Friday, April 23, 2010

Homeowner's and Business Insurance

Following my own gut feeling as well as the advice of more seasoned potters, I told my Homeowner's Insurance company the truth about running a business in my home and having a gas kiln. After specifically asking them about the kiln's location and explaining my business, the agent reassured me on the phone that everything was in order. They set me up with a business liability policy, stating I didn't need property coverage since that would be covered under the homeowner's policy. I received a letter today stating that they are going to cancel my homeowner's policy as of June 12.

I know why many of you have a completely separate studio from your homes. My studio is in the basement. The gallery is part of the house and the kilns are in an enclosed attached carport. The 18 cu ft Bailey was in the house when we bought it. It's certainly not where I would have put it, but I figured it had to be okay since two other potters had used it in that location and must have had insurance. Right?

Now, I have to shop around for a new homeowner's policy. Does anyone else have a studio in their home? Any recommendations on insurance companies? I've been thinking that I might need to move the kiln, but will that make a difference?

8 comments:

Oy Clay !!! Pottery said...
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Oy Clay !!! Pottery said...

Kari, while I don't have a home studio, I worked in insurance for 25 years. It is very possible that whoever took your call was only an information taker, without much experience. I don't think I know a carrier that would continue to insure someone who withheld the information about a kiln in the house. However, I will assume that person you spoke with thought they could write a business policy with an effective date of the date of the call with the express caveat that you could not buy what they call "nose coverage". That way they would not be liable for any claim that might arise from damages that occurred prior to that date.

It appears that when they reviewed the information, the underwriter felt there was too much of a risk to insure you. It may very well have to do with the kiln being in the house. The policy they would have to construct to sort out coverage might not be a product they have. Now I'm afraid you may find yourself having to find a high risk carrier because this incident. Certainly coverage would be easier to find if the kiln were not in the house.

Linda Starr said...

Years ago a car insurance company said they were going to cancel me effective a certain date. I got insurance with another company before the cancellation date and sent the first company a letter saying I was cancelling them so I could avoid the stigma of being cancelled and thus being considered a high risk and paying higher rates.

Lots of potters have their kilns in a garage connected to their house and many in their basements, hopefully others will comment and let folks know which company insurs them as I would be curious to know as well.

Oy Clay !!! Pottery said...
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Oy Clay !!! Pottery said...

Linda is right. It may not be the kiln at all. It may be that you withheld information about the risk to the prpert they were insuring.

John Britt said...

Kari,

I called Fortner Insurance and they search for coverage with a lot of companies.

I finally got Tapco Underwriters. and the Insurance company is Scottsdale Insurance Company. I am not sure of all the details but I think a NC company has to issue the insurnace?? Maybe someone else will know.

But that is why Fortner was a big help.

gz said...

For any UK readers I would recommend NFU Mutual (National Farmers Union) you deal with a person! BUT I would move the kiln away from the house for peace of mind as well as insurance purposes

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