Am I covered by my home contents policy?

If you're running a business from home, it can be tempting to ignore  small business insurance . After all, you might be working from the same laptop you've insured under your home contents policy. Or you might not be worried about business legal costs as your home cover includes legal expenses.

But for many people who operate a home business, a standard home insurance policy simply won't be enough to protect their business properly.

There are several types of cover that are both crucial to any business and usually aren't included as part of a home insurance package. So don't set yourself up for a fall. Understand what you and your business need to stay protected.


1. Home business contents

You run different risks as a business than you do as a homeowner, so it’s worth making sure your valuable equipment and stock are fully covered. Home business cover can also give you essentials like cover for loss of business income, in case you close down temporarily after a fire or flood. Plus, you are covered for theft of business money.


2. Employer's liability

Regardless of the type of business premises you have, if you have employees who aren’t family members, then you're probably legally required to have employer's liability insurance.

If any of your employees suffer injury or become ill under your direction, or as a result of their employment, you could be liable to pay compensation. And that’s whether it happens at your home or not.


3. Public liability

Many home insurance policies will include some level of  public liability cover . If a friend or a tradesman suffers an injury while visiting your home, your home insurance could help with the cost of compensation. But home insurance policies are unlikely to cover you if you visit other properties as a part of your work or if accidents happen as a result of your business activities. They are made to insure you as a homeowner, not as someone running a business.

For example, if you attend a meeting in someone else's home or business premises, and you accidentally cause damage to their property, you could be liable for the cost. And without the right business insurance, you could end up paying that cost out of your own pocket.


4. Product liability

If your business is involved in any of these with a physical product that ends up in the customer’s hands, you might be liable for damage or injury that the product causes:

  • Manufacturing
  • Supplying
  • Own-branding
  • Designing
  • Modifying

Even if you’re not liable for the damage, if you’ve supplied unsafe goods without taking reasonable steps to make sure they are safe, you may still face prosecution.

As you can see, there's a whole lot more to protecting you and your enterprise than most home insurance policies can offer. And while running a business from home could certainly make for some lower premium costs when compared to a fully-premised operation, it doesn’t reduce your liabilities as a business owner.

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