I rent my house and am trying to start a home business. The only problem is my landlord's insurance has a clause that will cancel his coverage if there is ANY kind of business being run from the rental (even if I sold bookmarks on ebay!). His insurance company has been completely inflexible in the issue and doesn't seem to be presenting my landlord with any options. Does ANYONE have any advice for me? What options does he have? What should we be looking for? It seems highly unlikely to me that there is NO insurance policy that will cover his personal property as well as a rental with a business. Or am I wrong?
This problem has been going on for nearly a month now and I really need to find an answer. Any insight you could share would be wonderful. Thank you!
Edited to add: I have already looked into personal liability insurance and my landlord knew this when he spoke with his people. Apparently it doesn't matter how much insurance I have, they would still cancel his policy.
Hello. Sorry to hear you are going through all this! I was an insurance agent for a number of years a couple of years back and unfortunately every state is different with their insurance laws. In PA a landlord's rental insurance policy typical only covers the building itself and the personal contents of the landlord (fridge, stove, etc) and the tenant would need to get a renters insurance policy. In most of the landlord policies there is a clause that states that there can be no home based business, it depends on the insurance company and their rules and regulations. The best bet would be to call the various insurance companies in your state and ask if they provide a landlord policy that allows the tenant to have a commercial business as long as the tenant has a personal liability policy. It will be extremely tough though. You may need to have the landlord have the property rezoned and he probably will not want to do that. Basically the insurance company is concerned with liability (if your customer would trip and fall, etc and then sue-the customer can technically sue you AND the landlord) and also damage to property if you were baking (if this is the business) and had a fire and burned down part of the house, etc. Not sure why they would care if you did an online business, that makes NO sense to me unless the landlord's policy covers your personal belongings and they are concerned about your inventory if something would happen (fire, theft, etc). You should see if there is a separate rider that he can add onto the policy such as a umbrella policy (they are $1 million and up liability policies). You can also contact the insurance commissioner in your state and get some facts:
What type of business are you thinking about starting? Hopefully I helped you some lol. Every state's insurance regulations are different which can be a pain. I would definitely start with the insurance commissioner, they would know best.