Business Insurance for Interior Designers

Getting the Coverage You Need

There are five types of business insurance of interest to interior designers: professional liability insurance, commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and workers' compensation and property insurance.

Professional liability insurance can cover designers if lawsuits are brought against them because of an alleged error or mistake. This mistake might be in the work performed or advice given in the delivery of or failure to deliver professional services. This insurance may pay the cost of damages, legal fees and other costs associated with the designer's defense, even if the designer is innocent. Professional liability insurance won't cover designers for claims arising from nonperformance of a contract, wrongful termination of employees, sexual harassment or discrimination of lawsuits.

Another type of converage, commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, can cover designers if a person comes to a designer's premises and is accidentally injured. This insurance might pay if a visitor accidentally trips and falls in a designer's showroom. Designers who rent their space might find that their lease requires them to have a certain level of CGL coverage.

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can cover interior designers' businesses in cases of employment-related claims, such as sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

Worker's compensation insurance can cover designers whose employees get hurt on the job. For instance, if an interior designer's assistant injures his back lifting something off the floor and onto a shelf, workers' compensation coverage might pay for that employee's medical bills related to the injury.

Finally, property insurance can cover the loss of damage to an interior designer's property in certain cases. If someone breaks into a designer's showroom and steals or destroys property within, an insurer may reimburse the designer through property coverage.

Many insurance companies bundle liability and property coverage into a business owners policy (BOP). ASID members can take advantage of the plans offered by The Insurance Exchange, Inc., the only insurance program designed exclusively for ASID members. This program provides coverage specific to the needs of your business, including Professional Liability Insurance (E & O) and Business Owners Policies. Life, Disability, and Long-Term Care insurance policies are also available. Individual medical insurance ranging from full medical plans to hospitalization plans is also available. For more information, Visit www.tie-inc.com/asid or call 800-346-1403 for more information.

Before contacting an insurance company, determine what your needs are and what your budget is. Look for a company that can meet your needs with a quality product. Work with a company that can answer your questions, outline what your exposures would be, and has experience working in the industry. For independent ratings of insurance companies, go to www.ambest.com and search for the rating of companies you are intersted in.