Home Stagers and Liability Insurance

Most aspiring home stagers wonder whether they should get insurance when they start their business. This is definitely something to look into, but because your need for coverage will differ depending on the state, province and even country you live in, I can’t give specific advice that will apply to everyone.

You can look at what business riders you can add to your current home insurance policy for a start.

There are also specific insurance packages for home stagers available with different companies that you can ask your broker about. They cover things like:

* general liability

* fire liability

* business property when it’s in your office and when it’s off premises or in transit

* medical expenses

* computer equipment

* accounts receivable

* money and securities

One question you’ll want to ask them is how long they’ll insure your items when they’re off premises. This is a concern if you’ll be using your own furniture and accessories to fill vacant properties. I have heard of insurers who will only cover the items for 60 days. Clearly this isn’t long enough if you are operating in a slow real estate market, or if the property takes longer to sell because it is overpriced or not well marketed.

Insurance is something you can be looking into while you take care of all the other steps necessary to start your home staging business.

Don’t let the fear of possibly damaging someone’s property one day get in the way of you becoming a home stager.

Every entrepreneur worries about liability at some point, and you can get coverage to protect you. It’s not terribly expensive especially if having it will give you the peace of mind to move forward in your business.

It’s also helpful to keep some perspective and not get overwhelmed with worry about worst-case scenarios that are not that likely to occur. The typical things that might go wrong while you’re staging are things you wouldn’t likely bother making an insurance claim for. For example, if you broke a vase, you would replace it.

If you scratched a floor you would fix it. Now that doesn’t mean you have to put in a new floor! Have you ever had a mover scratch a hardwood floor? They fix it by coloring in the scratch with a marker designed for that purpose. That’s also what they do with scratches to furniture.

In the hundreds of homes I’ve staged, I’ve never run into a situation where I’ve broken something irreplaceable. Most of your clients will accept that if you damage something, you’ll take care of it.

Small things are more likely to happen than major catastrophes. If you’re careful not to place breakables where they can be knocked over, and to be sure you don’t leave candles burning when nobody’s home so there’s not an accident waiting to happen, you’ll probably be okay. Given that insurance premiums go up with any claim, you’re only going to make a claim for something significant, anything else you’ll deal with directly with your clients.

By Robert    Watson

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