Insuring your home-based business is crucial, but if your home is along a coastline or within a hurricane-prone area, it is also important to make sure your home, which is your place of work, is adequately protected. Most coastal homeowners do not realize that they are underinsured, which puts not only their home, but also their home-based business at risk.
With hurricane season rearing its ugly head, home-based small business owners need to take a comprehensive approach to mitigating those risks and protecting their investment.
Three Steps to Protecting Your Business and Home
Before assuming your business is covered, be sure to assess your true risks and most importantly, your homeowner’s insurance policy. As a small business owner in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, here are some steps you need to take:
- Ensure your policy carries the right amount of coverage. Check whether your property is covered in the event of a natural disaster and that your assets are equally protected under your existing policy. One important and most overlooked factor is that of the cost to rebuild versus the current market value, which is not one and the same. You should assess the true costs to rebuild if your home-based business was struck by a hurricane.
- Flood risks and insurance. Your home-based business premises are covered through your homeowner’s insurance policy, but does your policy cover storm surges and the flooding associated with seasonal storms. Natural disaster flooding, especially from a hurricane, can happen at any time. Even if your property is not in a FEMA flood zone, as a property owner, you should definitely consider flood insurance coverage, especially since there are some discrepancies in the FEMA flood zone mapping.
- Rental homes should be assessed too. Some small, home-based businesses involve owners that are renters. Are you renting an apartment, home or condominium and running your small business from those premises? Your renter’s insurance policy as well as the property owner’s policy may not adequately cover hurricane damage. As a tenant, your personal property, electronics and business items could be at risk without proper coverage.
Proper Coverage Assessment is Key
The amount of coverage and special add-on policies a home-based small business owner may need can vary. That is why it is imperative that you meet with an insurance professional for a risk assessment. These assessments can identify special hazards and gaps in coverage to ensure that not only your home is protected, but your livelihood is too.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, the Nowell Agency can help ensure your home-based business is adequately covered. Call us at 877-813-9568 for Alabama, 888-675-1842 for Louisiana and 601-992-4444 for our Mississippi offices to learn more about your options. You can also request a quote online.