There might be a nasty shock in store if you forgo your responsibilities when working from home
Make sure the working environment complies with health and safety legislation
Your home insurance policy may not cover all your business risks
Consider public liability insurance is essential if clients or contractors will visit your home office
You’ll need employer’s liability if you employ staff who work at your home office
Many startups and small businesses will choose to keep overheads to a minimum and work from home. If it’s just you and one or two members of staff, it can make sense simply to open up a laptop in the kitchen, rather than deal with the complications that renting office space brings.
Even when working from home, there are insurance and health and safety obligations that must be fulfilled. Deepak Soni is a small business insurance expert at Hiscox. His five points below will help you avoid falling into any traps when running your business from home:
If you have a working office in your house, your home insurance policy isn’t there to look after your business risks.
Employer’s liability insurance is essential if any members of staff are working at your home office.
If clients visit your home on business, you’ll also need public liability insurance to cover the costs of any accidents that might happen to them.
Business interruption won’t come under a standard household policy and you might want to think about adding it on. I hear about people who work from home and have not been able to use their office because of flooding, for example. Business just stops because the right policy wasn’t in place.
You might also want to think about a contents policy. If you have four or five work laptops and other equipment that are stolen from the home office, a standard home insurance policy may not pay out if you’ve not informed them of the dual use of your premises. What happens if the insurer refuses to pay out – can a small business take that kind of financial hit?