When it came time to renew my business insurance, I shopped around – calling various agents and spending a considerable amount of time. A few agents’ quotes were unreasonably high. Some couldn’t give me the coverage I needed due to my industry and earnings.
A few quotes were even ridiculously low and just weren’t adequate for my business needs. Others wouldn’t insure me because they didn’t understand my business or they didn’t like the fact that I frequently use independent contractors.
Then I talked with Chuck Snyder of Insurance Partners Agency, Inc. As a specialist with NAPOsure.com, Chuck understood my business and was able to recommend the right coverage for my situation. It is so important to have the right types of coverage in our profession as professional organizers; I never knew just how much it mattered until Chuck explained it to me.
He knows our business and has the patience to clearly explain the details and importance of insurance for those in our industry – it is not unusual at all for Chuck to spend at least 45 minutes on a first phone call with a prospective client.
Chuck Snyder Recommends Five Areas of Coverage:
1. Comprehensive General Liability Coverage
“Whether you have a home-based business or operate out of a separate location, as a professional organizer you need insurance because you create liability when you provide services for others for a fee,” Chuck said. “First, you have to have basic general liability coverage that protects you in case you’re accused of bodily injury or property damage to others.”
2. Care, Custody and Control Coverage
“One of the first and most important services professional organizers provide is coaching and teaching clients how to make their own final decisions to keep, sell, give away, or throw away items. During that process, it’s not unusual for you to handle your clients’ goods. Make sure that your property damage coverage is properly endorsed to protect yourself in the event you drop a client’s goods while handling them.”
3. Professional Errors and Omissions Liability Protection
“Errors and omissions liability protects you if you are sued by a client who blames you for a financial loss that they feel they’ve incurred. This loss could be due to something you may have done (an error), or something you should have done, but didn’t (an omission). This type of insurance also protects you from clients who make decisions on their own (based on counseling advice that you gave) and then blame you when they are not happy with the decision or outcome.” Chuck cited an example of an “error”: a client accuses you of advising her to give away or throw away a blue rooster lamp that her cousin now says is worth $50,000. Since you handled the organizing, the client blames you and decides to sue. To help guard against these types of situations, Chuck recommends that you take good digital photographs of the home prior to beginning your work and then create an inventory sheet listing each item. Next to each item on the list the client must initial each decision – indicating whether to keep the piece, give it away, sell it, or throw it away.
4. Business Contents or Property Coverage
Don’t forget to insure your own business as well. “A lot of professional organizers run their offices out of their homes and most, if not all, homeowners’ insurance policies exclude anything having to do with business operations. Whether it’s a desk, computer, postage, printed brochures, client contracts or inventory sheets, everything used in a business is considered business property. It’s especially important to cover the computer hardware and software, such as programs for photo documentation, forms, inventory sheets, etc.”
5. Non-Owned and Hired Auto Liability Protection
“Many organizers set up their companies as LLC’s or sole proprietorships where their business policy covers that business entity. However, organizers then usually drive their own vehicles (titled in their personal name) when doing business. In this case, their personal autos are not automatically covered. Make sure to tell your auto insurance agent that you use your car to promote and market your business – the agent should then make sure to add the appropriate coverage.”
NAPOsure.com has worked with NAPO’s Board of Directors to ensure that membership in NAPO includes the opportunity to get proper insurance protection. I highly advise any professional organizer, whether a NAPO member or not, to make sure that you get the coverage you need to protect yourself and your business.
If you’d like to contact Chuck Snyder with Insurance Partners Agency, Inc., he can be reached at 800-860-7660 x 215 or email@example.com.