Home Business Insurance

Information verified correct on October 25th, 2016

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Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, from small one- or two-person operations to multinational behemoths. One of the few things that all businesses have in common is that they have specific risks and insurance needs.

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Not only is this true of businesses that operate from commercial premises, but also for those run from a home office. As an increasing number of Australians choose to run their business using non-traditional methods, whether they be freelancers, consultants or entrepreneurs, they still need an adequate level of insurance cover to offer protection for their home and their business.

While you may think that your home and contents insurance policy will provide the cover your home business needs, this is typically not the case. Without insurance cover in place, home businesses face a range of risks that have the potential to be very financially damaging. Risks range from fire or storm damage to business interruption, theft and public liability claims.

However, by taking out an appropriate level of home business insurance cover, small business owners are able to make sure they have the protection they need for a stable and successful future.

Business Insurance for Home Businesses

Though running a business from your own home may seem like a relatively risk-free venture on the surface, a closer look reveals potential dangers lurking at every turn.

Example 1

Let’s say you run an online retail store, specialising in the sale of children’s clothing and your store your stock in your garage. If a fire were to destroy your home, including all the stock, your home and contents policy would most likely not reimburse you for the financial loss related to the stock.

Example 2

Your business requires you to allow members of the general public to visit your home. If a customer were to slip and fall while at your home and injure themselves, they could sue you for damages. Without public liability cover in place, your business could very quickly find itself up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Home business insurance offers financial protection against the risk. Some insurers specialise in insuring small businesses and will allow you to tailor coverage to suit your specific needs. You can take out cover for damage or loss caused by fire and other defined events, public and products liability, business interruption, theft and personal accident.

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Who Needs Home Business Insurance?

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that more than 67% of small businesses in Australia are home-based. That’s quite a large number, but what many of those small business owners fail to realise is that their business, its stock and contents will typically not be covered under a regular home and contents insurance policy.

Questions to ask yourself when taking out home business insurance include:

  • How much stock do you have at home?
  • Do you store a lot of business equipment and office furniture in your home-based office?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • Do your clients and members of the public regularly visit your business premises?
  • Do you sell products to members of the public?
  • Where is your home located?

Answering these questions will help you determine just how much home business insurance you need. In order to assess the insurance needs of your business, it’s also quite often a good idea to enlist the help of an experienced insurance broker.

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Home Business Insurance Policy Cost

There are plenty of factors you need to take into account when selecting a home business insurance policy. For starters, if you have a home and contents insurance policy in place, check to see what (if any) cover they provide for you home business.

Having the right type and level of cover in place is crucial to the financial strength of your business, so make sure you carefully assess your business insurance needs.

The best thing you can do to help you choose the right policy is consider the general risks your business faces. What is the likelihood of those risks occurring and what would be the financial consequences for your business if they did?

Consider the other dangers that face your business.

  • Will you need protection for your assets, such as office equipment or any machinery?
  • Are you at risk of suffering fire or storm damage?
  • What about theft—is it a big problem for your business?
  • Do you need workers’ compensation cover?

Once you know the type of insurance you need, then it’s time to start looking for cover. finder.com.au is the perfect place to begin the insurance buying process. We have a range of resources to help you compare insurance providers and the policies they offer, while you can also seek out other online reviews. Obtaining advice and recommendations from others in your line of business can also be beneficial.

It’s also a good idea to compare a number of policies and obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers. This will let you weigh up a number of important factors including benefits, features, limits, exclusions and the price involved.

Finally, insurance brokers offer a very useful service to small business owners. It’s a broker’s job to help you find the right insurance coverage for your needs, so don’t hesitate to seek out a broker’s expert advice when hunting for business insurance.

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Making a Home Business Insurance Australia Claim

If you need to make a claim, your insurance provider will be able to issue you with instructions on how to get the process started. However, the most important thing you can do is notify your insurer as soon as possible after any incident or loss that has the potential to lead to a claim. You’ll need to provide a description of things such as:

  • where and when the incident took place
  • what happened
  • an estimate of the loss you have suffered
  • details of the steps you took to minimise any loss.

If necessary, you’ll also need to report certain incidents to the police or other relevant authorities.

In some cases your insurance provider will request more details or supporting evidence from you, so make sure to supply all of this information as soon as possible. Doing so is the best way to ensure the prompt and successful processing of your claim.

More details of how to make a claim will be available in your insurance policy documents.

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Apply for a Home Business Insurance Quote

Business insurance is essential for businesses great and small, even for those businesses that are run from home. In order to ensure that you have the right type and level of cover in place, compare a range of policy options and the benefits they offer. If you need more help, seek advice from an experienced insurance broker.

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