Business insurance for co-working spaces
Business insurance for co-working spaces
Co-working spaces give you flexibility and freedom, and they can be cost-effective. But how does using a co-working space affect your insurance? Are you covered if your laptop goes missing in a co-working space, or your equipment is damaged? Here’s what you need to know.
What are the benefits of co-working spaces?
Co-working spaces offer a lot of benefits for small businesses and freelancers. They can be an affordable way to base yourself in centrally located offices, often with super-fast broadband, meeting rooms and swanky coffee-making facilities.
More importantly, co-working spaces – working from shared office spaces - offer flexibility. You can easily take on more space if you need it, and less if you don’t.
You don’t need to worry about maintaining the premises, or paying for utilities or buildings insurance. Plus, many co-working spaces stage lots of networking events and other social activities, so you can broaden your circle and make contacts in similar industries.
It’s not just small businesses that operate from co-working spaces, either. Many larger organisations are taking advantage of the flexibility these arrangements can offer.
Can I get insurance in a co-working space?
You may need to look for specialist business contents insurance if you’re working from shared office spaces.
With so many people coming and going in co-working spaces, your laptop, phone and other valuables may be vulnerable to theft. For that reason, many insurance providers consider co-working spaces to be high risk.
Still, more insurance providers are wising up to the fact that this is the modern way of working. And you might find you can get cover for items you take out and about with you, such as laptops and smartphones.
Do co-working spaces provide insurance?
Some co-working spaces may provide you with insurance when you sign up. When you join a co-working space, it’s worth asking what co-working insurance they have, and if it can cover you.
I’m looking for insurance cover for a co-working space, what do I need to think about?
Here’s what to consider if you’re looking for business insurance in co-working spaces:
- Business contents insurance: Do you have large supplies of valuable stock? Or is it just computer equipment you need covered? The best thing to do is make a list of what you need to insure, then get a quote.
- Employers’ liability insurance: Even if you have only one person working for you, employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement, wherever you’re based. It’s designed to protect you against claims if an employee is injured or becomes ill working for you.
- Public liability insurance: it’s possible the owner of the co-working space will have this cover, but you’ll need to check. Public liability insurance can cover you against claims if your business activities cause someone to be injured or killed, or damage property.
- Business interruption insurance: When you’re sharing a working space with others, incidents can happen that interrupt your business or damage your equipment - even if you’re not directly responsible for them. Business interruption insurance can help cover you for lost income if something goes wrong.
- Cyber insurance: Working with others in a shared space can present cyber security risks. What if the shared WiFi network is hacked, or someone steals valuable information by looking over your shoulder when you’re using your laptop? Cyber insurance can cover you against a range of risks. But please note, currently you can’t compare Cyber insurance with us.
How can you increase your security?
There are several things to look out for when choosing and using a co-working space:
- Check out the security of the building when looking for a co-working space. Look for offices where access is controlled by electronic passes, where there’s a reception and where entrances and exits are well lit.
- Choose a space with lockers so you can store your valuables safely when you’re not using them. Alternatively, you could buy a cable lock to attach your laptop to your desk.
- Be aware of cyber security issues when you’re using a shared space. At the very least, make sure the WiFi network is password protected and lock your screen if you’re going away from your computer.
- Ask the owner of the co-working space what business insurance cover they have in place, so you can see what you may need to add on, to be fully covered.
I run a start-up, do I need specialist insurance?
Many companies that base themselves in co-working spaces are start-ups. Some insurance providers specialise in insurance for start-ups, so it’s worth researching to check what’s out there.
What happens if I only work in a co-working space from time to time? Can I get flexible insurance?
If you’re only doing some of your work in a co-working space, it may seem sensible to get flexible insurance cover. The main thing to watch out for is a gap in cover. You may find it works better to get possessions insurance for when you’re outside the home.