Many therapists and doctors find seeing patients in their own home easier. However, this does come with some additional insurance concerns. As patients come in and out of your property, you will need to protect yourself regarding potential liability. Further, the equipment you keep in your home may need to be insured.
You Will Need to Notify Your Homeowners Insurance
While you can modify a homeowners insurance policy to cover the contents of a home office, you must notify the insurance company of the presence of a home office first. Many standard homeowners insurance policies specifically exclude business-related activities, as they’re calculated to account for the risk of an ordinary homeowner rather than an actively operating company.
On the bright side, you will be able to deduct any of your business insurance costs as a business expense. In fact, the entirety of your home office will be a deductible expense in terms of taxes.
You Will Need Professional Liability Insurance
Your homeowners insurance policy isn’t going to cover you for business-related liabilities. Business-related liabilities would include things such as:
- A patient getting injured in your home. If a patient trips and falls in your home and gets hurt, a standard homeowners insurance policy would not apply. However, a homeowners insurance policy would cover a friend slipping and getting hurt. The difference lies in volume: as a business, you will have more people coming in and out than an average homeowner would.
- An accident with medical care. If you make a mistake, that is covered by something called errors and omissions insurance or professional liability insurance. Your homeowners insurance would not cover this.
- Property damage related to a patient. A patient might accidentally damage some of your equipment. If this was a friend, your homeowners insurance might handle it. If this is a patient, however, this will fall under business liability. Likewise, if a patient’s own property gets damage in your home office, a traditional homeowners insurance claim may deny coverage.
Insurance policies are calculated based on risk. The risk of a business owner is higher than the risk of a traditional homeowner, so the policy premiums are usually higher. However, you can reduce your rates by comparing quotes, bundling your insurance, and asking your insurance agent if discounts are available.
You Can Get a Bundled Policy
A bundled insurance policy, such as a business owner’s policy, can provide you with a variety of insurance policies tailored to your business. As an example, business owner’s policies exist that are specifically for therapists.
These policies will usually save you money and will simplify your insurance management, as you will only need to work with a single agent and a single company for your insurance needs. Bundling your insurance in this way also reduces the chances that you might encounter an insurance gap.
You May Need to Protect Your Equipment
If you have expensive equipment in your home office, check on your insurance limits. While you may have $20,000 in insurance, you may only have coverage per item for $4,000 each. This coverage may further be limited regarding business items.
Provide your insurance company with an itemized list of high-value items, and you may need to purchase additional insurance for some of these more expensive items.
Your insurance needs as a therapist or a doctor are unique. Call a professional to find out exactly which policies you will need to protect yourself. Otherwise, you could end up with dangerous insurance gaps. For more information, contact Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants, Inc. We are happy to answer all your questions about the policy that is right for you.