As an interior designer, you walk the line between creative and practical. By creating beautiful spaces for your clients perfectly suited to their needs, you immerse yourself in the life of said client—whether residential or commercial. While this means you provide a valuable service, it also opens you up to a range of risks. Thus, it's essential to have interior design insurance that's completely customized to meet your business' specific needs. That way, you can rest assured that you'll be properly covered in the event of an accident or damaging allegation.
Any individual working in interior design or related fields should be properly insured. No matter how careful and diligent you are, it's impossible to eliminate all risks. However, you can do your absolute best to be prepared in the event of a worse-case-scenario. Protect yourself, and your employees, from unforeseen losses and damages with the right insurance policy. Interior design insurance can be purchased by:
Although it's not a legal requirement, having the right insurance can provide a financial safety net. No matter how lucrative your interior design business is, being hit with an unforeseen lawsuit because a third-party was injured at your worksite, or because your client is accusing you of negligence, can be financially crippling—even if you're not at fault.
Also, if you work with commercial clients on larger projects such as retailers and restaurants, it might be expected that you can provide proof of insurance before you commit to the project. Interior design insurance not only protects your interests, but encourages clients to hire your business. Insurance is reassuring all-around.
As a business owner, it's your responsibility to ensure you have the best interior design insurance coverage. Whether you're an individual contractor working out of your home office, or you own a multi-million dollar interior design firm, protect your company with an insurance policy that is customized for your insurance needs. Avoid putting your company in the red by having to pay for damages, medical bills or legal fees out-of-pocket.
The best part of an interior design insurance policy is that it can be tailored to your needs. Much like how you tailor spaces to the unique vision of your clients, our hardworking brokers can tailor your insurance policy to what makes the most sense for your company.
On any given day, there are many problems that could arise in your industry. For instance, say you're hired to design a client's pop-up restaurant. The design goes way over budget, and the client incurs additional expenses. This means the client could sue you for negligence and loss of income.
Alternatively, perhaps while installing a feature fountain in a client's home, their expensive marble floors are irrevocably damaged and need to be replaced. This could leave you vulnerable to a suit as well, on the grounds of third-party property damages.
Without insurance, either of these situations could lead to costly expenses that could ultimately force you out of business if you have to pay out-of-pocket.
Interior designer insurance protects you and your business from a range of perils that may occur during your daily operations. Not only should you insure against professional liability, but also consider protecting your commercial office space, inventory, loss of income and more. If you have employees, it's important to protect their interests too.
However, what's important to note when it comes to protecting your employees' interests, is that workers' compensation insurance is actually provided for by the government. Many entrepreneurs don't realize this.
It's also worth noting that if you have a separate studio or office space at your personal residence, either in an outbuilding or in your home, you need to make sure it's properly insured. You may think that your home insurance should cover an office space, but this may not be the case—especially if you see clients in your home. In this case, it may be considered a commercial space.
Our licensed Morison Insurance brokers will help you navigate the complex world of insurance, and help you find an insurer able to properly cover all risks you may face while at work. We care about our clients' peace of mind, so we work hard to provide the best possible insurance policies for all our valued customers. While your specific interior design policy will be unique to you, some of the possible coverages you may want to purchase include:
Also known as errors and omissions insurance, this coverage is one of the most important for interior designers. It protects you from client claims alleging financial loss due to misconduct, negligence, failure to deliver promised service and due to bad advice. Since you work in an industry where you're hired for your professional skills and opinion, this leaves you open to significant risk in the event a client is dissatisfied. Even if you're not found at fault, drawn-out legal defense costs can be financially taxing. It's simply not worth the risk—even if you have a long track record of satisfied clients.
Furthermore, professional liability coverage can protect you against alleged advertising injury—depending on the policy. This is where a client feels your advertised services were not delivered. The client may feel misled, or that they did not get their money's worth—leading to a suit.
Professional liability may protect you against claims related to your professional services, but it won't protect you from third-party bodily injury or property damage claims—this is where commercial general liability would respond. This would be if a third-party is injured at your worksite, say they trip and fall on a table that's not been placed properly, or accidentally get cut on unfinished tiling and sue you for bodily injury. Likewise, if you're hanging a heavy chandelier and it falls down, damaging your client's property, you could be held responsible.
If you own an office building, having to replace the building and/or its contents after an accident or natural disaster can be a devastating financial loss—without the right insurance coverage. With commercial property insurance, your office is protected against physical loss or damage to the property and/or its contents due to theft, vandalism or an external disaster like a fire. Commercial property insurance does not provide financial coverage for general wear-and-tear. Also, you may want to ask your Morison Insurance broker about whether the policy covers flood damage, or if you need an additional floater on your policy.
Do you use a specific vehicle for commercial purposes? Even if you use your personal vehicle as part of your work day—such as carrying different paint samples and swatches to clients' homes—then you likely need a commercial auto insurance policy. This policy functions similarly to a traditional auto insurance policy, but is specific to vehicles used commercially. It offers a range of protection, such as third-party liability, accident benefits and collision coverage.
Perhaps you don't own a commercial space, but operate out of a home office. In this case, you need a home-based business insurance plan to cover your office equipment, business inventory and off-premise business interruption insurance. The latter protects you financially in case something were to happen to your home because of an insured loss that prevents you from working. This policy will also cover you for additional liability for clients, delivery personnel and employees that visit your home office.
Do you keep swatches, paint samples and similar inventory at your office or home? Or perhaps you work as a home stager, and keep furniture and other decorative items on-hand in a warehouse. If this is the case, then you should consider purchasing inventory coverage for interior designers. This policy will help you replenish your inventory in the event it's lost due to an accident, theft or disaster (like a fire).
As an interior designer, one of your most valuable assets is your client database. The last thing you want is for this database to be at risk due to a hack—exposing you to all kinds of risks. With cyber liability insurance, you can protect yourself in the event this valuable information is lost.
Talk to your insurance broker to get the right advice about your insurance. Depending on your needs, you might be inclined to protect your interior design business further by including a few add-on policies such as disability insurance and life insurance.
Although it's not a legal requirement for interior designers to operate without insurance, it's simply not good business sense to go without. If you don't have insurance and something goes wrong in one of your clients' homes or businesses and you're found responsible, you could be liable for medical expenses, legal costs, damages and more. This can be financially crippling for any business owner, and you may find yourself declaring bankruptcy before you know it.
Not to mention, being properly insured is more professional—and many high-end clients won't hire you without insurance.
There are many factors that impact insurance rates, which your Morison Insurance broker will be able to walk you through more comprehensively. As a basic rundown, the following will impact your insurance rates:
Applying for insurance can feel overwhelming, but not when you choose to purchase insurance through Morison Insurance. We want our clients to feel as comfortable and prepared as possible throughout the entire process. To that end, it's helpful to have a sense of what questions your broker might ask. These questions will help you understand what coverage is best for your interior design business. Consider your answers to the following:
In addition to knowing what questions your insurance agent will ask, there are also a few documents you should get organized before applying for insurance. This will help make the process much smoother. These documents should include:
At Morison Insurance, we always put our clients' first. As a family-owned and operated business, we treat all our clients with that same family-oriented mindset. We want you to succeed, and do our best to provide commercial insurance solutions that will help your interior design business thrive. We'll work with you to establish the best coverage for your needs, and be there for you as those needs change and grow over the years.
To learn more about interior design insurance and to get in touch with our expert brokers, give our team a call at 1-800-463-8074. You can also inquire about a quote online.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.