insurance

Do you need yard sale insurance?

As a general guideline, if you have a couple of yard sales a year, you're probably covered by your homeowners policy. If your sale is a charity event, you're also probably covered. But if cars are lined up down your block every Saturday morning, that's probably a sign that you should check into business liability or "home/work" coverage.

"You could easily buy a business liability policy for that," says Salvatore. "A few insurance companies have what they call home/work policies, which are kind of a combination of homeowners and business insurance for people who work at home."

In fact, if your yard or garage sale business is growing out of a hobby or interest, such as jewelry making, crafts, quilting, collecting or liquidating estates, it's probably time to review your insurance needs with your home insurer.

"If you're running a business, you might also need other types of insurance. For instance, maybe you make jewelry and you keep it in your house and sell it every weekend in your driveway. Well, maybe now you're investing in beads and semiprecious stones and equipment, so now you would probably also want property insurance for your business in case somebody came and stole all your stuff," says Salvatore.

Meek says business theft coverage might be prudent for those who sell their neighbors' castoffs. "There could be issues around holding materials of others, such as if somebody brings their stuff over to your house and it gets stolen from your house," he says.

Although the chance that someone may slip and fall at your semi-ongoing garage sale could put you at considerable financial risk, Meek says that in practical terms, that's a risk that many front yard entrepreneurs are willing to take these days just to feed their families.

"If they're doing garage sales every day, it's going to be a hard sell to try to get them to buy a business owners policy these days," says Meek. "It's hard enough to get people who really do have businesses to get their insurance."

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