No Renters Insurance for Internet pros?
July 22, 2008 9:40 PM   Subscribe

How can I get renter's household insurance for a Web Application Developer in Vancouver, Canada

My girlfriend and I have been trying to get insured since we moved in to a house together, and none of the usual suspects (almost all of whom broker for ING anyway) will give us insurance because I am a freelance web application developer. They all tell us that they will not cover us because I work with the Internet.

Has anyone dealt with this, and gotten insured? I don't mind covering the risk of my computer's & monitors as I have no cash flow problems but we would like to at least get fire & disaster insurance.
posted by lastobelus to Work & Money (9 answers total)
That's just bizarre. Have you tried Hub International? I've never had a serious problem getting insurance for a lot riskier stuff than that through them and none of my house/renters insurance with them has been with ING.
posted by Mitheral at 9:51 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

That is strange. What about having her apply for the coverage?
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 10:13 PM on July 22, 2008

thanks, my girlfriend is going to check them out.

I thought it was bizarre too. But we've gotten the same spiel from both our banks and several insurance brokers.
posted by lastobelus at 10:16 PM on July 22, 2008


I'm wary of doing anything or misrepresenting anything that might give them an excuse not to pay in the event we needed the coverage.
posted by lastobelus at 10:18 PM on July 22, 2008

Frankly, it sounds like they're giving you excuses now. Won't insure you because you work with the Internet? What the hell?

We had renter's insurance through Scottish & York, who knew that I worked at home as an internet professional, and the only caveat was that regular renter's insurance would only cover up to $5000 dollars worth of computers. Anything over and I would have had to get business insurance. Is that the problem?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:10 PM on July 22, 2008

I work from home with the Internet (so to speak, all work done remotely via Internet) in Vancouver. My insurance is through BCAA. Keeping in mind this is tenant's insurance and I previously had homeowner insurance. This does not cover any of my business equipment. That would be a different policy, but they do give it.
posted by Listener at 11:25 PM on July 22, 2008

Not sure who you talked to, but I got my renter's insurance through VanCity (I think they too broker for ING). I work for a web start-up but I'm salaried, not freelance. I didn't have any problem getting insurance even though I work "with the Internet." Maybe the problem is the freelance bit.

Definitely a good idea having your non-freelance (I assume) gf try to apply.
posted by Nelsormensch at 7:28 AM on July 23, 2008

It sounds like they they think you are trying to substitute renters insurance for proper business insurance because you work at home. Maybe you need to have that conversation again and just say you are a computer programmer or graphic designer, which is technically correct and stays away from the Internet language that seems to be bothering the insurance folks.
posted by COD at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2008

I spoke with Hub International and got a very clear answer.

1. ALL people who work for themselves and do any part of their business in their home are NOT eligible for ordinary renters insurance.

2. SOME categories of owning your business are eligible for a form of renters insurance that includes limited liability insurance covering the business activity. What all these categories have in common is that the business activity takes place SOLELY in the home. When part of your work is on-site and part at home (even if the at home part is only that your home is your business's mailing address) you must have comprehensive liability insurance for your business before you can get renters (or homeowners) insurance.

3. It doesn't matter which of us apply; the fact that one of us owns their own business is the deciding issue.

However, Hub does not one of these packages for Software Consulting, even if I were to say I was doing all my work at home.

So now I am waiting to find out what the minimum qualifying liability insurance package will cost me for my consulting practice, and then going from there. It may be cheaper to rent a small office.
posted by lastobelus at 5:16 AM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

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