Covid-19 has transformed all our lives. One of the biggest changes is that millions of people now work from home.
Will this continue as the "new normal"? Office work has become much more flexible and it is likely to continue - advancing technology has made remote working possible for a while, but the pandemic has massively accelerated the process. Who had heard of Zoom before spring 2020?
Employers have also realised that flexible working enables them to reduce overheads with less office space, while at the same time having a happier workforce.
So, what are the practicalities of the new working from home era for employers, employees, and business owners?
In this guide, we outline the different types of business insurance required, depending on your situation, including:
- Businesses being run from home
- Employees working from home
- Liability insurance
- Cyber insurance
- Business equipment insurance
- Indemnity insurance
Do I need business insurance for working from home?
If you run your business from home, meet clients at your home, or hold stock on your home premises, you might find a home business insurance policy in addition to your existing home contents insurance is beneficial. Standard home insurance generally will not cover business activities.
There are three main types of home business insurance:
- Clerical business – this covers ‘standard’ office activities.
- Business use with visitors – appropriate if you have clients or the general public visiting your property.
- Other business use – if you store business stock on your home property, this could increase the risk of theft or accident.
Home business insurance policies arranged through Bollington start from £10 per month. No two home businesses are the same, so we’ll find the right policy and the best value for your specific requirements, using our influence and bargaining power with the leading insurers.
Business insurance for employees working from home
If your business was previously office-based, and due to Covid your employees are now working remotely, your existing business insurance should be sufficient.
However, we recommend checking your policy. Most will cover the business even when it is not being conducted from the usual place, as long as you are still in the UK.
If you employ staff, freelancers or volunteers, you are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. Employers’ liability covers against claims from employees who have suffered injury or illness because of their job or work they do for you. This is still required even if all your employees are now remote workers.
If you have clients visiting your home for business meetings or appointments, public liability insurance is a wise choice. This policy protects you against claims from the public if they are injured on your property; for example, if a client trips and falls in your home.
Cyberattacks and data breaches are an increasing risk for all businesses, and cyber security in a home is likely to be less sophisticated than in a large business. Employees could be working on unsecured wi-fi networks, downloading applications, and using their own personal devices for work.
Cyber insurance is a wise investment for any business that is run from home or involves remote working. It protects against a wide range of threats, including malware, phishing scams, ransomware attacks and human error.
Bollington have teamed up with Hiscox to provide comprehensive, flexible cyber cover for your business with Hiscox CyberClear. We also offer cover from leading cyber insurance specialists including CFC Underwriting, to provide choice and quality of cover to businesses of all sizes, including homeworkers.
Business equipment insurance
If your employees are working from home, business owned devices (laptops and mobile phones) will be used and stored in individual’s homes, as a business, you will have less control over their loss, damage or theft. These items should be included as part of your business insurance, Check your existing policy if you’re unsure.
Professional indemnity insurance
Professional indemnity insurance provides cover for the legal costs of defending claims arising from clients who have followed your professional advice. Circumstances can include breach of care to a client, loss of their data or documents, dishonesty, libel or slander, or unintentional breach of their intellectual property rights.
If your business offers advice to clients, you should consider professional indemnity insurance. While you can do everything within your power to document advice given to clients and to stay within the regulations applicable to your industry, there are always occasions where such clients may deem you responsible for losses they occur.
It’s always best to check your existing policy documents if you are unsure whether your current business insurance policy overs working from home.
As one of the UK’s leading brokers we search the market to offer a range of home business insurance policies from the leading providers to suit your business needs and can provide instant cover if required.