Homeowner's Insurance Query


#1

Hi all - I know a while back someone brought up homeowner’s insurance for having the GF in house but didn’t see a lot of actual experience with it. Now that there are quite a few more production units in hands I was wondering how folks are handling it.

Did your insurance company freak out when you told them you had a laser in your house? How did you describe it?
Did it significantly impact your rate?
Should it make any difference to them if one has a Pro vs a Basic?

TIA for any input and please post links if these have been addressed elsewhere and I missed them!


#2

Maybe I’m not getting it. Why would I tell my insurance company? I tend to buy a decent amount of tech, but I don’t think my insurance company would care.


#3

It probably depends. If you use the glowforge for a business (by which I mean you sell what you make or you charge to make it), and something happens, there’s a good chance your policy won’t cover the damage. But that’s not glowforge specific. That’s just that home owners insurance tends not to cover business related stuff. Like your home owners insurance won’t cover you in the event a client gets hurt at your house. But they’ll cover you if your brother gets hurt at your house. There’s probably a whole messy grey area where you brother is your client.

I think some people get their business insurance for their home business through their homeowners insurance, but I think most people get a completely separate policy. Might be wrong about that.


#4

If I tried to inventory everything in my house to tell the insurance company, I think they would just freak out at the size of the list more than what’s on it.

I take a vary different view of insurance than most people. For me purchasing insurance is like going to the casino and betting something bad is going to happening to me or my things. In general, the casino always wins, so I only insure for major catastrophic events, like my house burning down. Another words I carry very high deductibles and cover all of the normal life expenses myself.


#5

I would think that’s the case as well.


#6

I bought my insurance to protect my GF (small apartment not much to lose… until now) I told them I was signing up for it because I was buying a laser cutter. They didn’t blink an eye, they just asked how much I wanted the coverage to be for.


#7

i think people are looking at homeowners’ insurance in two different ways.

one is “what happens if someone steals my glowforge” or “what if my roof leaks and damages my glowforge” and will my insurance cover replacement.

the other side is, “if i tell my insurance company i have a laser cutter in my house, will they raise my rates because they see it as a fire risk?”


#8

That’s right. Most homeowners policies have a coverage called “Contents”. This is generally a percentage of the total value of the home. (The percentage varies by carrier, program, etc). But it is fairly substantial. It covers everything except for a handful of excluded items which you’ll find in your Exclusions language.

For a non-business use, you’ll probably be fine if it gets stolen or the neighbor spills his beer into it.

But the total Contents coverage may not cover certain things - fine arts, wine collections, etc. not because the item isn’t covered but because the value of those might be more than your coverage. For that situation you can get separate riders to up coverage for that specific class of contents.

Electronics may have a limit but that’s more likely found in auto policies than homeowners now due to the proliferation of high-end electronic devices.

OTOH, if the house burns to the ground, you may not have sufficient coverage for all of the things you have. The percentage of home value used to figure contents coverage may not be sufficient due to your purchase habits being different from other people in similar homes. So you might take a look at adding everything up and figuring out how that correlates to your contents coverage. But that’s not a GF/laser specific issue.

BTW, many policies will have separate coverage for outbuildings and their contents so if you’ve got it in a detached shop building there’s a whole nother set of coverages to look at :slight_smile:

People with home based businesses need to check with their agent or carrier. Some don’t care as long as the public is not coming to you (e.g. you operate an Etsy business) or aren’t producing food or cosmetic products or if you’re under a certain revenue threshold. The logic being that it’s not worth the effort to worry about someone who occasionally takes the neighbor’s dog in for a weekend for $100 or the Etsy sales of knickknacks. The exposures come from things with chance for significant liability - customers on premises, food or cosmetic products causing allergic reactions or poisonings, etc. For the risk that a GF adds to a homeowner (absent the public coming over every day), even if they decide you need some sort of commercial cover, it’s going to be minimal in cost (or you need a new carrier).


#9

great summary. another good point regarding insurance is that gf has done a lot of design work to make this work very well in a home setting. some policies won’t cover what might be commercial or industrial equipment, but this shouldn’t affect the gf.


#10

Right. They cover my gas-fired range, fireplace, furnace, & water heater. All of which are far more dangerous than my GF.


#11

Yep. Got a check for the gas stove that caught fire within a couple weeks of sending the receipt for the replacement.


#12

Some insurance companies require unusually expensive items to be listed explicitly in your policy if you want full coverage. For example I can claim up to $2500 to replace a laptop by default, but if I owned one worth $3500 I would need to add it to my policy in addition to my standard contents insurance. A $5000 Glowforge will almost certainly fall outside my standard contents policy.


#13

Interesting. I would have thought “expensive” would refer to >=$10,000. $3,500 sounds low. I mean, it’s a lot to me, but I’m a broke guy who grew up in west Philly, so everything’s expensive to me. :slight_smile:


#14

It depends on your insurance carrier. I know many that wouldn’t think that was expensive at all. It’s also affected by the overall value of your house - million dollar places are expected to have $20,000 televisions. A $100K house would not.


#15

It’s based on the type of item, so a laptop might get $2500 cover by default while jewelry gets $5000 for example. You can still claim even if you didn’t list the item explicitly, but they might not pay out as much as you’re hoping. I guess it limits the number of people who have a $500 laptop stolen and put in a claim for a $4000 replacement…


#16

it might sound low when you look at a single item. but what if someone’s claim is for 30 items stolen in a robbery and 20 off them are worth $7-9k? that $3,500 gets exponentially big when taken in the full context of house contents.


#17

My renewal notices came minutes before I read the OP. If my home is ever a total loss I’m going to have to crowd source my “lost items” to even come close to the contents maximum. I guess I need more stuff.