The insurance you didn’t know you needed to protect your side hustle

Nov 22, 2023, 3:37 PM | Updated: 3:39 pm

SANDY – Having a side hustle to bring in extra cash requires determination and hard work.

If you do it without the right insurance policy, you might find an unexpected event could blow up your side hustle along with your finances.

Debra Gamero says she has been teaching piano out of her Sandy home for 55 years.

While ‘piano instructor’ isn’t what one would consider to be inherently dangerous, in that half-century, Gamero has experienced a couple of risky moments. Several years ago, a fender bender that happened just as a student was arriving led to an auto insurance claim. And she used to have a dog until it nipped a student. That led to a homeowners insurance claim.

Gamero and Gephardt

Gamero says she continually thinks about insurance coverage. (Josh Szymanik/KSL TV)

“And the homeowners did pay the bill, but they canceled [the policy] as soon as they did,” she said.

In truth, Gamero may have been lucky that the claim was paid. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most homeowners policies specifically exclude business liabilities – such as a customer of a home-based business that gets hurt. What’s more, a typical homeowners policy only covers up to $2,500 in business equipment. That’s not nearly enough to replace the hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of pianos and sheet music in Gamero’s home should they get damaged or destroyed – a prospect she says she thinks about every year.

“Because I know situations arise,” she said. “Accidents happen and I worry as to whether I would be able to afford the expenses that might come up.”

Underinsured side gigs

It is a legitimate concern David Andrist of Bear River Mutual said. He said his company has seen the issue of insuring side hustles creep up in recent years as more people work from home more often.

“If you’re running a business, then you might need more of a business policy,” Andrist said.

David Andrist with Matt Gephardt

David Andrist of Bear River Mutual tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt that many home-based businesses and side gigs do not have adequate insurance. (Meghan Thackrey/KSL TV)

He says many home-based businesses do not have adequate insurance. Whether it’s teaching music, preparing taxes, cutting hair, building stuff in your garage, or even reselling stuff online.

Just about all home-based businesses have some exposure that the business owner may think is no big deal.

“It could turn into a big deal if somebody slips and falls on your premises,” said Andrist.

One issue he’s seen recently involves childcare. In the eyes of an insurer, you may be running a daycare right now and not even realize it.

“Especially if it’s for free,” he said. “People like just watching other people’s kids and then someone gets hurt. There can be some coverage complications there.”

The costs of protecting your side hustle Independent Insurance Agents of America conducted a survey and found that most people who they consider to be “underinsured” said, “they thought their homeowner policy covered their business.”

If a home-based business owner wants more insurance, there are essentially three options: You can get a bona fide business policy, which can become expensive. Then there is an in-home business insurance policy which typically costs around $300 per year. Or, you can get an endorsement on your homeowner policy, which likely suffices for most people.

“Many times, you’re talking about $10 or $20 (monthly),” Andrist said. “Changes to your policy that could pay out tens of thousands of dollars.”

As for Gamero, she says she is still playing with her options.

“That might not be money well spent when I don’t have that many opportunities to use it,” she said. “I mean, in 55 years, I’ve had two minor incidents.”

KSL 5 TV Live


New Jersey Devils goaltender Akira Schmid, front left, makes a save in front of New York Rangers ri...

Lindsay Aerts

Bill to raise SLC tax for NHL stadium funding advances, SLC leaders supportive

Over the last two days the Utah legislature has unveiled two major plans to help finance major league sports stadiums. On Thursday a Senate committee advanced the plan to fund the National Hockey League stadium and a “sports and entertainment” district downtown, which includes a sales tax increase of up to .5% in Salt Lake City.

3 hours ago

Henry Barlow inside his cattle processing plant...

Alex Cabrero

‘We are going to feed American beef to the Americans’: Meat packing plant to open in Richfield

A new cattle processing plant in central Utah is expected to improve the state's food supply chain.

3 hours ago

Matt Gephardt, journalists, looks as paper with a woman...

Matt Gephardt and Cimaron Neugebauer

Get Gephardt: Ticketmaster seizes back purchased seats

Imagine buying tickets to a show, then having the seller refuse to give them to you. That’s what happened to a Utah woman, when she got a refund she didn’t ask for.

24 hours ago

Joe Biden...

Katie Lobosco, CNN

Nearly 153,000 people will get email that their student loan debt is canceled

Nearly 153,000 student loan borrowers currently enrolled in a new repayment plan launched by the Biden administration are expected to get an email Wednesday notifying them that their remaining federal student loan debt will be canceled, totaling about $1.2 billion.

1 day ago

Capital One is acquiring Discover Financial Services, a move that could disrupt the credit card ind...

Elisabeth Buchwald, CNN

America is on the cusp of a new biggest credit card company. Here’s what it could mean for you

Capitol One is acquiring Discover Financial Services in a $35.3 billion all-stock deal.

2 days ago

significant shift is coming for candidates who have to gather signatures to get on the ballot -- a ...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah Legislature approves candidate signature gathering change

A significant shift is coming for candidates who have to gather signatures to get on the ballot -- a state-approved app allowing them to verify a voter's eligibility in real-time.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

The insurance you didn’t know you needed to protect your side hustle