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Get Yourself Covered: Insurance For The Home Business Owner

Aug 17, 2007
Business insurance is never straightforward particularly when you are running a business from home. There are several areas of insurance that you need to consider and even if you have been in business for many years it is worthwhile reassessing your insurance needs on a regular basis.

Your first port of call should be your existing home insurer to notify them that you are running a business from home. Some insurers will add a small amount to your premium but this will depend on the type of business you are running and whether it adds any risk to the policy. Check whether your insurer will cover computer and electrical equipment for the business as well as any stock you may store at home. If you use a laptop away from home you may also need to arrange additional cover for this. Storing equipment or stock in outbuildings may also complicate things and you should ensure that this will be covered under the policy. Your home insurer may also stipulate that the public liability section of cover does not extend to your business activity. In this instance you may need to investigate a separate public liability policy.

Will you be using your car for business purposes (this includes networking events)? If so you also need to check that you are covered on your motor vehicle policy for business use. If not you need to notify your insurer and you may be charged a higher premium.

Professional indemnity insurance may also be necessary for your business and specialist insurance brokers will be able to help you source a policy. You will sometimes be charged a higher premium if you have little or no experience in your field but like everything it pays to shop around in this area. A broker will also be able to help you find a public liability policy for the business if not covered by your home insurance. There are some 'all in one' policies which cover the home and include business professional indemnity and public liability. Of course compare the costs of each and look closely at the fine print to find out which combination is best for both your business and household.

Another area of insurance which is often neglected by the home business owner is personal insurance meaning life, income protection and illness insurance. Becoming self-employed means you lose some of those nice benefits provided by most employers and you need to ensure your family is protected if something should happen to you. An IFA is a good place to start and most will arrange an annual review so they can ensure you have the right level of protection in place. Finally if you had health insurance through your employer you may be able to join your partner's employment health policy as a family member or take out your own cover.

Insurance for your business does not have to be daunting, it could be one of the most important decisions you make so take the time to research your options and call in the experts when you need to.
About the Author
Versatile Assistant is a Virtual Assistant and Freelance PA business providing secretarial support to busy professionals. Find out how a virtual assistant can help you transform your business.
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