If you’re one of the growing numbers of over 2.1 million people running a business from home, then congratulations on taking the plunge.
There are many reasons why working from home makes sense from lifestyle choice, cost-saving, to avoiding the daily grudge of a commute.
However, it’s just as important, if not more so, that you give due consideration to legal liabilities and insurable perils such as fire, theft or flood which could wipe out your business in one fell swoop.
Home Insurance vs. Home Business Insurance
Many successful small businesses have started life from a kitchen table, with little more than a laptop.
In these circumstances, a standard household policy can usually be extended to cover business contents at your home address.
However, you will still need to notify your insurers to confirm that they are aware of your circumstances.
In most cases, you will require more cover and a specialist policy is more suitable for your needs. Cover you should consider includes:
Public Liability Insurance
If customers or members of the public visit your home, or you need to visit customer premises, then it is likely you will need Public Liability cover.
Public Liability Insurance covers your legal liabilities against a claim for injury or damage from a customer or member of the public as a result of the actions of you or one of your employees.
For example, a customer or supplier visits your home and slips on a wet floor and breaks their leg.
Employers Liability Insurance
An increasing number of business operations based from home are now taking on employees, be it full or part-time.
If you have any employees, then you are required by law to purchase Employers Liability cover.
Employers Liability Insurance will indemnify your business against claims made against you by employees who have suffered injury or illness at work while in your employment and deem you responsible.
For example, your office assistant suffers RSI, and you receive a claim holding you accountable as they were not provided with an adequate risk assessment or working environment.
Imagine the situation, you suffer a fire at your house, or a break-in and your business equipment are lost or damaged.
It will take some time to replace, find new premises and regain your lost clients/income.
Business interruption insurance will provide cover for loss of income/profit as a direct result of an insured peril.
For more professional type trades, you can also purchase Increased Cost of Working cover which will provide cover against additional costs such as hiring short-term office space.
It’s not just professionals that work from home, and a business contents insurance policy can accommodate a myriad of different trades and occupations from eBay sellers to Wedding Cake businesses.
As such, you may have equipment, business machinery or contents as well as the usual office and computer equipment, all of which can easily be protected.
If you also work away from the premises, cover can all be arranged for equipment/laptops/tablets/smartphones etc., while they are in your possession, either in the UK or further afield if required.
If you have a commercial vehicle or van, it’s apparent that you need insurance cover, where many small businesses fall down is extended their car insurance to cover business use.
Most car insurers can extend cover for businesses purposes, but you need to contact them to ensure that the correct cover is provided.
If you operate two or more vehicles (for example a car and a van), you could consider motor fleet insurance, as this may prove to be a more competitive option.
The worldwide web, broadband connections and reduced cost of technology has made it much easier to operate from home, but with it comes to some new insurance risks.
Cyber Liability Insurance or internet and email cover will provide cover for a data breach (loss of customer data), rebuilding of your website or IT systems following a hacking.
Other common risks for web-based businesses include liable and slander and breach of copyright / illegal use of images.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
If you provide advice or a professional service to your clients, then you should consider Professional Indemnity Insurance cover.
As a “Professional” or expert in your trade, the law deems that you have an increased duty of care to your clients’ as they are paying you for your professional advice or service and as such, they have the right of legal challenge should things go wrong.
PI Insurance provides cover for legal costs and expenses if you (or someone in your employment) are alleged, in the course of your job (profession), to have provided either inadequate advice or services to a client.
The policy will pay costs in terms of defending a claim, any compensation to your client and/or rectification costs to remedy the error.
Working from home Insurance package
Chances are, some of the above covers will apply to your business.
The good news is that insurers can provide bespoke home business insurance packages which can be specifically tailored to your individual requirements, that way, you only pay for the cover you need.
If you are unsure or feel you would benefit from advice, we would recommend you take to a specialist business insurance broker such as Insync.
FREE Insurance Review
Insync Insurance can compare home business insurance for up to 10 insurers in minutes, or why not book a free business insurance review with an expert advisor directly from our website at a time that suits YOUR diary.
Alternatively, call us on 0330 1240730, and one of our gurus can guide you through the insurance maze!