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Insurance insights: new products available for home-based businesses.

Over the past decade, the number of home-based businesses in the United States has grown tremendously. In fact, a 2002 survey by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) found there were 12 million home-based businesses in America. This survey also reported that a majority of the home-based businesses were not properly insured. Madelyn Flannagan, IIABA vice president of education and research, stated, "Proper insurance coverage can protect business owners from losses that can devastate a home-based business."

MTNA, through the Robert H. Clarkson Insurance Agency, now has available a variety of new insurance products geared toward home-based businesses.

Home-based businesses, including music studios, are at risk for significant losses associated with accidental damage, theft, natural disasters, automobile accidents and liability if an employee or business guest is hurt while visiting the home-based business. Many people may not be aware of gaps in their current coverage. For instance, someone using a personal automobile to drop off the mail at the post office on the way to their music studio has an accident. Is this covered under a personal automobile insurance policy or the studio's business policy?

There are many other similar examples of gaps in insurance coverage. The IIABA recommends the following:

* Check your homeowner's and automobile policies; homeowner's insurance (and personal automobile insurance) is not meant to cover your business exposure and, in most cases, excludes it specifically.

* Check your business insurance policy options: there are several choices to consider, and many can be tailored to suit your specific needs.

* Protect yourself: this is your full-time occupation and, as a business owner, your life, health, disability and worker's compensation insurance play a vital role in overall protection.

Insurance coverage provides protection for the income and business regardless of the size of the home-based business. Also, the coverage gives the business owner the security and peace of mind as the business grows and produces more income.

Customized insurance policies are a way to ensure the best possible coverage under all circumstances. Business liability protection will provide coverage for damages in the event of a legal claim for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury or advertising injury. Adding loss of income and extra expenses coverage provides protection should the business be forced to suspend operations due to property damage, while receiving ongoing operating expenses incurred during the restoration of the business. Business personal property, valuable papers and records (print or electronic version) and equipment breakdown are other coverages available. And the best news--home-based business insurance premiums in most cases are fully tax-deductible as a business expense. Business owner's insurance also is available to businesses that have leased studios or office space.

Don't settle for a one-size-fits-all solution. Because most business owners (whether home-based or otherwise) want to close the gaps as soon as they are aware of them, the Robert H. Clarkson Insurance Agency will work with members to expedite this coverage. RHC will work diligently to secure the proper coverage, tailored for each member's personal needs.

Each MTNA member will receive RHC's undivided attention to determine specific insurance needs. The customized policies for music professionals are provided to ensure the appropriate coverage is received by all MTNA members. RHC welcomes the opportunity to provide all members and their businesses with an insurance quotation. To accommodate busy schedules, online applications are available at www.rhcgroup.com twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Or e-mail your request to mtna@rhcgroup.com or contact Nancy Considine toll-free at (800) 338-7148.

Tammy Wallace has been with the Robert H. Clarkson Insurance Agency since October 2002 as marketing director and MTNA program coordinator. She has nearly fifteen Years' experience in the insurance industry and holds life, health, and property and casualty insurance licenses.
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Title Annotation:Professional Resources
Author:Wallace, Tammy
Publication:American Music Teacher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:621
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