If you work from home you have to be very careful that your home insurance policy will cover you while you’re running your business.
‘Clerical duties’ only
Most policies, around 90%, cover you for what’s commonly known as ‘clerical duties’. This usually equates to what might be deemed general office work, such as using an ordinary computer and filing.
However, for many self-employed people working from home this won’t be enough.
Specialist business equipment example
Take someone who is a self-employed film and music editor or computer programmer as an example. Such editors and programmers need a good deal more computer equipment than just an ordinary laptop to work from; they might need several powerful computers packed with expensive software.
If such home workers didn’t have the right insurance, and they were broken into and all their editing tech-equipment stolen, they wouldn’t be covered.
Areas you may need extra cover
Here are a number of insurance areas where you might need extra cover if you do work from home:
Business equipment insurance – From carpenters and hairdressers to bicycle mechanics and computer programmers, there’s a good chance you’ll need to increase your cover to allow for business equipment use on your home premises.
Buildings and contents insurance – A standard policy might not be enough for your needs, depending on the business you run. One example would be a food business which involves cooking from an ordinary domestic kitchen; a standard policy certainly wouldn’t be sufficient in this case.
Public liability insurance – Some home-based businesses involve having clients come to your property. If they were to injure themselves and or for some reason seek to sue you for damages, without public liability insurance you wouldn’t be able to get financial assistance with the issue.
Goods-in-transit cover – If you send goods or stock to clients around the country you should have the items protected in case of loss or damage in transit. Ordinary cover certainly won’t be sufficient.
Legal expenses insurance – If you have to defend yourself and/or business in court and hire solicitors to help with a legal problem, it can be extremely expensive. Cover for legal expenses should help ensure you can afford to fight your corner.
Employers’ liability insurance – Even if you have staff that come to your home to help with your business, wrapping goods for posting for example, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance. Even if you don’t pay them and it’s voluntary, you still need it. Without it, if staff hurt themselves and sue you, you’ll not have any financial cover.
Professional indemnity insurance – If you provide any kind of advice or service that your clients pay for, you stand to be sued for malpractice or compensation. Professional indemnity insurance means you’ll be able to call on the right financial assistance if you have to settle a claim, and also the legal fees to fight your case.
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