Does Home Insurance Cover My Counselling Business At Home?

Caeva O'Callaghan | July 6th, 2021

Most counsellors work from home. But will your home insurance cover you if a client is injured during their session?

Not as standard. You need to tell your home insurer if you start a business from home, especially one that means you’re dealing with members of the public on your property.

If your counselling business is online-only, it’s still a good idea to tell your insurer. However, the risks will be much lower compared to seeing clients at home.

In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

It all depends on what you intend to do, how you intend to do it, and who you’re doing it with.

Does home insurance cover my home business?

Not on most standard policies. However, while most home insurance providers will be absolutely fine with you starting a business from home (as long as you inform them), things change when you bring members of the public into the equation.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Ireland in the first quarter of 2020, many people were furloughed or asked to work from home. Many more decided to start home businesses for a little extra income. However, the surge in home-based work activities did little to affect how insurance companies calculate risk. This is because normal desk-based work – even when done in the home, rather than an office – doesn’t require taking any risks you wouldn’t do on a day off, so your home insurance would stay the same.

This is why it matters if you’re offering online-only counselling, or give your clients the option of meeting you in your house. As a vital part of your business, an in-person counsellor would absolutely need to tell their insurance, because the risks of such a business model would be greater.

Do I need business insurance if I work from home?

For those whose work requires little risk, such as a software developer or freelance writer, extra insurance isn’t needed. However, for a counsellor meeting people in their own home, you would absolutely need a more in-depth policy – you must tell your insurance provider about your business venture..

If you are not self-employed, and are instead fully employed by a counselling service, you would need to talk to them regarding what you need to do from an insurance standpoint. Your employer should have the necessary insurance in place to protect their employees, equipment and any other property owned by the company both during and outside of work occasions. The rules are the same for holding team meetings in your own home – if you have anybody else come over to your house for work purposes, your employer’s insurance will cover anything bad that happens as a direct result of the meeting taking place.

Counsellors are more likely to be self-employed, however, and if this is you then you would need specific insurance.

What risks are involved in working from home?

When you have guests, the risk of illness or injury is much greater. Your business insurance policy should include third party liability at a minimum. This will cover you if someone gets sick or hurts themselves in your home.

Always keep visits to the scheduled time frame, wash your hands often and have hand sanitiser available for guests. Install a fire alarm in every room, and test them regularly. Have fire extinguishers nearby, and be aware of any allergies your clients may have if your home has pets.

If you’re only seeing a few clients from home each week? It could be much cheaper to take out a small liability policy. You can do this rather than increasing your home insurance. If you do, you’ll keep costs down, even though you’re paying for two separate policies.

You’ll only know if you give us a call. As an example, if you are earning €25,000 or less we can arrange a policy for approx. €400.

Another advantage of taking out a separate policy from your existing home insurance is that if you make a claim on one, it won’t affect the other. This means you can avoid losing your no claims bonus on your other policy.

Talk to our experts if you are a counsellor or running a business from home

Are you a counsellor who’s confused about home insurance? Pick up the phone and talk to our home insurance team, and we can help talk things over.

You can chat to our insurance team Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 935905.

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.