From the FAQ files — can business and personal mix?

In the insurance business, surprises are not a good thing. Independent agents work very closely with policyholders to make sure they have all the information necessary to provide ample insurance protection in the event of a loss.

Equally important is that policyholders themselves keep agents apprised of changes that may impact coverage. Asking questions is a good thing.

For instance, when does a hobby become a home-based business that needs additional coverage? Let’s say Kate is known throughout her community as an excellent cake baker and often is asked to apply her craft for special celebrations. Does she need additional coverage? What if someone picking up a cake slips on flour in her kitchen and breaks a leg? Will homeowner’s coverage apply?

Another example. Ernie is a skilled craftsman and loves building furniture in his basement workshop. He sells his pieces at a local consignment shop. Does he need business coverage? How about Sally, who does home party sales in the evening to supplement her income? Clearly, there are many variations of home-based businesses.

Likewise, each insurance company may have its own standards related to such ventures and the need to purchase additional coverage. If you are involved in a home-based business similar to the ones discussed above, speak with your independent agent to make sure you have the proper insurance protection.

When it comes to insurance, nobody wants to uncover any surprises.