Businesses that operate from home still need the right insurance protection
More and more small businesses and consultancies are home-based in the 21st century. But check you have the right insurance in place to avoid disaster.
Over four million people are today working from home in the UK, and this figure continues to rise year-on-year. This trend has in a large part been brought about by the fact that so much of our work and indeed our day to day life is conducted online and with the speed and availability of today’s WiFi and broadband, there is no need to be in a dedicated office to do our work.
The same tasks can be done just as easily from home or indeed from one’s favourite coffee shop, library or anywhere else where we can get online.
Having said that, there will always be circumstances in which a phone call or an email will not do and we need to meet clients and other business associates face-to-face. In this situation, the obvious solution is to meet at home.
In this kind of scenario, it is easy to overlook the potential risks. Those who do not take out public liability insurance put not only their livelihoods but possibly their homes and assets at risk in the event of a catastrophic incident.
This and some other types of insurance that are important to the home-based business person are examined a little further below:
Public Liability Insurance
While not a legal requirement, public liability insurance is basically an essential for even the smallest business. It provides protection in the event that either your customers or members of the public suffer some sort of injury or property damage because of your business. Any business operator who interacts with customers or the public on his own premises needs to remember that accidents can happen. Public liability insurance would specifically cover the consequences of a client having an accident while visiting your home for a business meeting.
Business Contents Cover
If your home is also your office, you will almost certainly have valuable business items, such as IT equipment, that will not be automatically covered by your home contents insurance policy. It might be possible to amend your home policy accordingly, but it is usually more cost effective to take out a business contents policy.
Electronic Data Loss Insurance
On the subject of IT equipment, virtual data is often of even greater importance than physical assets to today’s businesses. Cyber policies protect against lost or damaged data. They can also provide cover against business interruption that might be brought about as a consequence of a serious data loss event. Such interruption can end up being more costly to the business than the event itself.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Everybody makes mistakes, but if your business is to perform actions or give advice on which your customers rely, then such mistakes can prove costly and can lead to lawsuits and legal costs. Professional indemnity (also known as errors and omissions) insurance protects you against any failure to perform your job, or losses sustained by a client through negligence or some other mistake or omission on your part.
Other types of coverage
Depending on your business, there are various other policies that you might need to consider. For example, if you employ anybody else in your business, then employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement. This provides cover in the event that an employee suffers illness or injury as a result of their work. If you operate vehicles, then different forms of motor insurance will be needed, and if your company has directors or key managers, you should seriously consider directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.