How can 4 freelancers/entrepreuners buy affordable liability insurance?
February 21, 2014 10:23 PM Subscribe
Three friends and I teamed up to rent a small commercial office space to use as a shared office, as we've tired of working at home or in coffee shops. We've signed the lease and moved in. I've been tasked with finding liability insurance, but having trouble as the insurance companies don't know what to make of us. I'm hoping Mefites may have creative solutions.
posted by lukez to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm employed full time as a communications consultant for a small non-profit that gives me a monthly stipend for office expenses; the other three have individual businesses. They are:
- Photographer (recently incorporated, no business insurance yet)
- Graphic Designer (unincorporated, filing her paperwork, no insurance)
- Booking Agent/Promoter (unincorporated, is hired/works for existing venues)
I signed under my own name as did the Graphic Designer, while the Booking Agent and Photographer signed under both their business and own names.
The reason: We were all working from coffee shops or at home with cats, and decided we could be more productive, enjoy each others' company and launch some collaborative projects by founding a co-working space. We found a beautiful, three room (785 sq. ft) space in the heart of our smallish Canadian city's downtown where we can meet clients and work the 9-5, and convinced the landlords to give us a one (instead of 3) year lease.
The lease says: "The lessee shall provide public liability insurance."
Someone other than me did the preliminary legwork on the insurance and was told it'd be a total of about $700 to insure the space. I called my home insurance agent, and after two long, difficult conversations -- the idea of co-working was foreign -- she said they're unable to insure a space that's used by multiple people for different purposes. Instead, we would all need individual business insurance policies, which would start at $550 apiece. That's a lot more than we anticipated spending. And, since I work full-time for another organization, I don't even have a business to insure.
Is the type of insurance policy that's best suited to this situation? How do you deal with insurance in your co-working space. Or is there a way we could skirt the issue by incorporating, becoming a non-profit, or turning the office space into some kind of clubhouse?