Can I Store Business Goods At Home?

If you're running out of storage space at your retail store, you can either rent a storage locker, or take the extra inventory home with you. But that inventory that comes home with you might not just a few cans of pineapples for your smoothie shop. It could be expensive equipment or valuable inventory. If you put these items in your garage for a week, are you going to be covered by your home insurance policy if something happens? Here's what you need to know:

  • It depends on your insurance provider. Some insurers will offer some limited protection for business goods stored at home, while others may offer no protection at all. Before you make any assumptions, call your agent and find out if your home insurance policy offers any protection for business goods.
  • If you're covered, you will need to document your business possessions — the same as you would with any belongings. Photographs are great, but for anything that costs more than a few dollars, you'll want some receipts and serial numbers to go with it.
  • Your protections are going to be limited. Your home insurer is there to protect your home. They may extend those protections beyond that in certain circumstances, but it's not really what they're about. Your home insurer will likely have low limits on how much business property they can insure, or they may only extend the protection for a limited amount of time. So, storing business goods in your home should always be a temporary measure.

If you're going to rent out storage space, be sure to ask your storage provider about insurance. Insurance on the possessions in a storage locker can be surprisingly inexpensive, depending on what you're protecting. In fact, these can cost as little as a few dollars a month. And considering that you only need the space temporarily, you'll ultimately be spending very little to keep your business property covered.