Many business owners opt to live in the same building where they work. This is different from a home-based business in that you are not setting aside a corner of the house from which to operate your company. Rather, you are moving into the same physical building as your business location for your living quarters.
The question is: What kind of commercial property insurance do you need when your home and business are one and the same? Here's what you need to know.
Camping Out At Work?
Moving into a designated commercial property with an air mattress and a mini-fridge is not recommended. Technically, this may even be illegal. In the best-case scenario, should something happen, your commercial property insurance provider is unlikely to cover any damages to the property once they find out that you've been camping out in the office.
Business properties are not typically zoned for living. If you have your heart set on living where you work, you need to make the required adjustments to bring it up to code to function as a live-work unit. Your landlord might agree to this. But you shouldn't bet on it if you do not own the property yourself. In fact, it may be wiser to seek out an established live-work unit, rather than try to convert your store into one.
Insuring Live-Work Units
The only way to adequately cover a live-work unit is to negotiate a custom policy with your commercial property insurance provider. These units tend to be uniformly non-uniform — each involving their own risks. A studio apartment in the back of a coffee shop is going to have very different insurance requirements than a two-room family loft above a book store.
Most importantly: Always inform your insurer as to the nature of the building and how you intend to use it. If there is anything that might void your policy, they'll let you know.