Quite often, successful home-based businesses start from an idea to make a little extra money, with the office being little more than a laptop on the kitchen table. Even when these small enterprises become the main source of income, they still aren’t always taken seriously in terms of proper business insurance.
Any damage to your personal office equipment when working from home will not necessarily be covered by your home contents insurance, especially if your residential address is also registered as your business address. Frustrating, if your laptop is used for social networking as much as it is for sourcing work, but true. Neither will your home policy provide public liability cover. Even if your equipment is covered, once you total up the cost of computer, printer and other peripherals, you’re looking at many thousands of pounds, which could hit your premiums hard, if not wipe out the sum your contents are insured for entirely.
Going to a specialist insurance broker for impartial advice on a business insurance policy is essential, as they will be able to give you the best advice on whether a single policy or a combination of policies would be more appropriate. As with all insurance policies, be sure to provide all relevant information or the policy could prove invalid.
The types of insurance required will depend largely on the type of business you run, although contingencies to protect against loss of cash, loss or damage of goods, or credit insurance in case those who owe you go bankrupt are absolutely essential extras on top of any equipment you may require to run your business.
Another costly mistake would be to assume that if a business visitor had an accident whilst in your home, that they wouldn’t treat it in exactly the same way as if that accident had happened on business premises – from their point of view, that is exactly what has happened, even though it may have been a slip in your kitchen, or a fall down your stairs. Public liability insurance for your business is an absolute essential.
It might be useful to bear the following in mind when shopping around for home business insurance:
• How much equipment do I have, and how much of an impact on my standard home insurance policy might it make if I have to claim?
• Will I have visitors to my home that are there exclusively on business matters?
• Could my business collapse for want of even a small quantity of unpaid invoices?
Although insurance is just that – a buffer to protect against the unexpected – it is never wise to think “it won’t happen to me” in regard to disasters.