When worlds collide – Home and Business Insurance
There has been a fair bit of air time and print devoted to Home insurance recently, and more specifically business activity carried out from an insured home or insured premises. More and more it seems that people are setting up businesses from home, or running side businesses for extra cash.
If you use the expertise of an insurance broker, then you have made a good start. Insurance brokers work for you and understand domestic insurance products as well as commercial insurance products. This is important as businesses that operate from home often have overlaps between the two products.
Having said that, an insurance broker (and an insurance company) can only make decisions based on the information they are provided with. So please make sure all questions are answered in full, answered truthfully and with as much information as possible. It is much better to be having difficult conversations with your insurance company at inception or renewal rather than at the time of a claim and any dishonest, careless, or even unintentional failure to disclose business activities (however small) could have dire consequences and leave you uninsured. If in doubt, ask or declare it your insurance broker.
Insurers are particularly interested in factors which are outside the “normal” and those which increase the risk of a claim. Businesses that operate from home premises may present a higher than normal risk and need to be declared to the insurer. Insurers may be interested in how the business affects the fire or theft risk and they are also interested in how the business activity might impact on the public liability exposure. Even if you have separate insurance for your business it is important that your home insurer is aware of any business activity you engage in, either on or from your premises.
A lot of stress can be avoided and an insurance broker can assist you in your dealings with an insurance company when placing business. An insurance broker also advocates for you in the unfortunate event that you are required to lodge a claim. If you go direct to an insurer via the phone or online then the responsibility to navigate the insurance world is on you.