly – such as setting aside a “rainy day” fund, having an evacuation plan in place, and training key employees on how to respond if an incident does occur.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. As a home stager, you’re already tackling so much. Control your growth from the beginning to avoid having to deal with more risks than you are prepared to handle. Monitor the hiring process and analyze the existing resources you have.
Hitchings Insurance Agency is prepared to help home stagers find tailored business insurance that best fits the kind of work they do. Get a quote with us or call to discuss your home staging business insurance needs today.