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Home business insurance

If you work from home, you need the right insurance for your home-based business.

Amy smith
Amy Smith
Updated October 2020  | 3 min read read

Get the right cover for home working

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Key Points

    • If you’re a contractor, freelancer or self-employed and work from home, it’s likely you’ll need business insurance to protect you and your company
    • You may need public liability insurance if customers visit your home, or employers’ liability if you have people working for you
    • You might need a specialist policy to cover your business equipment

What is home business insurance?

Home business insurance is cover for people who routinely conduct their business from home. While it’s possible your home insurance (link) will provide some cover, it’s important to check that you have adequate cover for all your business equipment and stock. If you’re unsure speak to your insurer.


How do I buy home business insurance?

Because every business has its own unique cover requirements, business insurance policies are made up of the elements relevant to that specific business – you can pick and choose the cover you need.

So if you work from home and need to cover business valuables that you keep there, you can add it to a business policy, along with other elements you might need such as public liability, employers’ liability or something like tool cover.

ONS figures from March-May estimate that just over 15% of UK workers were self-employed in January 2020. If that's you, get the right cover to work from home.



According to the ONS – around 5.03 million people.

Do I need home-based business insurance?

  • Business-related guests visit your property more than once a month
  • You have paying guests staying there


What business insurance do I need

You’ll need public liability insurance if you have customers who regularly visit your home

It’ll cover you if someone is injured on your property.


And, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance if you have people working for you from your home.


It’ll cover legal fees if an employee was to sue you.

If you give out advice that causes your client to lose money, professional indemnity insurance will cover you for any claims they bring against you.


If you have specialist equipment or use a work vehicle, speak to your insurer about adding cover for these to your business policy.

Working from home as an employee

If you work remotely from home for an employer, and your property is not used for any other home business use, you may need to liaise with your home insurer to check you have the level of cover you need.

If clients regularly visit your home, you might need cover for injuries or damages they suffer while on your property, so you may need public liability insurance as part of your policy.

Equipment owned by your employer used to help you work remotely, will not need to be listed under your home insurer, as it will likely be covered by your employer’s own business insurance cover.

If you’re using your own computer, printers or other equipment to work remotely, you’ll need to insure these items yourself or risk paying for repairs and replacements yourself if they’re lost or damaged.


Working from home as an employer

If you’re a contractor, freelancer, or self-employed and use your home as a business premises, you’ll need insurance that protects you, your equipment, your employees and your clients or customers.

The range of cover you may need includes:

  • Contents insurance for computers, office equipment and stock.
  • Buildings insurance to protect your business premises
  • Public liability insurance if you have customers who visit your home regularly.
  • Employers’ liability insurance if you have people working for you from your home.
  • Professional indemnity insurance If you give out advice that could cause your client to lose money

Business equipment won’t be covered under a home buildings or contents policy, so you need something more specialist:

  • If you use a laptop, printer or other office equipment, check your home insurance policy for ‘Clerical use’.
  • You’ll need to tell your insurer that you have regular visitors to your place.

That applies even if you’re an Airbnb host.

“If you’re welcoming guests as an Airbnb host, your insurer might charge an extra premium or put restrictions on the cover provided,” says O’Neil.

“For example, theft may be excluded unless there are signs of a break in. There are specific Airbnb policies available which are worth looking into if you’re thinking of becoming a host.”

When finding home insurance quotes, you’ll be asked if your home has ever been used for business or professional purposes. You’ll be given the choice of three options:

  • Clerical business use
  • Regular business visitors to the property
  • Other business use - If you’re something like a professional potter or carpenter and you have a workshop in your house, this might fall under other business use.

If you’re not sure how to define your home working situation, get in touch with your insurance provider who can help you.


Other business use

If you’re something like a professional potter or carpenter and you have a workshop in your house, this might fall under other business use.

If you’re not sure how to define your home working situation, get in touch with your insurance provider who can help you.


Am I covered under home insurance?

Business buildings insurance covers your home for business and personal use if there's a flood or fire. A business buildings policy could replace your buildings insurance.

However, your business equipment won’t be covered under a home buildings or contents policy, so you need something more specialist.

If you use a laptop, printer or other office equipment, check your home insurance policy for ‘Clerical use’.

But if you’re employed but based remotely, your employer will have insured your equipment, so double check before you buy.

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