insurance

How to Know When Your Side Gig Needs Insurance

5 Minute Read

A side gig is a great way to rake in extra cash and reach your money goals. But many folks don’t realize their personal home and auto insurance policies won’t cover work-related claims.

Without proper coverage, a big lawsuit, property loss or business interruption could put your finances at risk. An independent insurance agent can unpack the right coverage for you, but for now here’s what you need to know to keep your business and your budget intact.

Cover Your Home-Business Bases

When you’re gazelle intense about taking control of your money, a nine-to-five job doesn’t always cut it. A home-based business is a blessing because you can up your cash flow without missing out on precious family time.

But have you ever thought about the risks? Consider these potential scenarios:

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  • You bake cupcakes for a birthday party, and someone has an allergic reaction.
  • Your client’s dog bites a stranger on a walk around the neighborhood park.
  • The mailman breaks his ankle on a loose step delivering a business package to your home.
  • You get in a fender bender running a business errand.
  • Your laptop is stolen and contains sensitive customer information.
  • You post someone’s photo to your website without their consent.
  • A house fire destroys your product inventory.

Let’s face it. Your side gig might be a safe bet 99.9% of the time—but life doesn’t always go as planned. Business insurance adds an extra layer of protection so bad luck doesn’t leave you broke.

The good news is business insurance doesn’t have to break the bank. Brandon Smith, one of Dave’s insurance Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) in Missoula, Montana, estimates that most business policies will cost $300–500 a year on average.

“The rate is going to equal the risk,” he says. “We want to cover what would financially devastate you, not inconvenience you.”

Got a Sharing Gig? Mind Your Coverage Gaps

Dave’s a fan of sharing gigs like Uber and Airbnb because they offer easy options for boosting your income. You get to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and meet interesting people. There’s a lot to love!

But these services ride a fine line between work and leisure, and your personal insurance policy may not be enough.

Brandon serves on a couple of insurance advisory councils and says sharing services are a hot topic industry-wide right now. “With Uber, you turn the app on, you’re in business. You turn the app off, you’re not in business,” he explains. “There’s a lot to look at, not just in terms of liability but also medical payments, uninsured motorist, comprehensive and collision.”

Airbnb presents similar issues. “It’s difficult to get a policy for a short-term rental when it’s just a week here, a week there, and a primary residence in between,” Brandon says.

So what’s the solution? There’s still a lot of gray area, but options do exist. For instance, some insurance carriers offer add-on policies—called riders or endorsements—to bridge gaps between your personal insurance and coverage offered by sharing service companies.

If you’re considering a sharing gig to earn extra cash, that’s great! Just sit down with an insurance agent first to ensure you have proper coverage. You might pay a few hundred dollars up front. But the right policy could save you thousands in the end.

Signs You Need Extra Coverage

Whether or not you need business insurance really depends on your risk. But these questions are a good place to start.

  • Do you use your car to get work done?
  • Do customers or business packages come to your home?
  • Do you work with children or animals?
  • Do you process credit or debit cards or handle other sensitive information?
  • Could anyone get hurt or sick as a result of your business?
  • Is your side business a primary source of income?
  • Would a lawsuit or inventory loss leave you broke?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, personal insurance may not be enough. An experienced insurance agent can weigh your risks and determine how much coverage is right for you.

Here’s Your Next Step

You’ve worked too hard to see your greatest dreams wrecked by your worst nightmare. If you’re considering a side business—or you don’t have proper coverage for your current one—talk to an independent insurance agent today.

An independent agent works for you instead of a single insurance carrier. With access to a whole network of providers, they can find the best price on the coverage that’s right for you. It doesn’t cost a thing to sit down with a pro and discuss your options.

Looking for an independent agent you can trust? Give Dave’s insurance ELPs a try. Your ELP is a top agent in your area who knows how hard you’ve worked to take control of your money.

“I’ve been there, and I’m a believer in it. When we were in their seats several years ago, we had third and fourth jobs and worked from 7 a.m. to midnight seven days a week,” Brandon says. “When I sit across the desk, I’m not trying to sell an additional endorsement or premium. I’m trying to protect people because I know the reward is much greater than the risk.”

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