There are thousands of people running businesses from home, whether they work from a laptop, offer treatment or run a beauty salon. Lots of home workers enjoy the freedom of being their own boss under their own roof, with no rent to pay and no commuting.
But running a successful enterprise from home comes with certain risks, and in the event of an accidental flood, burglary or customer being injured on your premises, you need to have sufficient insurance cover in place.
We look at the types of insurance you will require with a home business.
If something goes wrong while you're carrying out your business activity at home and someone suffers injury or loss as a result, you could be faced with a big lawsuit and be required to pay compensation, medical or legal expenses - which could run into thousands of pounds. There are two main types of liability insurance:
1) Employers' liability insurance
If you employ people as part of your home business, whether it is a start up, dental practice or salon, you will be required by law to have employers' liability insurance.
This cover protects staff who get injured, sick or damaged as a result of working for you. This could involve anything from falling off a ladder in the workplace to suffering emotional stress. Your liability insurance will pay compensation to the victim and cover other costs such as paid leave or medical bills.
2) Public liability insurance
This provides cover for any member of the public injured or compromised as a result of your business activity. So if people are coming into your home for work related purposes, this is something you will need to have. Examples of this include a customer slipping on your wet floor or being burned by one of your beauty therapy machines.
Although it is never your intention to cause harm to the individual, because the incident happens on your premises, you are held liable. Insurance will cover damages payable to the injured party.
Professional indemnity insurance
If you are giving advice or treatment from home, whether you are a dentist, therapist or financial adviser, professional indemnity is designed to protect you if your advice leads to suffering or loss of income for a client.
If the client believes that you were negligent and this could have been avoided, they have the right to sue you. So having professional indemnity, or PI as it is known, will help you pay towards legal fees, compensation and the time you have to take off work.
Combining policies with your home policy
Since you are working from home, you probably already have contents and buildings insurance in place under your home policy. So it might be worth seeing whether you can combine the two to save time and money.
Contents: This is to repair or replace any equipment that is lost, broken or stolen. Your home policy will typically cover your furniture, computers, mobile phones and TV screens.
From a business perspective, you may also have specialist equipment such as video or photography apparatus or machines used for cooking or retail purposes. If these machines are out of action, you will not be able to continue with your work and potentially lose income - so getting this covered is a must.
Buildings: Your home insurance will cover physical aspects of your home including walls, ceilings, lights, fittings, roofs and more. But if you have a room that you have turned into an office, you could potentially put this under your buildings insurance so that if there is a fire, flood or vandalism, your insurance will pay for any repairs or replacements.
Speak to your insurer about combining your home and work policy together - there are a few insurers like Be Wiser Business Insurance that can offer this.
Advertorial: © Be Wiser Business Insurance