Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Your Home Office?

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Those who are purchasing renters insurance for the first time they often have some questions about just what this insurance product does for policy holders. Basically, renter’s insurance covers any loss of personal items in the home as a result of different types of accidents or damages to housing space. Renter’s insurance is similar to a homeowner’s insurance policy, except that in the case of homeowner’s insurance, the policy covers furnishings, personal goods and the building itself, while renter’s insurance just covers the property or liability of the renter, with a separate policy held by the landlord covering the actual building.

Renter’s Insurance For the Home Office

Lots of us now work from home. Numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that work-at-home situations are expanding greatly under new economic conditions and market practices. Clerical workers in particular are increasingly based from their homes. That leads up to a common question when discussing renter’s insurance: does the renter’s insurance cover property and materials in the home office? This is a kind of tricky question, since one could argue that materials used for business could also be personal possessions or materials. For example, a multi-use printer or fax machine could have different labels attached it according to how it is classified in any type of insurance claim situation.

The short answer to the above question is that many renter’s insurance policies specifically exclude items used for a home business. This makes more sense for extensive home businesses where large and valuable business items may be kept in the home and used exclusively for business. However, in some cases, ambiguity about the nature of business items or possessions can cause some misunderstandings over renter’s insurance claims.

How to Get a Home Office Covered

Lots of renter’s insurance policies include additional riders or endorsements that will provide for covering home office materials, especially for a less expensive home office such as one that is used only for computer-related work activities. Customers have to ask insurer representatives for these kinds of extra coverages when they are negotiating a premium price for their renter’s insurance policy. Don’t wait until claim time to ask whether the home office is covered-get it covered up front to be sure you can include business related items in your inventory list for renter’s insurance coverage.

Additional Concerns with Renter’s Insurance

In addition to the question of covering home business materials, those purchasing renter’s insurance should also ask about what specific conditions are covered by their policy. Some policies cover fire, flood and earthquake damage, while others do not. Some policies also do not provide for accidents caused by human error, including certain kinds of water damage. Go over the policy in detail with your insurance company to make sure you understand what you are covered for and how you would be paid in a claim.

Attention to the above will help those who work from home to make sure that all of their investments are covered with renter’s insurance policies.

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