Working From Home - Are You Covered?
With advancements in technology and many people becoming self-employed, it’s now commonplace to find companies based in the business owner’s home. This sounds great in theory especially if you're a graduate with a great home-based business idea, but what about insurance in the event of problems?
Most people have standard home insurance but this might not cover you while you are working from home depending upon what you do; domestic home insurance usually only covers ‘administration’ duties. It might be worth supplementing your standard contents cover by adding an ‘all-risks’ element to your policy for business equipment. This type of policy would also cover loss or damage when business items are removed from home; laptops for example.
Always keep receipts as proof of purchase when you’re buying new equipment to use at home which is business-related and be honest about how much the items cost when you inform your insurance provider that you want them included in your all-risks policy. If you under-insure your things to try and save money on premiums, you won’t receive their full value in the event that they are damaged or stolen and you have to make a claim. Over-insure and you will just be wasting your money by paying more for your cover than you need to; you will only be paid the real value of the items should you claim.
If you have work-related visitors to your house, you should also consider Public Liability Insurance. This isn’t compulsory but it does protect you from any loss or damage which could result in the event of a claim against you made by anyone visiting your home in connection with your business. This policy would also cover you for any legal fees and other expenses that may be incurred in the defence of a claim.
If you regularly have members of staff working for you in your home, you will need to have Employer’s Liability Insurance and this is a legal requirement. Don’t forget too that if you use your car to travel for business-related appointments, you will need to have it covered for business use.
If you run your business from home and you’re unsure about what cover you need, a quick telephone call or email to your home insurance provider is all you need to clarify things. Before you sign on the dotted line always make sure that you know exactly what the policy will cover, how much it will cost, what the excess amount is and is legal cover contained in the policy terms.
Working from home certainly has many advantages, but it doesn’t come without a degree of responsibility. As you can see though, it’s well worth making the effort to have everything adequately and legally covered, leaving you free to concentrate on growing your business and making a success of it.
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at http://www.theladywriter.co.uk