Official statistics confirm that the number of people working from home continues to grow steadily. The most recent statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that home working currently accounts for around 14% of the total population in work in the UK. Often, suitable work from home insurance gets neglected.
This number includes not only self-employed people working from their own home but also the employees who have made arrangements with their employers to work from home.
For many of those concerned, these arrangements prove attractive and work proceeds successfully. For both the self-employed, employees and employers, however, there are a number of important considerations for staying the right side of the law and for protecting the investment being made in the working from home business:
- depending on the nature of the work involved and the extent of any modifications to the home, planning permission from the local authority may be required – failure to do so might put paid to any working from home;
Work from home insurance
- this is probably the single most important consideration before setting up and running a home working business – whether in a self-employed capacity or as an employer;
- get it wrong and you might be putting both your business and your home itself at considerable risk;
- since standard home building and contents insurance is unlikely to offer the scope and level of cover required when you are working from home, an alternative, specialist insurance may typically be needed;
- working from home insurance therefore features in the check list of things to do that is published by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), defining the responsibilities of the self-employed, employees and any employer;
- for a fuller account of just what is involved in work from home insurance, however, you might want to consult a specialist provider – such as us here at GSI Insurance;
- this kind of cover might vary according to your particular needs and from one insurer to another, but might typically protect you and your home from some of the following risks and perils;
- public liability – in terms of the potential size of any claim if a client or visitor to your home-based business is concerned, public liability indemnity of at least £1 million is generally considered to be essential;
- employers’ liability – if you employ anyone else in running your business from home, you are almost certain to be required by law (with some rare exceptions for close family members) to hold a minimum of £5 million indemnity to cover potential claims following injury, sickness or damage to the employee’s property whilst engaged in work for you;
- office equipment – the heart of your home business is likely to be the office space from which you work and into which you have installed equipment, stationery and computers. These need to be insured against loss or damage from such risks as theft, fire, flooding, escape of water, and accidental damage;
- stock – if you are storing any business stock and supplies at home, then these too need the protection against loss or damage of work from home insurance. The importance of arranging such cover clearly increases in line with the value of any stock you might be keeping at home;
- cash – whether you have clients visiting you at home or you go out to do business with them, it is important to know that any cash receipts are protected by insurance cover. Some insurers may require that cash and other items of particular value are securely kept in a safe at your home;
- business interruption – in the event of an insured incident at your home, you may not be able to work as normal and the day to day operation of your business is disrupted. You might want to make sure that your insurance cover provides adequate compensation of any loss of income resulting from such incidents.
Running a business from your home may have many attractions – you are on familiar ground, there is no travelling to and from your office, many overheads, such as rent and utilities are shared with the home in which you live, and you have the convenience of being able to take a break at a moment’s notice.
But there are hazards and risks too – presenting potential threats not only to the business you are trying to build but also the very home in which you live.
So that you have these vulnerabilities safely protected, therefore, you might want to discuss your insurance options with a specialist, independent provider of work from home insurance.