The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lock down means more and more of us will be working from home for the foreseeable future – but does this mean you need to take out additional business insurance? Or will your current home insurance policy cover you for everything you need?
Insurance is something we’d happily go without given half the chance – even the most pessimistic among us would probably prefer to take their chances rather than stump up hundreds of pounds each year ‘just in case’ the worst happens.
This means most of us don’t need much of an excuse forego taking out cover, whether buildings, contents, life or business insurance – obviously, car insurance is a different matter as that is a legal requirement.
And if you work from home, you might wonder whether you need business insurance – so here’s a quick guide to ensure you’re properly insured to work from home…
What is office insurance?
This is effectively home insurance for your office and covers your property against theft, loss or damage to furniture and office supplies, computer equipment and any other kit you have in your home office.
As with home insurance, office insurance covers your equipment for theft, fire and flood damage, accidental damage and you should even be covered if you lose any portable devices, such as tablets or laptops, while away from the home.
And if your home insurance policy covers office equipment, you should still check the terms and conditions as this cover may be invalidated if you work from home full time – if so, you’ll need to take out separate office insurance.
What is Public liability insurance?
You’ll need public liability (PL) insurance if you have customers or clients visit your home as this protects you if someone or something is damaged while at your home/place of work and it’s deemed you’ve been negligent.
If you take out PL insurance this will pay for any compensation and legal fees if a client or customer is injured, for instance by tripping over a computer lead in your office, or if their property is damaged, say you drop a cup of coffee on their smartphone.
If you’re thinking it’ll never happen to you so you’ll save a few quid by not taking out PL insurance, consider that successful personal injury claims can come with massive compensation payouts – and you’ll be responsible for meeting that cost of you’re not covered.
And remember, if you’re working from home, there could be clutter left around that you’ve missed but could easily be found by someone else’s foot or a paving stone on your driveway could be loose.
Before you do take out any additional cover though, check that PL insurance isn’t included as part of any
What is Employers’ liability insurance?
Similar to PL insurance, Employers’ liability (EL) insurance covers you if you’re deemed to be at fault for an employee suffering illness or injury while at work.
Your legal fees and any compensation will be paid in the event an employee is injured or falls ill as a result of incorrect training or they suffer a trip or fall or some other mishap while on your premises.
And EL insurance is a legal requirement for every UK business with employees – that means anyone who helps you run your business, whether they’re paid, work voluntarily, are permanent, temporary, part-time or full-time.
Failure to have EL insurance in place will result in a £2,500 fine for every day you are without cover in addition to a £1,000 fine for not displaying a certificate of proof.
What is Professional indemnity insurance?
Professional indemnity (PI) is basically for those businesses that offer specialist advice or services to paying customers and is necessary in case that advice leaves them out of pocket and they sue you for professional negligence.
This cover will protect against things like breaches of contract, intellectual property rights, confidentiality and defamation and cover any subsequent legal fees and compensation as well as help with reputation management.
Like this? Read How to make a flood insurance claim