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Insurance for a hobby shop wanting to sell the odd piece

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  • RV Sam
    replied
    I'm not 100% sure of this but isn't there just a few insurances companies in the world and the rest are just sellers. Don't know the real terms now. I do remember having dif agents but the company that came around to check on things was the same over the years. Pricing difference is how much the middle man wants i discovered. There biggest concerns was always where the air compressor was located ( had to put in a separate room ) and how good the dust collection system worked. Remember this was a full time business and not a hobby play shop. I think the US thing will be a concern if full or a once of...

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  • John Bartley
    replied
    Originally posted by darrin1200 View Post
    I just find that it really sucks, that the company I need to talk to, is bent on using any info I give them against me. It means I can stick with the status quo and hope for the best, what I sell is not a high risk item, or I can ask questions to get things done right and run the risk of losing my insurance or losing my biggest market. Just for clarity, I don’t sell 6 figures. Hell, I haven’t sold 5 figures yet. If I had to pay $6K a year for insurance, I would never catch up. Now that is a high number, but I can’t ask the insurance company what it would actually be, because if do and it is $6K and I say, “OK. I wont’ bother” then I have to either stop selling to my biggest market or risk my insurance abandoning me when something not related to export happens.

    Sorry for rambling, just a little rant.
    I wonder if your best bet is to talk a large number of insurers? Give them all exactly the same information and don;t stick with locals .... take your business out to the bigger centres and find out who's willing to work with you? If the information is going to go out to one company and the risk of worsening your situation is "x"%, then taking it more public is not likely to make the risk worse than "x".

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  • darrin1200
    replied
    I just find that it really sucks, that the company I need to talk to, is bent on using any info I give them against me. It means I can stick with the status quo and hope for the best, what I sell is not a high risk item, or I can ask questions to get things done right and run the risk of losing my insurance or losing my biggest market. Just for clarity, I don’t sell 6 figures. Hell, I haven’t sold 5 figures yet. If I had to pay $6K a year for insurance, I would never catch up. Now that is a high number, but I can’t ask the insurance company what it would actually be, because if do and it is $6K and I say, “OK. I wont’ bother” then I have to either stop selling to my biggest market or risk my insurance abandoning me when something not related to export happens.

    Sorry for rambling, just a little rant.

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  • darrin1200
    replied
    Originally posted by iamtooler View Post

    what company are we talking about?
    The company we were dealing with was The Personal

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  • RV Sam
    replied
    Originally posted by jaywood1207 View Post

    Why? Serious question. If you sell online what is the difference whether you sell in Canada or the US or elsewhere.
    They would just say the US is in a sue sue world over there and they don't want to get into it. Will 99% of my business was sold in the US so i would pay an "extra" $5k each year going close to $6 be the time i shut down. Even wholesalers had concerns if i shipped into the US as they would also be named in a sue sue from over there. I had not a issue but that cost me over $100,000.......

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  • jaywood1207
    replied
    Originally posted by iamtooler View Post

    what company are we talking about?
    Post #24 paragraph 5 mentions OTIP/Aviva. Guessing that is the one Kevin and Darrin are referring to.

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  • iamtooler
    replied
    Originally posted by darrin1200 View Post

    This is exactly what we ran into back in 2011. While I was in the military that company was essentially the standard default, now, I won’t recommend that insurance company to atalking about?nyone.
    what company are we talking about?

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  • darrin1200
    replied
    Originally posted by Lost in the Woods View Post

    Snip——-
    Now I know what you may be thinking, 'Kevin, they just want to sell you a Commercial Liability Policy you fool!'. Nope....they don't even offer them. I had to go find other brokers to pursue this further for different options. Long story short on that front, we simply made the decision for her to cease doin' that little music teaching gig altogether. But I'm kinda pissed about all this. It's not over yet. My wife just taught her last night this past Monday and now I'm going on a rampage from the mountaintop on this.

    While a few brokers I spoke to said that this was becoming more and more common now, most scoffed at me that others didn't know what they were talking about in making us have to get a commercial policy for such a menial type of activity. Even the music studio owner where she taught and their broker thought initially we were nuts.

    Sorry for the long winded rant. This is basically what is a practice rendition of what I'm gonna write to others about all this nonsense. Maybe even send a copy to Patrick Foran at CTV News,
    This is exactly what we ran into back in 2011. While I was in the military that company was essentially the standard default, now, I won’t recommend that insurance company to anyone.

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  • John Bartley
    replied
    Originally posted by jaywood1207 View Post

    Why? Serious question. If you sell online what is the difference whether you sell in Canada or the US or elsewhere.
    I don't know but I'll toss out a guess. In Canada, the courts tend to avoid high "punitive" penalties. They give damages and costs, but try to cap awards from going higher. I seem to remember that there was some sort of official policy about that that changed over the last couple of decades? In the USA however, which is where a USA damages case would be, the courts will give the plaintiff what they sued for if you lose, and then it's up to you to go back to get it lowered ....

    That's my crude understanding of it .
    Last edited by John Bartley; 03-13-2020, 08:07 AM.

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  • jaywood1207
    replied
    Originally posted by RV Sam View Post

    Be sure you are sitting down when you tell them you are wanting to sell in the USA.
    Why? Serious question. If you sell online what is the difference whether you sell in Canada or the US or elsewhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lost in the Woods
    replied
    Originally posted by UpperCanadaGuitars View Post

    Her next question and comment is what I want to pass along... She asked me if I build chairs. I don't, but I asked why, and she said if I built chairs my liability insurance was going to be rather expensive - because when chairs break, people get hurt.

    Has anyone else run into that? Anyone here build chairs regularly?
    Sorta, and I kind of understand why. You do something off-site for remuneration where you are not an employee, it opens up a big can of worms.

    In your case, her worry is that the chair you may build one day for sale to someone is gonna break and someone is gonna get badly hurt and sue you. Guess what, the lawyers will also name your homeowner's insurer in that as well as yourself personally and this is even though your insurer may not be liable, insurance companies simply don't want the added cost and hassle of having to deal with the process itself of denying liability.

    We just had something of this manner happen to us in a real weird way. Lemme explain.

    Last June, my wife retires from 30 years of full-time teaching working for a board of education as an employee. When she retires, I contact the insurance company for what I thought was a little know discount out there for no longer using our car for driving back and forth to work in rush hour. Apparently, there is no such discount any longer, but we're told to call back in January as we would be eligible for a discount as retirees on the homeowners policy we have with the same company for the past 25 years after being retired for 6 months.

    Not a big discount, 2%, but better in our pocket than theirs, right? I even ask if she took up some small part time job for a few hours a week whether that would affect our eligibility. Apparently it wouldn't....or so we're told.

    So I call in January to get our retirees discount and the broker I'm talking to at OTIP/Aviva says that contrary to what we were told a few months ago, that my wife doing 4 hours a week of piano teaching as a sub-contractor at a local commercially located music studio, makes us ineligible for the retirees discount. Shame on that other broker shmuck we spoke to in the summer who didn't know the proper conditions for eligibility for the retirees discount. And no, it's not that she's essentially self-employed doing this versus being an employee that makes us ineligible, ANY work for remuneration makes us ineligible. Strangely, they don't care if I still continue to work from my home, it's just my retired teacher wife for some reason.

    But here's the Pandora's box this whole thing opens up. Now we're being told that unless she gets commercial liability insurance, they will drop our homeowners insurance coverage we have with them. The only other alternative is that she quits her little one night a week music teaching job that she comes home with around $100 bucks a week with.

    I ask why this is. Especially after they say that should little Becky Sue slam her fingers with the piano cover on her precious little fingers and her parents get a lawyer, the lawyers tend to go after everybody and everything. The studio, the teacher, the studios insurer, the teachers insurer, even the landlord and their insurer as well. And even though our homeowners insurer says they can walk away from any liability, just the effort and cost of having to go thru that exercise is what they don't want to have to deal with. What a load of crap if you ask me.

    Now I know what you may be thinking, 'Kevin, they just want to sell you a Commercial Liability Policy you fool!'. Nope....they don't even offer them. I had to go find other brokers to pursue this further for different options. Long story short on that front, we simply made the decision for her to cease doin' that little music teaching gig altogether. But I'm kinda pissed about all this. It's not over yet. My wife just taught her last night this past Monday and now I'm going on a rampage from the mountaintop on this.

    While a few brokers I spoke to said that this was becoming more and more common now, most scoffed at me that others didn't know what they were talking about in making us have to get a commercial policy for such a menial type of activity. Even the music studio owner where she taught and their broker thought initially we were nuts.

    Sorry for the long winded rant. This is basically what is a practice rendition of what I'm gonna write to others about all this nonsense. Maybe even send a copy to Patrick Foran at CTV News,

    Leave a comment:


  • UpperCanadaGuitars
    replied
    Originally posted by UpperCanadaGuitars View Post
    When I first started setting up a woodworking shop at home I asked my broker if I needed extra insurance and his response was "as long as I don't allow anyone in my shop" I'm covered under my home policy. That was 30 years ago. I've been with the same broker all that time, but due to people retiring, I'm now on my 3rd agent. A few years ago I asked my agent if I should provide an updated list of tools and machinery in my shop and she acted like she didn't know anything about my shop. I explained that Peter knew all about it and so did Howard before him. She claimed there was no mention of it in my file, which was kind of surprising to me. I told her what I had been told way back when and she explained that insurance companies change their rules and fine print all the time and I should read over my policy very carefully. She also said my contents would be covered but if I was running a business, even a hobby business, I had to get an addition to my policy. My shop has been pretty inactive the last 3 years and everything I've built in those 3 years has been for me or my family so I'm not going to worry about it just yet. However, I'm in the process of giving my shop a makeover so that my son and I can get a bit more serious with our guitar making. based on what I've learned from my agent and the stories here I'm going to make sure I have all the bases covered.
    So after posting this the other day and re-reading this entire thread I thought I would ask my broker a few questions "off the record". I started by telling her my shop is currently "out of service" for a thorough cleaning and reno and there will not be anything built in there until further notice. So I asked her some general questions about getting proper coverage when I get back to work in there. Her biggest concern was what I would be building. So I told her in the past 30 years my projects have mainly been guitars and small pieces of furniture for family and friends - which is all true.

    Her next question and comment is what I want to pass along... She asked me if I build chairs. I don't, but I asked why, and she said if I built chairs my liability insurance was going to be rather expensive - because when chairs break, people get hurt.

    Has anyone else run into that? Anyone here build chairs regularly?

    Leave a comment:


  • RV Sam
    replied
    Originally posted by DGB_WAT View Post
    Thanks for all of the suggestions and feedback on my original question about insurance.

    I'm not comfortable with selling my work and hoping that my insurance company doesn't find out if I make a claim. I want to be able to showcase my work on Instagram and other online portals which the insurance company can easily access if they are looking for reasons to deny a claim.

    Based on previous posts, I will contact Allstate and Ayr Famers Mutual. I'll report back here with what I find.

    David
    Be sure you are sitting down when you tell them you are wanting to sell in the USA.

    Leave a comment:


  • iamtooler
    replied
    That 10k figure was around 35 years ago when I started a business. The value of hobby machines is so low that you will never be making a claim on them unless part of a majour claim. Maintaining a storefront is obviously a different catagory for insurance.
    Rob

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  • smallerstick
    replied
    I discussed this question with my broker yesterday and here is my takeaway from that conversation: (1) most important; do an inventory of your shop contents so the carrier knows what he is insuring and can recommend appropriate coverage for you. (2) your small home-based business must not include walk-in trade. (3) I was told; "When your business amounts to more than $10,000 annually, call me and we will revisit the question".
    Keeping your broker/insurer fully informed of your situation is the best way to assure adequate protection for your shop.

    Leave a comment:

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