TXINS February E-News: Protect Your Home-Based Business with the Right Insurance, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Meet Yvette Smith, Texas Trivia Contest, and More!


Protect Your Home-Based Business with
the Right Insurance

More than half of the businesses in the United States are based out of the owner’s home. Many of those entrepreneurs think their homeowners insurance policies cover their business needs when the unexpected happens, but the reality is that most homeowners policies don’t.

Homeowners insurance provides a limited amount of coverage for business equipment, but most standard homeowners’ policies exclude coverage for businesses operating in the home. Most policies don’t cover lost data, lost income, or liability.

Signs You May Need Coverage
First, talk with your TXINS agent to fully understand what your current homeowners insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t. Ask yourself:

  • Does your homeowners policy limit coverage of business equipment? Most homeowners policies restrict coverage in this area, and some even consider operating a home-based business a violation of the policy terms.
  • Do you have an office but work from home regularly? In this situation, you may need additional coverage to help protect yourself from work-related incidents that occur in your home.
  • Do business contacts or employees visit your home, or do you do business in their homes? Most homeowners policies don’t cover third-party injury claims related to their work.
  • Do you keep business data at home? Whether printed out or on a computer, security breaches and technology failures leave companies vulnerable to lost income and client lawsuits. Insurers offer policy options that can help protect home-based businesses from these threats.

Protect Your Business
Home-based business owners typically have two types of business insurance to consider. The policy you choose will depend on your business size and type, how often you have business visitors to your home, and your exposure to liability, etc. The two types are:

  1. Rider to a homeowners or renters insurance policy: This low-cost option typically provides limited additional coverage. It may offer protection for a small amount of business equipment and liability coverage if a third-party, such as a delivery person, is injured in your home. This may be a good choice for a one-person operation with limited liability exposure, minimal amount of valuable equipment, and no business visitors or deliveries to the home.
  2. Business owner’s policy (BOP): This type of policy provides the most comprehensive coverage for home-based companies. It protects against unexpected business interruption, damage to business equipment or data, and malpractice or professional liability claims. Businesses that stock inventory, manufacture products, conduct business inside and outside the home, or carry a high risk for professional liability should consider a business owner’s policy.

 
Photography Businesses
For photography business owners, equipment and liability insurance are the most critical insurance policies to secure protection. Even though you may be set up as a limited liability company or a corporation, there is no limit to the need for business insurance. Besides potential legal requirements, having insurance minimizes the risks that are associated with potential liabilities, losses, and unforeseen events.

Equipment Insurance
This will cover all equipment related to a loss or damage due to a variety of events. At a minimum, photographers need equipment insurance to cover the following equipment; camera, lenses, computers, business interruption, etc. Equipment insurance should also cover the basic losses due to severe weather, fire, and theft. Do not assume your homeowner or renter insurance covers business equipment as many policies exempt equipment used for income purpose.

General Liability Insurance
This insurance is especially critical for photographers working in sensitive specializations (wedding, newborn, extreme sports, etc.) This insurance works as an umbrella to provide protection against legal actions arising from injuries, accidents, and other claims.

Disability Insurance
The insurance should be a definite for photographers who depend upon photography as their sole source of income. This insurance is a form that insures the photographer’s earned income against the risk of disability that prevents them to fulfill their work capacity.

Property Insurance
If your studio is within your home or located on your property, insurance to protect against damage to the building and items within are crucial. It is also important that a photographer consider selecting a policy that includes business interruption to protect earnings in the event that the shooting location is damaged or destroyed.
 
Home-Based Food Businesses
There are unique risks associated with food businesses, from food-borne illnesses to foreign objects like glass or plastic in food. These are added to typical business hazards such as fire, theft, or an accident that on the job.

General Liability Insurance
When you work from home, it can be easy to feel as though liability lawsuits are something that happens to other businesses, but not your own. However, the litigious times we live in are a constant reminder that anyone, even the most careful business owner, could be on the receiving end of an unexpected lawsuit.

General Liability Insurance is designed to protect your business from the high cost of third-party liability claims. Because a third party can be any person who doesn’t work for your business, the policy can save your business from paying out of pocket when you’re hit with an unexpected lawsuit.
Your General Liability policy can include coverage for:

  • Third-party bodily injury claims.
  • Third-party property damage claims.
  • Completed products claims, should your goods harm someone
  • Personal and advertising injury claims (i.e., copyright or brand infringement, libel, or slander).

GLI can cover incidents that happen on your premises and other places you conduct business, like at a craft fair or farmers market. So no matter where you are, you will be covered for events that happen while your business is away from your primary premises.

Business Property Insurance
Home-based food businesses rely heavily on ovens, stoves, and a slew of culinary supplies in order make their products. Property Insurance can step in if you need to replace your equipment. Even though your tools and supplies are in your home, most homeowners insurance policies will not cover any damage to business-related items. That’s why most home business owners decide to carry commercial property insurance.

With a Business Property Insurance policy in force, your business will be compensated for loss or damage to your covered items when:

  • A fire destroys your kitchen, equipment, and other culinary tools.
  • Someone breaks into your home and steals your media devices or other insured items.
  • A tornado strikes your home and ruins your property.

We Are Here for You 

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority. That’s a promise.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.


The employees of TXINS are active members in our communities. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve been up to as well as what we have planned for the month.

  • Mr. Sorrel and Kara Wood recently attended the 53rd Annual Joe Vincent Management Seminar in Austin on Jan. 24-26. The JVMS brings agency owners, managers, and producers together to explore latest agency management concepts and interact with insurance carriers and get the up to date information on what’s going on in the industry.
  • Traditions Insurance Services held their annual BBQ dinner and Spring meeting on Jan. 26 at Mikeska’s. They had a great turnout and enjoyed a delicious dinner while learning recapping 2015 and talking about what to expect in 2016.
  • Russ Taylor is attending the 22nd Annual “Best Little Trade Show in Texas” with the Northeast Texas Nursery Growers Association in Mesquite, TX on Feb. 4-5. Please visit  http://ntnga.org/home/trade-show.html for more information on attending.
  • Congrats to Brooke Marcaurele who will be celebrating her one year work anniversary with Traditions Insurance Services on Feb. 23.
  • Congratulations to our January Texas Trivia contest winners: Cassidy Bird of El Campo, TX, Jim Hessler of Temecula, CA, and Wayne Allen of Wharton, TX. We hope you enjoy your new Texas flag! For your chance to win, check out our Texas Trivia question below and be one of the first people to email us the correct answer.
Meet the TXINS Team
Yvette Smith

Yvette Smith is the friendly voice and welcoming face of TXINS when you call or stop by the El Campo office. Yvette joined our team last October and she is a joy to have in the office. Yvette is always willing to lend a hand whenever needed. Along with being a true professional, she handles client concerns quickly and efficiently. We can always count on Yvette – she’s definitely spoiled us!
 
To learn more about Yvette, please click here.

Dear TXINS:
I recently took a job as an outside sales rep for a building materials sales company. They won’t give me a company car until I’ve been on the job 90 days. Will my personal auto policy cover me if I’m in an accident while “on the job”?  – Stacey R., Austin, TX

Dear Stacey:

There are two different kinds of risks involved when you use your personal automobile for company business.
 
The first risk is incidental use. The second risk everyday use. This is when a person drives his/her own car everyday as part of their job, like you would do doing.
 
Situation One: Incidental Use
Generally in these situations you would be covered under your personal auto policy. If you find you are driving more than 30-40% of the time on company business, it would be best to contact us for a review of your coverage to make sure you are properly covered.
 
Examples of incidental use would be:

  • Going to a company event
  • Taking the mail to the post office
  • Picking up supplies at the store
  • Going to see a client – occasionally

 
Situation Two: Drive as Part of the Job
Many personal auto policies have “drive-for-business” exclusions, requiring individuals to inform their agents that they drive for work and to acquire an endorsement. Without the endorsement, insurers may refuse to cover a claim.
 
Here are some examples of work related situations where you might need to make adjustments to your insurance:
 

  • Outside sales professionals
  • Real-estate agents
  • Driving more than 50% of the time for the company
  • You receive an auto allowance
  • You take a tax deduction for work related driving
  • If you use your vehicle for delivery or landscaping you might need to consider a commercial policy, especially if the vehicle is used 100% for business use.

 
To be sure you have the proper coverage in place, give us a call and we’ll review your specific needs and the coverage you currenly have. If adjustments need to be made, we’ll work together to make sure you are protected fully for as long as you are using your personal vehicle for work.

Do you have a question for our agents? Email it to us! If we choose your question, we’ll send you a thank you gift! Be sure to include your mailing address and phone number in your email.

You Learn Something New Every Day
– Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.

– Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.

– The Grand Canyon can hold about 900 trillion footballs.

– Mardi Gras kicks off February 9. Food is key to a good Mardi Gras celebration and no food is more important than the King Cake. The King Cake is baked with a small plastic baby hidden inside and the person who gets the slice with baby in it has to host the next party. To make your own King Cake, check out this recipe. For an easier celebration, order your King Cake through Mardi Gras New Orleans.

Share the Love
 
This Valentine’s Day, spread the message of love and friendship by giving back to others on this special day.
1. Take handmade cards to your local nursing home or senior living community. Often times, older adults with no nearby friends or family spend Valentine’s Day alone. Your thoughtful card will brighten their day.
2. Spend some time at an animal shelter. Animals living in the shelter love visitors and treats. Volunteer to walk dogs or clean cat cages to lighten the load of the staff and give the animals a chance to meet a new face.
3. Send Valentine’s Day cards or care packages to our military men and women serving overseas. AdoptaPlatoon.org coordinates the distribution of inspirational messages to our military heroes.

 

We LOVE Referrals!

 
Congrats to Ken and Rhonda Anderson of Georgetown, TX, our January Referral Program drawing winners! Thanks for your referrals Ken and Rhonda!

If you love Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., tell a relative, friend, or co-worker about us. When they call to receive a quote make sure they let us know that you referred them.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a surprise gift and will be entered into our monthly $50 gift card drawing and our annual Grand Prize drawing for a $1,500 gift card!!!

(Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 3, 2015.)

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