Does My Home Insurance Cover Me if I Use my Home as a Place of Business?

Caeva O'Callaghan | May 27th, 2020

Do I need extra cover on my house insurance if Im working from home?

Yes, it will. However, if your work at home involves members of the public, it’s likely you’ll need additional cover on your policy.

Yes, this is not a problem. All home insurers give some limited cover for people working from home. However, it’s always a good idea to tell your broker or insurer in advance, if you can. But if you have members of the public visiting your home – if you’re a therapist or hairdresser, for example – you may need to pay an additional premium.

In this article, we’ll cover questions like:

  • Does a home business affect my home insurance?
  • Are my clients covered by my home insurance if I run a business from home?
  • How does working from home affect my home insurance?

In short, it all boils down to what you’re doing on your property, if anyone will visit you while you work, and why.

Home businesses and home insurance

Two of the most often-used phrases in the insurance industry are “it depends” and “better safe than sorry”. Both of these apply when working from home.

The vast majority of home businesses fall into the “safe” category. Most people working from home will stay at their kitchen table with their laptop, and only move for the occasional coffee. Otherwise, you have a study or a home office and the risk of fire, flood or any other damage is no higher.

All insurance providers take into account that, at some point, some work will be done in the home. You might decide to start a side hustle, or take some work home with you. Children have homework, and adults may take a distance learning course. Even though this means you may have the heating or the stove on more often, or burn candles to de-stress during lunch, the risk is not vastly greater. This is why insurers are fine with you working from home.

If you’re planning to work from home on a long-term basis, it’s best to inform your insurer, just in case. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

However, if a part of your work incurs greater risk than if you were just living in your home, this will definitely need a phone call to your insurance provider.

Types of home business

Apart from office work, the most common types of business people start from home involve members of the public visiting the house. Examples of this kind of business may include:

  • Beauticians and hairdressers
  • Counsellors
  • Massage therapists
  • Mediums and psychics
  • Coaches and consultants

An additional premium probably isn’t required if your client is just dropping something off. For example, if you run an IT repair business from home, and your customers drop off their computers at your garage or front door and then leave. Again, it’s still the best idea to consult your insurance provider, just in case. And if members of the public will be spending any significant time on your property, your insurance absolutely needs to know.

Specifics of home business insurance

Your situation will be highly individual. A quick call to your broker or provider will let you know exactly where you stand. Also, it will affect your premium if you plan on working from home full-time, or just want to make a little extra money on the side.

Only seeing a few clients from home each week? It could be much cheaper to take out a small liability policy for your side hustle. You can do this rather than increasing your home insurance policy. 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 only €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. Doing so will help you save money in the long run.

If you have any questions about working from home, call us anytime to discuss.

If you are working from home or setting up a business where people will be calling into your house, it’s best to call us and discuss the specifics and nature of your business. We can advise you if you need a separate policy or if your home insurance policy suffices or needs adapting to cater for your new circumstances. Our team of home insurance experts are available for contact between 8.30am and 5.30pm every weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you need a house insurance quote or if your policy is up for renewal, we compare home insurance in Ireland from 12 of the leading providers to help you get the cover required for your specific circumstances. We llok forward to hearing from you.