You’ve always had an eye for colors, textures, and shapes. Now you get the distinct satisfaction of helping clients achieve their ideal living spaces. You’re a whiz with a measuring tape and a custom palette, but what about the business side of your operations? One in four interior designers were self-employed in 2014, based on reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While running an independent business gives you great flexibility and opportunity, it also puts you firmly in charge of your own financial health. How can you protect all that you have worked for?
Business insurance for interior designers covers your company against general and professional liability claims that could otherwise lead to sky-high legal fees and damages. Whether you’re a sole proprietorship or operate with a few employees, protecting yourself with the right insurance coverage should be at the top of your to-do list. CoverHound helps professionals like you compare policy options and find the best plan.
Liability for Professional Duties
Interior design includes giving clients professional advice. What if they take that advice and something goes awry? They could sue. Professional liability insurance (also called errors and omissions) is the proper business insurance for interior designers to protect against claims of negligence related to the job at hand. Similarly, clients can allege breach of contract for late or incorrect work. As Gail Doby of the American Society of Interior Designers writes on LinkedIn, it’s crucial to discuss deadlines before signing any paperwork. An unrealistic deadline could lead to a lawsuit against you. Doby also recommends professional liability insurance to protect against business failure or bankruptcy.
Take this example from QPractice: A 10-foot-high, 250-pound mirror fell on unsuspecting diners at Balthazar in Manhattan back in 2015. One man had to go to the hospital because of his injuries. A designer in a situation like this could face serious liability for personal and financial costs on the grounds of negligence in their professional duties. Errors and omissions insurance covers defense costs, settlements, and claims from lawsuits alleging a breach of contract or job-related negligence.
Third-Party Injury and Property Damage
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), “You or a member of your organization can make a mistake that injures someone or damages property. Your mistake could harm the reputation or interfere with the privacy of a customer, client, competitor or member of the general public. When such injuries occur, you may be legally liable to pay damages to someone who suffers a loss due to your actions or inaction.” This is where commercial general liability (CGL) insurance comes in. If you are found liable for bodily injury, property damage, or advertising damage in a non-professional capacity, CGL can pay the damages. It can also cover medical bills for third parties injured because of your operations. It’s commonly called “slip ‘n’ fall” coverage.
Designers who custom design and sell their own products need sufficient product liability coverage under their CGL plan. Hypothetically, let’s say the designer from the Balthazar disaster had crafted the fallen mirror themselves. In the event of a negligence lawsuit, their product liability insurance could kick in on behalf of their product.
In Case of Business Interruption
One way to get more comprehensive business insurance for interior designers is to choose a Business Owners Package (BOP) that rolls general liability and property insurance together. Property insurance protects your equipment and structure in the event of certain natural disasters, fire, vandalism, and theft. It’s likely that if your workspace or equipment is rendered useless, you’ll be out of work for a given period. Interior designers can elect for business interruption coverage to help them pay the bills or set up shop in a temporary space while their premises are out of commission.
In our day and age, sometimes the most valuable property isn’t physical. Interior designers who keep electronic records of client information can help mitigate damage from a cyber security breach with cyber insurance for small businesses.
If You Have Employees
You might be a one-person show, or you may have a few employees helping you. Protect your team with workers compensation insurance. The benefits are two-fold: your employees receive financial assistance for injuries and illnesses sustained on the job, and you protect your organization against a lawsuit over workplace conditions.
No interior design operation is complete without the right financial coverage! Compare business insurance quotes for interior designers today, with CoverHound.