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Betty & Lou Chypre, Eljay the Web-Dancing Frog TM
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~ Do Frogs Need Insurance?~

No but you do, by heck!

©1996-2007 Betty Chypre


  . Hiya Gang!

(I really wanted to say “Yo Dude!” - but my editor is so conservative, she’d probably drop her mouse.)   I popped up out of hibernation in time to do research for this column. If I waited for Betty to wake me up, -it would be the dog-days of August. She hates it when I do a spiffy research job and she has to give me column space .

I found out that many of you are uninsured. Tsk, tsk. Some of you have insurance, - but you probably pay too much for it! How much is too much? Well, Les Mor’s agent in New Jersey wants $500 a year. That’s too much! (By the way, Les was our cover artist for the JUNE '2000 publication, - and will join us on our website shortly.)

Well, I Have Homeowner’s Insurance

—I’m Covered, Right?

Picture this: You take a special order, and your customer calls to let you know she will pick it up on her way home from work. The snow is melting, and you’re busy boxing her order. You hear the car stop, but no one knocks on the door, so finally you look out the window and see her lying at the bottom of your stairs.

Thank goodness you’re insured, right? (Yes!) Your home-owner’s insurance will cover her hospitalization, -right? (Wrong.)

She’s there on business, - (yours.) Your home-owner’s insurance usually does not cover business-related injuries.You need business insurance coverage .

How about the little monsters who are playing tag in and out of your booth? One falls into the corner of your table and injures his eye. ($$$$$! – Yup.) That’s why you need business liability insurance. I just finished researching home-based business insurance; this is a specialty field which most underwriters don't provide; they supply business insurance to store-fronts, which is more costly.

Business personal property , also known as inventory and tools is also covered by this underwriter in their business insurance policy. When you return to your van and find the lock’s broken and several boxes of your inventory stolen, - you’re covered under business personal property insurance .

Many people think their home-owner’s insurance covers them, because their business is ‘only a part-time affair, not really a business.’ Actually, as soon as you sell something, you are ‘in business’ from every standpoint, including sales tax and liability reasons.

A studio coverage rider is available on some homeowner’s policies at an additional cost. Sometimes it worth it, but you’ll have to find out what kind of coverage it provides, and under what conditions. Asking “What if . . .?” questions is a good way to research a policy, -and always look for confirmation in writingto confirm what you are told. Questions like:

What if there’s a fire and my tools and inventory are damaged?”

“What if someone falls on my steps and gets hurt?”

“What if my display falls and injures someone?” etc .

A homeowner’s policy, even with a studio rider, will not follow you to shows, nor provide coverage for product stolen from your vehicle.

If there’s a liability claim, your assets (bank account, car, salary, other income, first-born male child, etc. ) can be attached if you can't pay the claim.

High winds can lift canopies, weights and all, and throw them across a field. I remember my friend Norma telling me about a show in which a tornado swept down through the middle of the show area and lifted tents and canopies and threw a heavy butcher’s block table almost 50 feet. The adjoining area was untouched.

Since this happened at two a.m. there were no spectator injuries, just product and display damage. Bad news, but since there was no damage to nearby vehicles, and no personal-injuries, I bet the exhibitors breathed a sigh of relief and got over it,- fast!

Uninsured craftsmen were on the phone tracking down liability insurance the following Monday morning. It takes just a single incident to prove the importance of liability insurance coverage.

Business insurance companies usually cover retail stores.  Craftsmen are much lower risk. We don’t fit in the same high risk-category, but if a company carries only one type of policy from only one company,- and their policies are not geared to micro-businesses like ours, the fees will be more expensive than a policy that is geared to your low-risk needs.

Insurance policies underwritten by RLI are a good starting point for research. They are one of the few underwriters who specialize in insuring home-based businesses, not storefront retail businesses. Their policies are available from John Carriero & Son, Inc. (800) 777-1344 - ask for Theresa.  Their policies are reasonably priced.

Although the Base Policy cost varies from about $225 - $280 for craftsmen,  for that price you can get $300,000 liability coverage and $5,000 business personal property coverage. The range in price will depend on your geographical location.

For an additional $60 (+/-) you can get a million dollars’ liability coverage, and increase your personal property coverage at the same time. You can also buy coverage in-between those amounts for less than $60.

Musicians, clowns and entertainers are at the high-end of the scale for basic coverage, - probably close to $300, with an additional $60 for million-dollar coverage policy. Why would anyone have less than a million dollars coverage? Lawsuit-happy people think in terms of telephone numbers, - and so must you.  Protect yourself. (Compared to most business insurance policies, - you can save $150-200 a year, and get very good coverage, indeed. Read on, little buddy.)

I called Teresa at John Carriero Company, (1-800-777-1344.) They are managing agents which means you can deal with them directly. If you prefer, they can give you contact information for someone in your own area, but the prices they quote you for coverage will not necessarily be the price another agent will charge for the same policy. It pays to do your research.  The fee may vary even for the same policy, underwritten by R.L.I. depending on the agent and your geographic location.

The above company is licensed to provide coverage in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, - and several other states.

Don’t tell me a tale of woe, next time we meet. I want to see happy faces. Tell me you saved money and got good insurance coverage! Tell me you love me. Ooops, here comes Betty, - better not! She doesn’t want to hear about me, she wants praise for the publication, for the layout, for her silly paper-shuffling, for . . .

 Hiya Babe. Didja bring me the dark chocolate you promised me for Valentine’s Day? Whaat? You forgot, -again?  Listen, you’ve got the worst case of C.R.S.*  I've ever seen. Why don’t you take Gingko?  Man, - I’m going back into hibernation. Without chocolate, life is boring. Leave my next assignment on my voicemail. I am too through . See you on the Queen’s birthday, - or before the next lunar eclipse, -whichever comes first.

Yours truly,

  ElJay .C.

 The World’s First Webdancing Frogä


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