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What is Home Business Insurance?

Buying insurance for a home business isn’t always straightforward. It can be challenging to know which rules apply, what insurance a home business needs to buy, and what is and is not covered under a homeowner's insurance policy. Here, we aim to offer practical information about insurance for homeworkers and answer questions about the types of insurance a home business needs to buy.

What type of coverage do you need for a home-based business?

The answer really depends on the type of work you do, and the associated risks that are connected to that work. Buying home business insurance is actually a lot more affordable than most people would believe. Here are the most common policies that fall into the home business insurance category.

General Liability for Home Business Insurance Needs

This type of coverage helps to protect you in the event you face legal action for a number of reasons. Although you may work from home, if you were to attend a client’s office, and someone was to trip over your laptop wire, they can make a claim against you. General liability will give you coverage for events such as this. It can protect you against any slander or libel claims, and for damage to another’s property along with any premises that might be leased to you, such as conference facilities or temporary office space.

Business Property Insurance

While most people assume their home insurance will provide adequate coverage for a home business, some insurance policies will not give you enough protection for your personal and business assets. If you hold stock for your business at home, and you have equipment or tools that are kept at home, then you might need to buy commercial property insurance to give you the right level of coverage for these additional needs.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Regardless of whether you operate a home business or you work from another location, if you drive a vehicle for work-related reasons, then you need to buy business auto insurance. It will give you the right coverage for damage to your vehicle, along with covering any liabilities you may have to others should you have an accident.

Business Interruption Coverage

If you are forced into having to suspend your business activities due to a covered event under your commercial property coverage, then this could cover your lost business revenue.

Professional Liability Insurance

If your home-based business provides a service, then you will need to consider buying liability insurance to protect you and your clients. If one of your clients makes a claim for damages as a result of your advice or actions, then buying home business insurance for your professional liability will protect your personal assets and cover the cost of a legal defense against any such claims.  

This is also known as malpractice insurance, and aside from protecting those professionals who offer health or medical-related services, there are lots of home businesses that need this insurance too, such as hairdressers, beauticians, dog grooming services and more.

Product Liability Insurance

If your home business manufactures, sells, or distributes a product, then you will need to add product liability coverage to your home business insurance list. This can cover any potential liabilities that could arise from one of those products.

Do I need to buy business property insurance for a home-based business?

While most people assume they will not need commercial property coverage for a home-based business, in some instances, it can be wise to buy business property insurance as well. For example, the value of all your business equipment and furnishings can easily add-up; and if you keep any inventory in your home, this creates a larger value of goods to be covered. Because most home insurance policies have limits in place, it’s essential to assess the value of your business goods in full.

If you are using your home as a home business, then you need to ensure your home insurer is aware of this. In some instances, it could nullify your policy and put your home and your home business at risk.

How to know if you need to buy home business insurance?

If you operate a home business, whether it’s a side-line or your primary source of income, you might wonder whether or not you actually need to buy insurance for your business operations.

  • Do you keep supplies or inventory at home?
  • Do clients or employees visit you at home?
  • If there was damage to your home, would you need to close or suspend your business?
  • Do you keep or store client information on your computer at home?
  • Will any employees work from your home?

A yes to any of the above questions is indicative of a need to buy home business insurance. If you are considering buying business-coverage, speak with a commercial insurance expert to get a quote, and for guidance about the best levels of coverage for your business.

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