Risks of working from home

2 February 2008

This article includes important tips and advice about the risks from working from home. If you work from home, it’s possible that you could be putting yourself at risk by leaving some gaps in your home insurance cover. These gaps could apply if you see clients from home, or even if you just keep business property at home such as a laptop and printer.

Many mainstream home insurance policies are not designed for people who work from home. Instead they are designed for people who travel to a place of work each day, which is what the majority of people do.

However, many professionals now work from home due to the convenience and cost savings it offers, which can be helpful when first starting out. However, this might leave gaps in your insurance cover.

So what are the risks?

The restrictions an insurer might impose on you, if you tell them you now work from home, will vary from one insurer to the next. Some might refuse to continue to offer cover altogether, whilst others might restrict certain sections of the policy.

For example if you see clients at home they may restrict or exclude the theft section, as well as excluding the public liability section (which protects you if for example a visitor is injured at your home). If you keep business equipment at home, this may be excluded altogether or you may be asked to pay an additional premium.

You may be tempted to ask at this stage – “do I really need to let them know?”. Any change to the way you use your property would be what insurers would call a “material fact”. This is a fact which might influence them as to whether or not to insure you, and if so at what premium and terms. Under an insurance contract, you are legally obliged to advise your insurer of any material fact as and when it arises. By not doing so, you could be at risk of having a claim refused, even if it doesn’t relate to you working from home.

What you should do?

If you work from home, notify your current insurer. Your mortgage lender may also require you to notify them, or your landlord if you rent your home. If you advise your insurer, they will advise what terms if any will apply to your policy.

If your current insurance no longer offers the cover you need, Towergate will be happy to help you. We can offer you a household policy which allows you to work from home without any restrictions on your policy, and offers a price match against your current policy*.

We’d be happy to speak to you, whether you require a quote now, or at your next renewal date. If your renewal is not due for some time we’ll be happy to take your details now and give you a call back to offer you a quote when it suits you.

We can be contacted on 0113 391 9591 for a quotation.

Need cover? Read about our household insurance for solo professionals working from home or complete an enquiry form.

*The price match offer is subject to our standard underwriting acceptance criteria. The proposer must also be an existing Towergate customer, over 30 years of age, and have had no household insurance claims in the last 3 years. A copy of the existing insurer's renewal notice will be required.

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