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Home Stager with Faulkner House Interior Redesign



Proper insurance coverage is crucial to any business but it is particularly important in a small business and in this economy when every expense needs to be examined.

In a recent IRIS chapter meeting we began a discussion about insurance needs and getting straight answers from agents about what is and is not covered in our policies.  It often seems as if coverage is subject to interpretation.  In several instances, members who had the same policies were told by one agent that they had coverage for specific services while another in the same office told them they weren't.  How often does this happen?

Insurance can be confusing enough without having to wonder if the agents understand what they are selling you.

There are no standards of coverage for stagers and redesigners as far as I know.  Please correct me if I am wrong.  There may be variables depending on what services are offered and if you tend to work in with higher end properties where damage to the premises or furnishings may involve more expensive claims.  An informal survey indicated $1-2M liability coverage as average.


One key to getting proper coverage is to make sure your agent fully understands what your services are and specifically what it is that you do.  Do you hang pictures, mirrors shelving and/or curtain rods for example?  Some insurance policies may consider that altering a structure and classify what you do more in line with a contractor who does renovations, resulting in far more coverage than you may need. 


You might also be classified as an interior designer (be careful of that for other reasons) which may cost you more since they often specify structural changes and so are subject to liability claims stagers and redesigners wouldn't encounter.

Do you have business equipment insurance for your office as well as your tools?  What is it costing you compared to what it would cost to replace each piece?

It is difficut to compare policies on your own.  Not only the wording but the nuances of terms as applied to set circumstance by each company can make it incomprehensible.  A good agent should be able to help you find the right coverage.  

Make a list of questions and get answers in writing. If you get a "take it or leave it" attitude or impatience over your questions it's time to go elsewhere.   Go over your policy when you get it to be sure it covers what was discussed and to clarify any items you don't understand. 

Have you had a good/bad experience with obtaining insurance?  Worried that you are under or over insured?  Please share!



Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Hi Pam. I would think a good blanket liability policy might be what a stager or redesigner might need. I suppose talking with others in the industry helps out too.

Jun 27, 2009 06:46 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Gary, the insurance advice we get is contradicting and also depends on the area where you do business and how long you have been in business.  Hope it isn't as difficult for realtors!

Jun 27, 2009 06:56 AM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Hi Pam..the company that I started with (good neighbor company) would no longer cover me when I added staging to my services.  They would only cover redesign and consultation services.  

When I moved to a different company, that supposedly specialized in home staging, it turned out badly.  I got my first year with them for a stated price and the second year the priced jumped over 45% without any claims or issues.  When I contacted the insurance broker...he was a member here on AR, his answer was "oh well, you won't do better anywhere else and that's just the way it goes." I wasn't satisfied with that answer and I searched elsewhere.  I'm with a different company now that several AR stagers use and I've had no issues with them BUT time will tell. 

Good post and great information.  Did you post it in the newbies group? 

Jun 27, 2009 02:00 PM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Hi Ginger,

Your story is a little unusual in that your first company wouldn't cover staging-how very strange and short sighted of them, but I have heard lots of stories about extremem rate changes out of the blue.

When I first started out 7 years ago there were a lot of redesigners and stagers covered by one company for around $200, then suddenly they all received notice that the policies would no longer be available.  I recently heard that the same company has started to insure redesigners/stagers once again for a lot more than the old policies cost.  My insurance company gives me a better rate for years in service which makes sense and earns them a certain amount of loyalty, but I still check my policy every year, just like they audit me every year.

Some companies won't write a policy for less than $500.  I was told that it just isn't worth it.  That old take it or leave it attitude.  With the number of people in our business growing you would think some enterprising company would be chasing after our business.

Yes, I did post on the newbies group.  Hope it helps them.

Jun 27, 2009 02:17 PM
Monica Murphy
Preferred Staging, LLC - Potomac Falls, VA


There are a few companies out there that will cover stagers with specifically designed policies, similiar to policies for interior designers.  If I remember correctly, this was a topic covered about 2 years ago here on AR, and a couple of insurance agents/companies were recommended.  I remember one agent was here on AR, and anothers was Hartford.  I did get a quote from Hartford, which was good, but I got a better deal from Neace Lukens, which is the company that insures many ASPs (through StagedHomes.com). 


Jun 28, 2009 01:26 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Hi Monica,

Hartford came up in the discussion along with State Farm, but SF doesn't offer the policies in all areas for some reason which seems to be the problem for some people. I'll see if I can find the previous discussion here on AR.  After 2 years the info may have changed a lot but it might be worth seeing what has changed.

Thanks for your input!

Jun 28, 2009 02:15 AM
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

I have Vitallia at this time, but in talking with Michelle Minch, she has found better coverage... I can't remember who it was. I have heard of Neace Lukens and not sure about their policy. I am checking into Uppal Insurance right now. They are also here on AR and are extremely helpful.

Jun 28, 2009 01:09 PM
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

I look forwasrd to seeing what others have found here, I am with Vitalia also, currently, with the "won't write for under $500" policy. 

Jun 28, 2009 03:29 PM
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

Good info being collected here -- featured in the group "Real World Home Staging for Newbies"

I use and highly recommend Clay Van Meter with State Farm.  Clay's got me covered!

Clay can be reached at 770 487-5060 or clay@clayvanmeter.com

Tell him Peachtree Home Staging sent you! 

Jun 29, 2009 12:23 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Lori,  I haven't heard of Vitallia or Nerace Lukens before so this is good information to add to the mix. 

Cheryl, I see you've been given the one size fits all policy routine. Makes you feel really valuable, doesn't it?  Vitalia again looks like they may want to rethink their policy-no pun intended-or maybe it was...

Karen, thanks for the feature!  I hope we can get some valuable input for newbies and long-timers (sounds better than old timers doesn't it?).  I have State Farm, too (here in VA).


Jun 29, 2009 04:47 AM