Monday, April 26, 2010

Temporary Hiatus from Potter to Insurance Shopper

This sucks. I decided to tell the truth since I am at heart an honest person, and I had the feeling that I was trying to get away with something. I fessed up to my homeowner's insurance company that I was "starting" to run a business out of my house, that I had a gallery space open to the public, and oh, by the way, I have a gas kiln in my enclosed car port that incidentally is attached to my house.

I was very clear that my main concern was this kiln. I assumed that there must be some kind of coverage since I am the third potter in this house to have used this kiln. I did not install it there. Surely the other two had coverage.

The agent on the phone assured me that the kiln would be covered under my homeowner's policy. Then she transferred me to someone who set me up with a business liability policy. At that point, I was feeling pretty responsible.

Unfortunately, the feeling was fleeting. After reviewing the information I gave them, they wrote to inform me that they are not renewing my policy when it comes up in June. If anything happens between now and June 12, my claim would be denied regardless of whether the kiln is involved or not.

I understand a written letter is the legal way to handle the matter, but I have used this company to insure my cars since I was 17. This is the fourth house I've insured with them. Isn't a 25 year relationship worth a phone call?


  1. JERKSSSS! Insurance companies really hate the whole customer thing, in case somebody slips on the ice and SUES for a million....jerksjerksjerks

  2. Jerks jerks jerks!!! I agree with Gary.
    Just doesn't pay to be honest any more.
    BTW just catching up on everyone's blogs and read your last post. What you really need is what I have been saying I need... a wife! I'm the same as you, thankful that Gerry has a good job so I can be a potter, but he never gets interrupted in his work to run errands, do laundry, cook, pick up the kid, etc. It's so hard, I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to fire my kiln and photo the contents and apply for a show I'm interested in-deadline Friday, and get all this done before Thursday when my class comes here to Raku and now Gerry wants me to go car shopping with him tomorrow. I also have to get in a ^6 before the Haw River Festival on Saturday. Where am I going to find the time!!!

  3. I am now wondering where I should put my kiln when I get it connected up; I may talk to my neighbor down the street and see where she put hers. I sure can't afford to put in a separate building for it and it can't sit outside in the rain. Wonder if there a potter's insurance company?

  4. If the new insurance estimate comes back too high, we might have to move the kiln. If we do, we'll keep it simple: find out how far is far enough away from the house, pour a concrete slab, build a small retaining wall (we're in the mtns--you won't have to worry about that), and build a sheet metal roof of sorts to keep the rain off.

    Unfortunately, if you've been reading this blog, every "simple" solution conjures up some complications for us along the way. This one might involve the wiring to the detached garage. Shit that should be fixed eventually because it wasn't done right to begin with, but not necessarily right then.

    I'll keep you posted on potter's insurance.

  5. Ugh, what a horror story. Back in Indiana, if the electric company found out you were running ANY kind of business from home (even stuffing envelopes) they'd charge you commercial rates for electric.
    I don't have a kiln/studio at home yet, but it's stuff like this that makes me afraid to even ask, for fear of getting cancelled for even thinking about it.

  6. Brian, are commercial rates higher? With Penland just down the road, we get "artisan" rates for propane which are considerable cheaper. I guess I'll put the savings towards my insurance bill.

  7. Commercial rates were MUCH higher - like $800/month plus $.06/kWh. Didn't matter what 'business' you were in, or even if you conducted business in your home or not. I used to give piano lessons and had to rent a PO box for an 'address' on the business license.