Home Offices and Public Liability Insurance

Working from your home office and the freedom it provides you are fantastic. You could be reading this article dressed in your PJ’s or sitting outside on the deck. Perhaps both!

Having a home office without doubt saves you money. No office rent, travel costs or need to buy insurance. Whilst the first two are correct the latter isn’t. Many people who have a home office assume that they don’t need to carry their own public liability insurance. Unfortunately, this is not always true.

The common belief is that their home and contents liability cover will protect them and their business. This is not always the case, indeed one well known home and contents insurers Liability insuring clause is directly linked to you “owning or living within in your home”. Operation of a home business is not mentioned at all and therefore should be assumed to not be covered.

Even if 'home office' is mentioned then should you leave your home office for any purpose to do with the business i.e. banking, meetings, trade shows or visiting suppliers then the liability insurance will generally not cover you. In addition, if you sell ‘things’ over the internet but buy the stock in yourself from overseas this makes you the ‘manufacturer’ in the eyes of the law. Being the manufacturer requires you to have Products Liability. This is not a cover found within a home and contents policy.

We appreciate that cost is a big factor when it comes to purchasing insurance but with Public Liability starting from a few hundred dollars it is worth exploring for yourself as the consequences of not being covered when you thought you were could costs tens of thousands. So, before you dismiss purchasing Public Liability Insurance and instead rely on your home and contents liability cover ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do customers and /or suppliers visit my home office?

  2. Will I be visiting clients /suppliers /trade fares as part of my business?

  3. Does my business sell goods?

  4. Does my business mean that I travel to client locations to carry out the service they have purchased?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above then you should be considering buying your own Public Liability Insurance policy.

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