The number of homeworkers in the UK has hit record levels, with around 4.2 million people – or roughly 14% of the workforce – working remotely according to last year’s government statistics. 1.5 million of these works do their job from home exclusively, meaning that they are never required to go into the office.
So, what happens to the common business insurances that are often specified in client contracts? Is Public Liability Insurance still required for example, which covers you in the event of an accident involving a client or member of the public? Many people assume not, which seems logical when working alone from your home office. However, you could still fall foul of a claim. Some comprehensive home insurance policies may cover some business-related claims but many either will not include a clause concerning your work at all or won’t provide the cover you need. There are some very specific risks that come with working from home that only insurance designed for that purpose will cover.
Public Liability Risks At Home
Identifying a Public Liability risk may seem a little vague, however if you think of it as the ‘physical’ damage you could do, directly or indirectly, to business equipment or a client themselves. As soon as a client enters your home, you could be liable should anything happen to them.
Example of Risk
A van driver is carrying a heavy order into your home when they trip on the cracked front step that you’ve been meaning to fix for six months. They fall and fracture their wrist, meaning that they can’t work for at least six weeks whilst it heals. They claim on your Public Liability for loss of income caused by your lack of workplace maintenance i.e your home.
Professional Indemnity Risks At Home
Much like Public Liability Insurance, you will almost definitely still need Professional Indemnity (PI) while working from home. 90% of clients will include this particular insurance in their contract anyway and it’ll certainly still be applicable, despite not working from an office. Whilst Public Liability Insurance cover the ‘physical’ damage you could cause, Professional Indemnity insures you against any potential financial losses damage.
Risk of a claim doesn’t even necessarily have to be caused by an event or accident. You could make a simple mistake in some designs or miscalculate some financial advice that could result in a claim whilst working from home.
Example of Risk
You work from home as an IT consultant. You were contracted to implement an IT system for a new client. Terms and objectives were agreed which were ultimately met, however your client decided that the new system operated too slowly. They claim on your Professional Indemnity for performance issues due to your professional negligence.
How Can I Obtain Insurance?
No matter what business you are involved in, John Heath Insurance Brokers can help. We offer both Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance and we can quote for each of these types of insurance either on our website or via our office. Quotes are available the same day for the vast majority of occupations. We’re always happy to provide advice and we’ll guide you through our online quote system if you wish.
Please contact a member of our team if you have any queries.