Insurance if you work from home

Whether you’re continuing to work from home after the pandemic or you’re setting up a business in your front room, you’ll want to make sure that you and your work equipment are financially protected if things go wrong. Here’s what you need to know about working from home insurance.

Whether you’re continuing to work from home after the pandemic or you’re setting up a business in your front room, you’ll want to make sure that you and your work equipment are financially protected if things go wrong. Here’s what you need to know about working from home insurance.

Emily Kindness
Business insurance expert
minute read
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Last Updated 16 FEBRUARY 2022

What can working from home insurance cover?

Insurance can compensate you financially if your work equipment or stock is damaged or stolen, or a client is injured when visiting your home. Business insurance can also cover you for compensation claims if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of working for you.

Not all home workers will need to take out a business insurance policy, but it’s important to make sure you have the right cover for all your business needs.

Do I need business insurance if I work from home?

It depends on the circumstances.  If you’re working for an employer, you may not need it. But if you’re running your own business there may be things you need business insurance to cover.

For example, if you employ even one person, you’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance, regardless of whether you or they are working from home. You may also need business insurance if:

  • You have customers or clients who regularly visit your property
  • You have an employee who is essential to the running of your business
  • Your business would suffer significantly if you were unable to work due to accident or illness
  • Your business activities could injure or kill a member of the public, or damage their property
  • You offer advisory services that could result in legal action being taken against you
  • You have stock or other items that would need replacing if they’re stolen or damaged.

Is working from home covered by home insurance?

Your home insurance could give you some cover for your equipment if you’re simply doing office work at home, but policies vary. This is sometimes referred to in policies as using your home for clerical business purposes. It’s important to check your policy to see if you’re covered and whether the limit is enough to replace your equipment. If it isn’t, you can contact your insurance provider and ask if you can add extra cover. 

Standard home insurance is unlikely to cover you if you have business visitors to your home or use your home for business activities other than office work.

What type of insurance should I consider for my home business?

Every business is different, so you need to make sure you get the right cover for you. Here’s a range of policies you might need:

  • Employers’ liability insurance - you’re legally required to have this insurance if you have one or more employees. It covers you if an employee makes a claim due to injury or illness while working for you
  • Public liability insurance can cover you if someone has an accident on your property or is injured by your business activities. If you have customers or clients visiting your home, it's something you may want to consider
  • Business contents insurance could help compensate you for the cost of fixing or replacing equipment or stock if you keep it at home for business use
  • Professional indemnity insurance can cover the cost of compensating your clients if they suffer any loss or damage because of advice you’ve provided.
  • Product liability insurance can compensate you if someone makes a claim against you because of a fault in a product you designed, manufactured or supplied
  • Vehicle insurance - if your business uses cars or vans, you’re legally required to insure them. Always check to see if your business policy covers your vehicles
  • Personal accident cover can provide you with a salary if an accident or illness prevents you from working.

Should I tell my home insurance provider I’m working from home?

If you only carry out general office-based duties at your home, it may not be necessary to tell your insurance provider. That’s as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • You don’t have visitors coming to your home for business reasons, like face-to-face client meetings
  • You don’t make, sell or store goods at your home
  • You don’t provide services from your home, like beauty treatments, hairdressing, child minding, dog grooming or exercise classes
  • You haven’t adapted or extended your property to accommodate your homeworking – for example, building a home office in your garden. 

Anyone who runs a business from home should discuss the specific cover they need with their insurance provider to make sure they’re properly protected.

How can I compare business insurance?

No two home businesses are the same, so it’s important to compare business insurance if you need it for the type of work you do. You can tailor your cover to include all the elements relevant to your business. Start a quote with us and we’ll help you find the most competitive prices for the cover you need.

We can also help you compare home insurance if you’re looking for a better deal or want to add extra cover for your home-based work.

Frequently asked questions

I’m working for my employer from home. Do I need extra insurance?

If you’re doing your usual office work at home, you probably won’t need additional insurance. Your own equipment like laptops, mobile phones and furniture should be covered by your home contents insurance, but you need to check the cover limits and add additional cover if necessary.

Is my employer’s equipment covered in my home?

Your employer’s business insurance should cover any equipment they own that you’re using to work remotely. They should take responsibility for making sure they have enough cover, so you won’t need to list things like company laptops and printers under your home contents policy.

Does my home insurance cover my garden office?

Your shed or garden room should already be covered by your home contents or buildings insurance. But if you’re planning to use it as an office, or to run a business from it, you need to check that equipment including computers or furniture are covered. And you may need to invest in some additional security.

Will my insurance cost more if I’m working from home?

It may do. If you’re doing clerical work previously done in the office, and no additional equipment is necessary, your premium may not go up. But if you run a business from home, the cost of your insurance could rise because you’re perceived as a greater risk of making a claim. How much you pay will depend on the type of equipment you have on site and whether you have regular visitors to your property.

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