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Running a business from home

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					Running a business from
home by Allen Broadly
Even some of the biggest and best branded products we now take for
granted, started out being produced in garages and spare bedrooms.
Unless you have the money to buy separate business premises from
day 1, most people do most of their planning at home. When it comes
to running a service, many people are based at home and travel out to
meet customers. Even simple manufacturing can be done at home,
whether it's baking cakes and cookies in the kitchen, making designer
clothes or some other low impact activity. But whatever you do, don't
ignore the question of insurance. There's a basic law of nature that
says, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (sooner or later). The
longer you delay putting your house insurance in order, the more
costly it may all become. So what are the main types to consider?

Let's start off with the most obvious. The moment you start dealing
with customers, some level of liability cover is essential. There's
always going to be one person who can prove what you did, or didn't
do, caused loss and damage. It may be you went into his home to
repair a leaking faucet and the resulting flood damaged furniture and
the wooden floor. Or perhaps it was the customer who came to your
home to collect the PC you'd repaired and she slips and falls on your
polished floor. No matter how you interact with customers or the
customers may claim you have damaged them, some level of
insurance pays the cost of your attorney fighting them off. If a court
ends up ordering you to pay compensation, wouldn't it be better to be
able to pass on the bill to your insurer?

Then you should consider business interruption cover. There have
been record-breaking numbers of tornadoes this year, rivers are
flooding vast areas of our land. Any number of different causes can
prevent you from continuing the business. So being able to cover the
costs of a temporary relocation would be good value. If equipment or
tools are lost, or inventory is damaged in the original disaster or
during the move, being able to claim makes the cover even better
value.

Then remember neither you nor anyone working for you will have
perfect health. Can you afford to be without some health cover? Read
this alongside all the local rules about Workers' Compensation if you
have employees. And then consider the potential need for disability
insurance should you be unable to work. Finally, what would happen to
your family if you were to die? Think about how much money might be
owing if the death was unexpectedly early. This is not just for the
mortgage and household debts, but also any loan taken up by the
business and any business debts owed by you as a sole trader or
partnership - this would not apply if you were running a company.

Getting the right levels of small business insurance is all about
balancing the different elements of cover. Not everything may be
required but, if you don't think about all the issues, this would be
costly. Get business insurances and protect your small business.

				
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posted:7/11/2011
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