Working from home insurance
The traditional routine of working 9-5 in an office is not as popular as it once was. A recent study by the TUC showed that the number of people working from home has risen considerably in the past decade, increasing by over a quarter of a million, meaning that there are now nearly 4.2 million people altogether in the UK who work from the comfort of their home, according to the Office For National Statistics. Whilst having your own home office has many benefits, such as being able to cut down dramatically on transport costs, paying for lunches, greater flexibility and having control over your work environment, you still need to make sure that you have insurance to protect you and your equipment.
You may think that home insurance will cover you in the event of vandalism, theft, or floods but it is not necessarily the case. This is because some insurance policy covers will become invalidated if you do not mention to the company that you work from home when you first sign up for the insurance policy. However, letting your insurance provider know that you have a home-based business does not mean that you will pay significantly more: it is usually just a few pounds more per month, but this could considerably extend your home policy. We take a look at the different types of home insurance available on the market.
What do I need to consider?
If you are working at home and are looking at insurance policies to make sure your equipment is safe and secure, there are steps you should follow before signing up to any one policy. You should always start by comparing quotes from individual insurance companies, and have the following questions answered before signing a policy agreement:
- Is there a no-claims bonus?
- What is the cost of premiums
- What exactly is covered by my policy?
- How much is excess?
- How much excess is retained by my business?
- Is there a 24-hour emergency helpline?
Business equipment insurance
The average home contents insurance policy will cover a number of electrical goods such as a laptop, TV, DVD player, as well as other items in your home such as furniture or paintings. However, when it comes to specialist home office equipment (for example, audio-visual equipment, photocopiers, specialist software), it is not always the case that a standard home contents policy will cover such items, which could leave you in real trouble if you were to be a victim of theft, fire or flood. This is why if you have expensive specialist home office equipment it is well worth investing in business equipment insurance in order to cover it. Business equipment cover can also help to recover the costs of an inventory, in the event that it was stolen or damaged by accident and you store these products in your home.
However, when taking out business equipment insurance, take time to accurately calculate the value of your business equipment. This is important for a number of reasons: if you under-value your electronic items this means that if you need to replace them due to damage or having been stolen you will not receive the full compensation amount needed to cover the costs by your insurer. Nevertheless, you should not over-evaluate your business equipment either: as this will only mean that you end up paying a far higher premium instead.
Products liability insurance
If you run a company from home and keep your inventory there, it is well worth getting products liability insurance. This type of policy cover will ensure that the costs are covered in the event of defective goods, or if a customer sues you due to being accidentally harmed by a product you have sold to them.
Public liability insurance
Whilst not a compulsory form of insurance for homeworkers, it is worth considering if your line of work means that you have visitors coming to your property for business-related purposes. This is because you are still liable for potential damages should an individual that has visited your home in relation to business activities and is harmed in some way as a result of going to your home. For example, many tutors or therapists will run their business from their home, a customer or patient could have a bad fall in your home and receive an injury, it is possible that they will be able to claim for compensation. If you have public liability insurance policy it means that it can help to cover the costs of various legal fees as well as additional costs that are incurred as defending claims. This type of insurance can also cover you if you regularly visit other people on business and accidentally damage someone’s property.
Employer’s liability insuranceYou may be working from home full-time, but if you have staff that work for you it is a legal obligation for your company to have employer’s liability insurance, (this is at least £5 million).
Professional indemnity insurance
Professional indemnity insurance is commonly used in medical practices or any other field of work that gives professional guidance and advice to its clients from their home. Taking out this kind of cover means that the insurance provider will cover the cost of legal expenses as well as compensation bills that need to be paid due to a customer wanting to pursue legal action. This is possible if a client feels that you have given them professional advice that they feel unhappy with, and it has led them to experience financial loss. They can also pursue legal action if they believe the professional services you have provided have been negligent.
Finding the right insurance policy
We work with a number of the insurance providers who specialise in working from home insurance cover, meaning that we can help you find the very best policies and offers to suit your needs.