After several items used for my business were stolen from my house, my insurance company only paid part of my claim. What gives?
UPDATED: Feb 7, 2012
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Asked February 7, 2012
Most homeowners policies will cover business losses up to a certain amount. In most policies, the business items are insured up to a value of $2500 if they are in the home or insured structures and $250 if the items are not stored at the home. If your lost items were worth more than the limit, then your insurance company would only pay up to the limit specified in your policy.
Note that insurance is regulated on a state by state basis, and the laws regarding insurance coverage for business items is likely to be different from one place to another. The basic coverage probably will not change much, but business items may not be fully covered in all policies.
Your deductible will be a factor as well. If your lost items have a deductible that must be paid, your homeowners insurance company may not pay for any losses until you have paid the deductible. This is why it is important to keep your deductibles as high as you can afford but never set them so high that you cannot pay the deductible out of pocket if the needed arises.
Read your policy carefully to find out how it treats business items. If you have questions about the way the policy is worded, contact your insurance company and ask to have the details explained to you. Even the best insurance will not work for you properly unless you understand what it is covering and how the policy affects your property.
It might be a better idea to insure your business items separate from your home. Commercial and business insurance is available, and provides coverage to your tools and materials regardless of where they are stored. Because the tools and equipment needed to operate a business can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, insurance companies are understandably reluctant to take the risk of business losses as part of a homeowners policy. The good news is that you can save money on the business coverage if you buy the policy from the company which wrote your home insurance.
Answered February 7, 2012 by Anonymous