Is your hobby considered a business? – Part 1

Have you ever thought about how your hobby can affect your insurance needs? Hobbies often require a large investment in private property and may even create some legal responsibility to other persons or their property.

Hobbies typically involve an interest or activity undertaken for pleasure by either collectors or enthusiasts. A collector collects property that is of attraction to him or her.  This includes people who collect stamps, art, coins, autos, antiques, comic books, baskets, sport keepsakes, etc. An enthusiast also collects a certain type of property in order to pursue a physical interest. Examples are hunters, musicians, painters, sculptors, cyclists, and enthusiasts of many types, such as fans of model or radio control planes, helicopters, etc.

Collectors focus on the character of the property being collected. With enthusiasts, besides attention to the property exposure, there should be equal emphasis on the liability exposure that is present in their activity.

Property Coverage Needs:  First and foremost, personal property should always be protected and most homeowner policies provide minimal protection for collectible property. Why? Because these items are often fragile and highly valuable depending on its size. The value of collectibles kept in one room may be more valuable than all of the rest of your household items. Regular homeowner coverage is not designed to cover high-valued property that can be easily destroyed, go missing, or be highly susceptible to theft.

When a policy does fully cover collectible property, it may not be enough. Coverage of special property is important as it is more vulnerable to loss than a family room sofa is. It can be beneficial to buy an endorsement to add additional coverage for your collectibles to your homeowner policy. Depending upon value and character of your collectibles, you may also want to consider buying specialty coverage, which makes consideration for replacement cost and for property that appreciates in value.

Liability Coverage Needs: If your hobby involves more hands-on activity, then be sure to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Can there be any potential dangers with the hobby?
  • Does the hobby involve frequent traveling?
  • Does the hobby attract frequent visitors to your home?
  • Do you publish hobbyist newsletters or give advice to others?
  • Do you actively sell or trade property on or away from your home?
  • Does your activity involve equipment that’s noticeably dangerous to others?

Remember to make sure that you are protected against any legal liability related to your hands-on hobby activity.

Protecting your hobby is no joke.  Luckily, many aspects of a hobby are covered by a homeowners policy. However, please be sure to read part 2 of this series as your hobbies activity may need special or even business coverage! Making sure you have adequate protection will keep your leisure time happy and care-free. Don’t let your enjoyment be interrupted!

If you have any questions about your existing policy, are inquiring information about a possible future policy or need further information, please call us at (631) 738-7300 or get a quick quote at www.vrpinsurance.com

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January 14th, 2013 by VRP Insurance Agency