I know this is old, but probably still relevant to a lot of people.
First of all, i'm not a lawyer or insurance agent (obviously). However, you should seriously consider forming a LLC or Incorporate your business regardless of how big or small you are. You can do this yourself with some online reading if its just you and not complicated, most states now allow a guided e-file process and cost is generally around $100. You are taking quite the risk as a sole proprietor which creates a situation, if sued, where you personally are on the hook financially versus a corporation/llc where if you separate finances and legalities you would not be.
Again, consult an attorney. If you cannot afford a regular local one, check out freelancer sites and find one (and verify) that is licensed in your state, they typically charge $25-75/hour versus the normal $250/350/hour. The small amount of money upfront will save you potentially tens of thousands in the long run, and help you critique a template into something valid with your state and local laws.
If you, or anyone here, needs a release form I would be happy to provide ours. It shields against:
- Accidents / Damage during Repair
- Backup disclaimer
- Abandoned Devices
- Part Ordering Stipulations
- Refund terms of service (none allowed once started)
- Legal & Collection Fees
- Condition of Device
Just post here with your contact info or email me James.White@EliteTechs.com and i'll be happy to send a copy.
One comment about a waiver, if you damage something by accident during a repair. It does not matter what your waiver says, don't point to it and say sorry. Replace the device with something exactly the same or better condition. Its the right thing to do, and if you don't follow this it will surely lead to your demise.
Insurance, check out Nationwide, Hixcox or Biberk (Berkshire Insurance Co) as I found they, at least for me, were the cheapest full coverage quotes I was receiving after a lot of searching. You can basically get every option available for $200-300/month with the including:
- General Liability
- Premises Liability
- Business Owners
- Workers Comp (3 employees)
- Commercial Auto
Commercial Auto and Workers comp are the majority of the cost. If you remove those you can see $25-50/month average. Does this type of insurance cover if you damage repairs? Sure. However, its also going to depend on what your deductible is. Do you really want to file an insurance claim under $1000 to only jack up your rates and damage your insurance "credit score" ? Probably not. Set aside in your safe $1k for that purpose alone, no matter how good you are - it happens to everyone.
Data loss of clients hardware can be included/selected, but thats hard to valuate and its certain that they will value it much more than you. If it were me, I would be kind to the customers and help them with the process of filing an incident with your company and give them your insurance companies information. Put your insurance carrier on notice and then, let it be between them. That way, insurance company is the bad guy and you can be helpful with your customer.
Hope this helps someone.
Thanks for this thread. Just added General Business Liability from Biserk Co for $275 a year. Awesome....That is a great product at a very good cost to my business.
- de Brian
Any company with general liability will cover theft and fire damage for the business. as far as data loss goes, you should not be liable for any data loss as long as you get a signed form from the customer prior to doing the repair. We do a checklist and get a waiver signed by every customer before the repair to avoid such a problem. Hope that helps.
- de Asim Hirani