Jewelry Business Help: Insurance Coverage for the Jewelry Designer
When starting a jewelry business, there are so many things to do and decisions to make. There are fun decisions like naming your business and picking your products. However, there are also decisions that have to happen to ensure you are protecting yourself. Viki Lareau, a bead and business guru shares her advice on finding the right insurance for your jewelry business.
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If your business is based out of your home, many people assume that your jewelry inventory is something you simply add on to your homeowner’s insurance policy. On the face of it, that makes sense to me as well! However, after spending a good amount of time this year updating all my commercial policies, I found some more complete information.
Because my inventory increases each year, my commercial policy needs to be reevaluated annually. I always want to make sure I have enough coverage should there ever be a break-in at our store. I also want coverage for inventory that may be lost or stolen when I travel to shows.
If you have not made your business official yet but have still accumulated quite a bit of inventory (which, let’s face it, is how many of us got into selling our jewelry in the first place!), you’ll want to add it to your homeowner’s policy as “personal property.” With many insurers, this will require a special rider that specifies the inventory items and their value. The rider may require an additional premium.
I always recommend getting your business licenses and making everything “legal” as soon as you are committed to building a beading business. With that comes getting commercial insurance to cover your inventory of jewelry and loose beads and findings. This insurance should also cover any losses you incur when you travel with inventory (for example, when you’re exhibiting at a bead show or doing trunk shows). Your own insurance agent should be able to get quotes for you easily.
One important tip: Having an alarm system will lower your rates significantly, plus it’s a good idea anyway. Also, be sure to ask your agent about liability coverage.
In general, acting as a licensed business and paying for coverage under a commercial insurance policy is money well spent, especially if you do a lot of shows. I’m for anything that gives us a little more peace of mind and lets us concentrate on our jewelry!
This article was originally published in the June/July 2007 issue of Beadwork magazine.
Viki Lareau is the author of Marketing and Selling Your Handmade Jewelry: The Complete Guide to Turning Your Passion into Profit. She has also taught business and beading classes nationwide.
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