What is business contents insurance?
Business contents insurance is a type of commercial cover designed to protect items kept in your work premises, including:
- Business equipment
A business contents policy can cover your company against the risks that accidents, theft, fire and water damage can pose to the equipment in your workplace.
Sometimes, no matter how many safety protocols you adhere to, accidents happen – and you can’t predict theft. Hiscox business contents cover provides insurance for items that range from computers to office furniture and boxes filled with samples.
You might be a marketing firm with breakout areas containing expensive seating or a photographer with valuable camera equipment and props. You might even have furniture or heaters left outdoors at your property – these can also be covered.
As a direct business insurer, we can provide broad cover, so artwork and visitors’ personal belongings can be covered as well as business equipment.
Does my business need contents insurance?
As a small business owner, you may experience various problems that business contents insurance could help to resolve.
For instance, if you couldn’t afford to repair or replace office items damaged by flash flooding, business contents insurance could help you to weather the storm.
If you’re a nail technician or hairdresser operating in a salon, theft of stock or vandalism from a break-in could be difficult to manage financially without cover. Office-based professionals such as recruitment consultants or insurance brokers often rely on computer equipment.
If any of these items were to become damaged accidentally – by an electrical fire, for example – the costs may stack up.
Your business’ contents are key components in running your business – therefore insurance can quickly get you back up and running by helping to fund necessary repairs and replacements.
We cover a huge range of different business types and sizes. We’ll tailor your office contents insurance quote to meet your needs.Get your quote
How much business contents insurance do I need?
The amount of business contents insurance you may need for your office or other premises depends on how much equipment you own and use as part of your business activities.
To work out how much cover you could need, total the value of all your business assets – this will determine how much it could cost you to replace them. To avoid being underinsured, it may be wise to take out business contents insurance for at least this total value.
In a claim situation, if you found the total claim figure was more than you insured your contents for, this could affect our ability to support your business.
What's included in your small business contents insurance?
Business contents insurance can cover you for*:
- Theft – this also includes incidents that happen during normal business hours. Losses can be covered even where thieves don’t break in.
- Accidental damage cover as standard – for example, damage to windows, displays and signs you take responsibility for.
- Loss or damage – including damage caused by storm, flood or escape of water and fire.
- Personal property brought into the office by employees or visitors. This includes artwork.
- Loss of data – the cost to restore databases lost due to physical damage is covered. This might be an office fire that destroys a backed-up hard drive. Accidental erasure and loss of data from cyber attacks are not covered by this section.
- Specialist tech – Hiscox also has specialist contents cover tailored to the needs of the technology industry. This features enhancements such as managing incompatible software following a claim.
*Please refer to the policy wording for the full details of inclusions and exclusions of this cover. Contents and stock replacement costs are calculated differently.
When should I get business contents cover?
Although having cover for your business contents isn’t a legal requirement, getting insurance may become important as soon as you have a space and buy the first piece of equipment to be used or stored there.
If your business premises were affected by theft, flooding or fire, your equipment could become irreparably damaged – even accidents can have a big impact.
Particularly for small businesses, specialist equipment and the right supplies can be a big investment – commercial contents insurance can ensure you don’t have to fork out twice.
This cover helps protect your business assets so you can keep operations running smoothly.
What is business stock insurance?
Stock insurance is included with contents cover and can help to pay for the replacement of supplies that are damaged or stolen. This cover can assist any business that needs to keep stock on their premises.
You might run a salon and require cover for the bottles of product that help you provide a full service to your clients – whether that’s colour, toner, shampoo, or conditioner. If you run a small shop or are a florist, a flood or fire could damage or completely destroy your stock – insurance can step in to help with paying for replacements at cost price to you.
Theft can also be a threat – so having insurance can help you quickly bounce back and keep the wheels of business in motion.
Business contents insurance: FAQs
Do I need business contents insurance if I work from a home-based office?
While you may have cover for your home contents, standard policies may not cover your work equipment, so additional insurance for your home-based business could be key.
For a small business, the cost of replacing expensive work items could be difficult to manage without the support of contents insurance.
Similarly, if you’re an online retailer and operate from home rather than a physical store, you’ll likely need to store items at home, so adding insurance cover can be reassuring.
It is worth adding up the value of business items you store at home to understand how much it would cost to replace them without cover.
How much does business contents insurance cost?
The cost of your business contents policy will depend on the cover limits you choose, the items you insure and any additional cover you decide to include.
For instance, if you rent premises, you might choose business contents cover on its own, because your landlord should have insurance for the building. However, if you own the building, you might choose to buy insurance to combine cover for the commercial building itself and the contents within.
Being underinsured can reduce how much we pay in the event of a claim, so accurately working out the value of your contents for your ‘sum insured’ could be key. Get a quote or contact us to discover what’s available to you and how much it might cost.
Are my business contents covered if I use them outside my premises?
You may need additional insurance for portable items, such as laptops or smartphones, or if you use equipment while operating in multiple locations.
Adding portable equipment cover, or ‘property away and in transit’ cover, to your business contents insurance can add extra protection for accidental damage, loss or theft for when you use your kit on the go.
Another helpful add-on for commercial contents cover is equipment breakdown insurance, which can step in if your kit faces sudden mechanical or electrical failure.
Does stock insurance account for seasonal uplifts?
When you take out business contents insurance and add stock cover, it can be important to avoid underinsurance by ensuring your sum insured is accurate.
We can tailor cover according to the needs of your business, and this includes accounting for seasonal peaks. Simply let us know your maximum amount at risk at your busiest time.
If your business experiences a boom in custom and your stock levels have to grow accordingly, our unlimited policy changes can help. This allows you to recalculate the total value of your stock and adjust your cover limit to meet your new requirements.
We offer seasonal stock uplift as standard for some professions, so get in touch to discover what’s available to you.
Business contents insurance: articles and guides
Protecting the bricks, mortar, and the contents of your office with insurance can be an important step. Our Chief Digital Officer Ronnie Brown explains this in his guide to managing business risks.
Contents insurance is just one type of cover that can protect your small business – learn about the other types of commercial insurance.
At Hiscox, we offer specialist contents cover for technology businesses. Learn all you need to know about insuring your tech start-up with this article.