It's a mistake to rely on a homeowner's or renter's insurance policy to cover the assets of your home-based business. These policies often exclude or strictly limit coverage for business equipment and liability for injuries to business visitors. For example, if your computer is stolen or a client or business associate trips and falls on your steps, you may not be covered.

Fortunately, it's easy to avoid these nasty surprises. Sit down with your insurance agent and fully disclose your planned business operation. You'll find that it's relatively inexpensive to add business coverage to your homeowner's policy - and it's a tax deductible expense. But be sure to check prices - some insurance companies provide special cost-effective policies designed to protect both homes and home-based businesses.

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