Risk Considerations for the Professional Home Handyman: Insuring Your Tools, Equipment & Supplies
There may have been a time when the home handyman’s tool chest contained no more than a hammer, screwdriver (maybe two), a few random nails and screws, pliers and duct tape. But those days have passed. To stay competitive, today’s handyman must offer services that go beyond those of previous generations, and the tools, equipment and supplies needed for these services — which may include landscaping, washing, electrical/plumbing work or even a fullroom remodel — can be specialized.
As the type of work (and the stuff needed to perform it) continues to evolve, one principle remains unchanged: Without access to functional tools, equipment and supplies, you won’t get the job done, and if you don’t get the job done, you don’t get paid. Here are questions to think about:
1) Have you considered the effect a loss to your tools, equipment and/or supplies would have on your income? For example, would delays in completion adversely affect how much you get paid for the job? What costs would you incur such as renting replacement equipment — to avoid a delay?
2) What would it cost to replace everything you need? For example, if someone steals your circular saw and drill from your garage, the financial consequences may not be severe. However, a single vehicle accident could easily destroy your power tools, ladder, pressure washer, lawn equipment and anything else you may need to fulfill your obligations to your customers.
If such a loss does occur, could the blow to your bottom line be lessened by purchasing insurance?
Is Your Loss Insurable?
Some reasons why a tool becomes unusable — such as wear and tear, rust or obsolescence — are not insurable. Preventative loss measures such as proper storage and maintenance can prolong the use of such items and help to prevent a loss from effecting your bottom line. Other reasons for loss — such as theft, fire, or vehicle accident — may be insurable, and possessing adequate insurance will help to lessen the effect on your bottom line.
What Insurance Do You Need?
The answer to this important question begins with a call to your Sentry Insurance Group Insurance Agent at 512-535-5683. Your agent will help you identify what insurance products are available to help you avoid the potentially high-cost of replacing your damaged tools, equipment or supplies out of-pocket. For example, your agent can help you with the following questions:
I already have personal insurance, and my business is small. Do I really need business insurance for my stuff?
It’s true that some homeowners and renters insurance policies offer limited coverage for business property when damaged or stolen. However, such limitations can be severe, and relying on a personal insurance policy to sufficiently cover business-related losses is dangerous.
Can insurance for my business property be added to my personal insurance?
Depending on the insurance company, it may be possible to add some coverage for your business property to your homeowners or renters insurance policy. However, your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent will likely recommend that you secure a separate insurance policy for your business property that may also include other essential insurance coverage like business liability. Will my insurance automatically cover items I’ve recently purchased? Depending on the insurance policy, there may be enough coverage already included to cover damage to newly acquired tools, equipment and supplies without needing to make specific changes to your policy. However, other types of insurance may not automatically include coverage for non-specified items. To be safe, notify your Sentry Insurance Group Insurance Agent when you make a new purchase.
What should I do if I suffer a loss?
You’ve done everything possible to avoid a loss, but sometimes, bad things still happen. Perhaps a wind or hailstorm damaged the garage where your business property is stored, or perhaps someone broke into your trailer and stole your equipment. To expedite getting your claim paid, be prepared to provide your insurance company with as much information as possible as soon as possible. For example, don’t wait for a loss to occur to take inventory, which includes pictures, video, receipts, serial numbers and any other information that can help establish a value for your stuff. Should a loss occur, collect as much information about the cause — such as photo or video evidence of building damage or trailer break-in — and call your Sentry Insurance Group Insurance Agent for assistance.
Insure & Be Confident
Every successful handyman takes pride in being able to perform a variety of tasks at a high level of professionalism. But when it comes to insurance, only a Sentry Insurance Group Insurance Agent can deliver the service you expect. Call today. Sentry Insurance Group Insurance Agent at 512-535-5683