How does working from home affect your insurance?
One in seven people now work from home, a total of more than four million workers. Research shows that a further 1.8 million people would like to work from home if they were given the opportunity.
Whether you’re a self-employed entrepreneur or have a flexible employer, working from home offers a range of benefits that can improve quality of life. It enables a healthy work-life balance, improves employee motivation and reduces business overheads. It can be a win-win for companies and individuals alike.
If you’re considering working from home, this may trigger the need for specialist business insurance. Let’s look at the reasons why that may be the case…
- Don’t assume you’re covered under standard home insuranceIt might seem strange that working from home would not be automatically covered by all policies – after all, being at home on the computer or using the phone is something we all do in our free time. Yet working from home often involves bringing home an extra laptop, phone or other equipment which may not be covered by your policy. Check that your property insurance provides cover, or amend your policies if required.
- Having visitors at your home
If you will regularly have visitors in your home for work purposes, for example when providing services such as hairdressing, make-up or child care, you should consider Public Liability insurance cover. This will protect you from guests making claims if they are injured or their property damaged while in your home. Claims can result from something as simple as a slippery floor or a loose piece of carpet, so it’s well worth protecting yourself.
- Having people work for you
If you are self-employed, you might decide to recruit some helpers to support your booming enterprise. Even if these are casual workers, such as students temping in their holidays, it’s a good idea to take out Employer’s Liability insurance to provide cover against a claim by a worker for illness or injury – if they hurt their back carrying boxes, for example. This is important if you have staff such as assistants, cleaners or interns.
- Are you offering advice?
Professional indemnity insurance provides protection against claims that you carried out a service or gave advice which fell short of the required standard. This could be anything from giving accountancy or financial advice to home hair styling. No matter how excellent your skills are, everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Having this type of insurance gives you added peace of mind in the event of a claim.
- The danger of doing nothing
Dealing with insurance matters is not usually high up on most people’s list of things to do, so what happens if you simply work from home without making any change to your insurance status? Potentially, this could invalidate your existing insurance policies, which is not good news if you are unlucky enough to experience a break-in or fire. In addition, you could be held personally liable if, for example, a business visitor slips and has a major accident in your home – the resulting claim could potentially mean insolvency or home repossession.
All home working environments are different, so it’s best to get advice from an insurance professional at Stride, so you can be sure that all your needs are covered.
Office of National Statistics Labour Force Survey