Whether you’ve studied design theory and ergonomics or your hobby has turned into a career, you’ve now started your professional organizer business. However, many people who start a professional organizer business fail to properly plan for all of the risks in their industry – especially when operating from a home office. So, here are 6 risks professional organizers should look out for.
6 risks that professional organizers face.
1. Bodily injury.
If a client or potential client is injured in your office, you could be held liable for that person’s medical bills. You could also face a lawsuit since the injury happened because of something that involves your business, like a loose cord or a puddle on the walkway to your home.
When talking about smaller or home-based professional organizer businesses, costs like these can break your business. However, if you have general liability coverage, your insurance company can help you cover the costs of both the injured’s medical bills and any legal fees associated with the injury.
It’s important to note, though, that if your organizer business is home-based, the general liability portion of your normal home insurance plan may not cover this type of situation if the injury is related to your business. Such coverage would have to be added to your existing homeowners’ policy or bought as an entirely separate policy since your homeowners policy isn’t quite built to cover multiple people coming in and out of a home office on a regular basis. So, make sure that you inform your agent of the new use of your space.
2. Property related to your business.
There are a ton of organizational tools that professional organizers use for their businesses. So, if you’re transporting or storing those tools, containers, or even computers that you have for your business, there’s a chance that they could be damaged in your care. What if a fire hit your office? What if your office was broken into and your tools were stolen or vandalized?
You can be protected against these situations with personal property insurance. It works a little differently than a normal business’s property insurance, especially if you’re based out of a home office. The business version of personal property insurance is mainly built for covering the inventory of someone who provides a service. It can help you cover the costs of replacing important office supplies, plus any damage done to your clients’ property if you were storing it for them.
3. Damage to your client’s property.
This is probably one of the first things you think of when considering what can go wrong for professional organizers. If you’re found responsible for the destruction of a client’s property that is not easily repaired or replaceable, you could be in for a major financial loss.
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4. Professional Liability.
As someone who offers a service based on professional advice, you always want to make sure that you’re giving the right guidance to your clients. But what if your guidance ends up costing your client a lot of money?
For example, when organizing someone else’s clutter, you might advise them to throw away an odd knick-knack. If the client finds out later that that knick-knack was a priceless family heirloom or that it was valued at a lot more than they thought, you could be held liable for the amount of money that the item was worth.
Professional liability insurance can protect professional organizers from the financial loss your business may face after this type of incident. However, there are several ways to prevent this type of risk before it happens:
- Let your clients decide themselves exactly what to throw out.
- If you do have to make the decision for them, take an inventory and pictures of the items you move to document your organization process.
- Require your clients to initial by the items they decided to keep, sell, throw away or give away. Keep these records on file for at least 7 years.
5. Risks associated with payments, records, and transporting goods.
There are tons of things you may have to transport back and forth from your office to your clients’ home. Important papers, receipts, records, laptops, and even storage units that you plan to install in their home can potentially be damaged in transit. If lost or damaged beyond repair, your business could take on a huge bill to replace everything.
As odd as it sounds, inland marine insurance can help you cover the cost of replacing items related to accounts receivable, business computers and technology, valuable papers & records, and anything else that you may transport to help a client organize their space. Despite the name, inland marine insurance isn’t meant to insure boats. The term comes from a time where cargo ships were the major mode of transport for most items.
6. Loss of income.
Maybe a disaster struck your home office, or a fire burned it down. Whatever the incident, if your business is shut down for a significant period of time and you depend on your professional organizer business for income, you could be in a world of trouble financially.
That’s where loss of income or business interruption insurance can help. With this type of coverage, your insurance company can help reimburse you for a portion of your income when you cannot conduct normal business due to a covered loss.
Other insurance coverages for professional organizers to consider.
If your professional organizer business has grown a lot over the past few years, the types of insurance you’ll need are going to extend further than when you had just a home office. These are some other coverages to consider if you’ve moved on to bigger and better:
- A Business Owners’ Policy (BOP)
- Workers compensation
- Hired/Non-Owned or Commercial Vehicle Insurance
- Cyber Liability Insurance
- Commercial Umbrella Insurance
Overall, there are tons of risks that professional organizers need to protect themselves from. Fortunately, our agents are pros at identifying your specific risks and finding the right insurance to fit your needs. To start protecting your professional organizer business like a pro and save tons of money on customized business insurance, call our agents, fill out our easy online form, or click on our chat window to start speaking with our insurance professionals.