Working from home sounds like a dream. No more commuting, no need to worry about getting suited and booted. And who wouldn’t like to work in their pyjamas?
The number of people who are choosing to work for themselves is rising too. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics the number of self-employed workers rose from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017.
But there are additional considerations to turning your home into your place of work, not least what it means for your home insurance.
What does your existing policy cover?
Some policies specifically offer cover for business equipment in your home, but it’s certainly not a given that your policy will do so.
Extending your cover vs specialist business insurance
Most people who work from home will have two main options when it comes to their home insurance. The simplest step will be extending their level of cover to ensure that any additional business equipment is protected.
However, it may be that it is more appropriate to go for a dedicated ‘work from home’ insurance policy. You’ll need to check with your insurer to explain your situation in order for you to establish which sort of policy will best meet your requirements. The type of work you are doing and whether there will be any business visitors to your home will affect the type of policy you need.
How much cover do I need?
When it comes to working out how much cover you should have in place, the fundamentals are exactly the same as if you don’t work at home. Go through the house and note down how much it would cost to replace each item in each room.
Remember, home insurance policies generally have single item limits, often of around £1,000, which is the most that you can claim to replace a single item. So if you have specialist equipment that is worth more than that limit, make sure you name it on the policy.
Are you covered away from the home?
Another important consideration will be whether your policy covers your business equipment when it is removed from the home. For example, your main equipment might be a laptop, but you may need to take it with you for meetings outside the home.
As a result, it’s important that you check your policy will offer some protection should something happen to the laptop while you are out and about.
Will my premiums go up?
If you have to alter your policy as a result of working from home, the policy may become more expensive as a result of the additional cover.
However, it’s certainly not set in stone. In fact, some people actually see their premiums fall in price, as the property is rarely left empty.
Always update your insurer when your circumstances change
If you go self-employed half way through your home insurance policy term, or if your circumstances change in some other way, then it’s vital that you let your insurer know.
Failing to do so could cause real issues if you need to make a claim.
What about public liability insurance?
You may also need to look into public liability insurance if you run a business where people will be visiting you at your home. This is a type of insurance policy which covers any costs which may arise if someone else suffers an injury on your premises, as well as any legal fees you may need to pay if defending yourself against a claim.