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homeowner's insurance

updated wed 27 aug 03


Merrie Boerner on tue 26 aug 03

At 8:15 AM my husband called from his office to tell me that our insurance
company was sending out a person to take pictures of my studio. They were
questioning whether or not I was running a retail business in my home. I
hung up the phone, and went straight to the Clayart archives. There was
enough time for me to do some quick research, and to call a friend who had
posted some experience on the subject. He quickly re-assured me, so I didn't
freak completely out when the agent arrived.
Here is what happened with the agent (who happened to be a close
friend......small town : ).......I took him through the garage and said,
"this is where I work, and here is my electric kiln." He said, "This is not
what is in question. Don't you have a show room?"
We walked through the garage door into what I call my studio. There is a
wall with glass windows from waist high to the ceiling, with shelves full of
pottery with price tags. Below, is all my glaze chemicals and magazines. As
he took pictures of the pottery on display, he asked, "How often do people
come here to buy ?"
I said, "A couple of times a year a friend from town, or a group from
out of town will come by and buy a few pieces, but most of my pottery is
sold in galleries or art fairs." I told him that this stockpile of pottery
was going to be packed up to sell at a guild show in December. I also told
him that I do not advertise, and he could see that I didn't have a sign on
the door.
He assured me that this visit was a routine requirement, and that since
digital cameras made it so easy, he could get this done by noon.
Well, as he left, I practically promised him anything......we REALLY
don't need insurance problems !
So, in summery.....he wanted to know (1) How often do customers come to my
house buy (2) Where do I usually sell my pottery (3) Do I advertise my home
as a place to buy my pottery.
I am hoping that very soon the Potters Council will offer some help in
this area.......someone to advise us....maybe an affordable insurance plan.
Now, liability....that is another scary subject. I better get back to the
clay to lower my blood pressure !
Merrie in rural Mississippi where it is nice to have friends in high places
: )

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Susan Fox-Hirschmann on tue 26 aug 03

I have just been thru the same crap with my insurance co.....the difference
is for 24 years I was working in the basement and took out a policy with AAI
/CPP which is a craftsmen/s (women's!) policy for $30,000 to cover my equipment,
supplies, pottery in transit. My homeowners (a different policy)covered the
Anyway, this past spring I finally built the studio of my dreams and realized
I needed more....and decided that THEY NEEDED TO know less. Today, the
underwriter (who ever the hell he is) came by to look at the structure, the kilns,
and I got the same sort of questions as you. I just told them I sell at shows
and thru galleries! no classes in here or only occasionally (the
truth!).....and to"give me a break"--the presence of fire extinguishers softed his voice
and his glare....but NO BURGLER alarm...well they would not give me the great
deal cause I don/t have one...and after all that and he certified the
structure looked STURDY --shit it is only made of cinder block! DAHHH (tho no metal
roof so no break there)...he saw a damn can of gas, that I use for my lawn mower
in the middle of the gas kiln room and nearly went ballistic telling me to
put it by the back wall. I said that wall has the gas you REALLY
think that is a good place!!!!!????
with that he left, but when I told him that I had the craftsmen/s plan for
all those years and never made a claim he said they might give me a break on the
rates. We will see.
I commiserate with you.....wish they really understood us in the real
world...but then if we were understood, pots might not garner the excitement that
they do!

Annandale, VA
who will not divulge the name of this company probably out to rob me
I did offer him a trade for pots, being as I am the self-annointed Annandale,
Virginia BArter queen!