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Business at home insurance

Running a business out of your home? Protect yourself with an insurance policy designed for home businesses.

What you need to know

  • Just because you are running a business from home does not mean your home insurance will cover your business risks.
  • You may need a specific insurance policy designed to protect your business from damage, loss, business-related accidents and liability.
  • Having the right policy in place can mean the difference between keeping your business going and total disaster.

What does home business insurance cover?

When shopping for an insurance policy for your home business you need to consider the nature of your business and the potential risks you face. Cover options and features will vary from one policy to the next, but home business insurance policies typically include cover for some or all of the following:

  • Public and products liability. This covers your business when a third party is seeking damages for personal injury or property damage that has occurred as a result of your business activity or the products you sell.
  • Material damage. Protect against damage to your business building and contents caused by a range of unforeseen events, such as floods or fires.
  • Business interruption. This cover protects your business against the loss of revenue resulting from an interruption in your business activities. For example, if a storm causes extensive damage and your business can no longer trade or is forced to operate in a limited capacity, business interruption insurance provides cover for any shortfall in profits.
  • Theft. Theft cover offers protection against the theft or vandalism of business property and equipment. You can also elect to take out cover for loss of money, a feature which also includes cheques and credit cards.
  • Property. This covers the accidental damage of business equipment.
  • Personal accident. If you or one of your employees is involved in an accident that leads to them becoming permanently disabled or even dying, a benefit will be paid under this type of cover.

What isn't covered by home business insurance?

Home office business insurance policies have a number of exclusions. Exclusions on policies will generally differ from one insurer to the next, but claims will typically not be paid if:

  • They relate to the destruction, corruption or misappropriation of electronic data
  • They relate to damage caused by a computer virus
  • They relate to damage caused by a bushfire or a named cyclone
  • They relate to your failure to comply with any relevant statutory obligations or laws
  • The loss or damage to your buildings, contents or stock occurred while buildings are subject to construction, erection, alterations, repairs, maintenance or demolition.
  • They are related to war, invasion, civil insurrection or evolution
  • They are for consequential loss of any kind
  • They are false or fraudulent
  • You, or someone else with your knowledge, intentionally cause the loss or damage
  • They relate to acts of terrorism

What type of business insurance do I need?

The exact type and level of cover you need will depend on the nature of your home-based business. Ask yourself what risks your company faces. If a potentially damaging event did occur, what would the financial consequences be for your company? Will you need public liability cover for clients and customers who visit your office? Will you need cover for your computer equipment and office machinery? What about workers’ compensation cover, protection against fire and storm damage, or cover for costs resulting from business interruption?

When shopping for your insurance policy, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have employees? Will they need workers' compensation?
  • Do you have vehicles which are used for business purposes?
  • Do you offer advice or a professional service to your clients?
  • Do you have the cash and resources to survive a business interruption? For how long?
  • How much expensive equipment do you have in your home-based office?
  • Do you frequently store expensive business-related goods in your home or car?
  • Is your home office particularly vulnerable to specific natural disasters?

Talk to a broker about home business insurance

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