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I Forge Iron

insurance, demo's, shop?

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What are some of the pitfalls for insurance coverage for demonstrations, or your shop? What are the must have's, the if i'd know I was paying for that I wouldn't have it's? I'm sure there is some variation state to state and country to country.

1. So how do you know what's a good price?
2. Should I be paying as much for my liability in a totally hand powered shop as someone with heavy industrial equipment?
3. What about adding a gasser?
4. What about getting natural gas piped in at greater than 2psi to run a forge?
5. What coverage is available for demonstrations?
6. What coverage should you have as a chapter of abana?
7. You have fire extinguishers, how many, how often to have them checked out. Does the local fire department do this, or do you have to pay a company to certify them?
8. Does it make sense to pay the company that gets paid to re-fill the tanks, to be the ones that make the decision of when they get paid?
9. What about customers going up stairs and falling?
10. Tripping in the parking lot?
11. Do you need to pay a lawyer to read of the fine print in your insurance policy?
12. Who covers you? your homeowners?
13. If your homeowners finds out you sell product from your home, does it mean you are not covered?
14. Does the insurance for the building you are in cover the building, or you, or your equipment?
15. If you are renting the building, what difference to coverage does this make?
16. Where do the friends with a 6 pack working on weekends fit in?
17. What about the public that comes to pick up an item?
18. What about those of you who aren't poor enough so you decide to hire an employee?

If you have a new question put a number on it and hopefully someone will use that number to respond. Multiple answers are allowed and actually preferred.

Just broke it up into numbers a it was getting a bit unwieldy. But you get the idea. I've seen a few of these answers in various places when reading, but though it might be a good idea to get it more consolidated. Even if you don't mind sharing the information the approx. cost of basic insurance in your area for blacksmithing. Just wanted to open this discussion so that I and others like me can get an idea of what to do before we make a mistake that can make us lose our hobby, or fledgling business. I would think that the largest concern would be for fire from an insurance company's standpoint. But most of us are probably more likely to drop something heavy on our foot than to not know how to control a fire or put it out should one start. So what do you think?

Edit: it was suggested that it would be a good idea to separate this by hobbiest, and home based business, to fulltime business. So, if you don't mind let us know which catagory your advice falls into. If we see enough information for each it might be worth breaking out into separate topics, but for now lets see what turns up.

How about one of you boys going to Quad State does a quick round of questions and let us know how they are handling insurance this year?

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Mine is a hobby shop. I just went through an "inspection" by my insurance agent because we had a hail storm and when the adjuster found out I had a forge, he must have said something about it to the insurance company. When we built the shop, seven years ago, we added it to our homeowner's policy. I think it costs $200-$300 a year extra. They never asked what we were doing in there, and I don't think the local agent cared. We told them it was a hobby shop. The agent came two weeks ago and checked it out and they renewed our policy with no change and no increase in price. He checked for fire extinguishers, the size of my forge, what type of stack went through the roof, where I stored my extra coal, and wanted to know if my forge had been installed by (his words) a professional forge installer. I almost fell out when he asked that one. I have a triple wall stainless stack and DID have it installed by a pro. So...

3. I have a gasser.

7. I have three fire extinguishers, I bought them at the hardware store. They still show to be charged.

12. I am covered by homeowners.

13. I got the feeling that, if they found out I sold anything I make, they would drop me very fast.

14. My coverage is just on the building, not my tools.

16. Two times, I have had a friend work in my shop and I have worked in his. We have talked about what would happen if one of us got hurt and agreed to each pay our on bills. I trust him. If I am in my shop, and someone comes in, I shut down and talk to them on the "cold end" or go in the house.

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My shop is definately a "hobby shop". Is having a friend over while I'm forging any different than letting the neighborhood kids come over and jump on the trampoline with my kids? Maybe I shouldn't let them do it either. And Leah, how can your tools not be covered by your homeowner's insurance? I was in a rental when I framed houses for a living and my renter's insurance covered most of my tools when my garage got robbed.

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Thomas, I understand what you are saying. I fell at home one time and my health insurance company made me fill out a form stating that I was hurt on my own property. They wanted to make sure there was no one else they could make pay. My friend and I will just have to make sure we get hurt at our own home.

mcraigl, I asked my husband again and he said the insurance on my shop is building only, no contents. He said we would not be able to afford the insurance on all of it. We have more money in the shop than we have in the tools.

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