What Insurance Do I Need For My Garden Office?
With more and more of us finding ourselves working from home we are looking for somewhere to set up an office, this can often be a summerhouse or outbuilding so it is important to make sure that it is insured and if, heaven forbid, something went wrong you are covered.
It could be a break in or a leaky pipe, make sure you have not got the added stress of finding out you’re not insured. So, let’s take a look at the key questions;
What Type of Insurance Do You Need for my Garden Office?
First of all, check your existing home insurance since this may actually cover an outbuilding too. If it does then you will need to let them know you are using this to work from and add on any additional business equipment or contents, this could be your computer, printers, stock or furniture.
If your home insurer cannot provide cover for you then you will need a commercial insurance policy. You will need to ask them to cover the structure, fixtures & fittings (furniture and storage for example), contents (including computers) and stock. You may also want to include cover for money, public liability (if people will be visiting you) and cyber insurance (protection in case you are hacked, or your data is stolen).
What Do I Need to Know?
Many of the garden offices and studios are made from wood and in many cases are flat-roofed, these are not typically things that underwriters love, as they can be more susceptible to claims but there are specialist insurers and brokers who know their stuff and can provide cover for your garden studio.
Insurers will expect a certain level of security, such as a decent lock, alarm and a certain degree of upkeep as they would on your home or business insurance policy, this is to avoid claims for accidental damage or wear and tear (the latter is not usually insured).
It is important to be aware of opportunist theft from the property - you pop into the house for a cup of tea and a quick wee, without bothering to lock up the office. It’s so easily done, it only takes 5 minutes, so it doesn’t seem worth it, but it’s long enough for someone pinch your laptop and phone.
And on that note, Garden Rooms can also be insured against weather damage such as storms causing a tree to fall on the roof, or if the building catches fire. However, some insurers may raise your quote or refuse cover if a Garden Room is situated directly in the path of a tree, so please consider your building placement if you are at all concerned.
What type of insurance do I need?
Business Buildings Insurance is a must whether you work from home or your business premises make sure that you are insured against damage to the structure and that you insure the structure for the rebuild cost and not the market value.
Computers & Electronic Equipment - Computer equipment and software are vital to the almost every business, but they are vulnerable and can seriously threaten the financial livelihood of a business. Computer equipment is susceptible to a number of exposures (such as breakdown and virus) so it is important to insure your computer and electronic equipment.
Top Tip: Make sure that portable computer equipment is also insured in the UK or Worldwide and is covered for accidental damage should an accident happen.
Business Contents Insurance - can protect the possessions and equipment in your work premises. A typical business contents insurance policy will cover damage or loss to furniture, tools, computers and equipment as a result of a fire, flood or theft but can also include accidental damage or malicious damage. You will need to add up the total cost of replacing all your contents to establish the sum insured you need.
Portable Tools – if these are not already included under the business contents section of a business insurance package policy then make sure you can add them on when they are at your business address and when out and about.
Stock can usually be added to most business insurance policies and will provide replacement costs for stock held at your premises or in storage. High value stock may be specifically insured, for example, digital devices, precious metals or luxury goods.
Business Interruption is there to help you get back up and running if there is an event, such as fire or flood, which stops or interrupts you trading, and this type of insurance can cover the consequential loss of revenue. It can also provide alternative premises, so you can keep trading, cover if a main supplier suffers a loss and your business suffers or cover if a laptop/tablet is stolen preventing you from trading but check with each individual insurer for full terms and conditions.
Public Liability can protect against compensation claims for injury or damage to customers, suppliers or third parties. If you come into contact with members of the public either at your premises or elsewhere this type of cover may be a contractual requirement. If you exhibit at fairs or craft market’s you will be asked to hold this type of insurance and probably provide a copy of it to organisers.
Cyber Insurance is relatively new to the insurance market but if you use a computer to run your business then you probably need cyber insurance. The increase in the number of incidents where people use a computer to commit a criminal offence is on the rise and a cyber insurance policy can help, whether you suffer a data breach or a hacker holds you to ransom, provide cover against damage to your computer systems, removing viruses and loss of income in addition to which insurers can also include access to professional cyber security consultants and PR experts to help minimise the reputational damage a loss of data could cause your business.
Professional Indemnity Insurance is important if your business gives advice to other people or businesses, this type of cover is designed to protect you in the event that you provide them with incorrect advice which results in them suffering a financial loss which could result in them taking legal action against you. This type of insurance would cover the legal costs and compensation, within the terms and conditions of the policy.
Where can I find insurance for my Garden Studio or Office?
More and more people are opting for a home office or additional home space, and as a result this type of insurance has become a much more common. However, I would recommend talking to an insurance broker rather than trying to find cover online, for one simple reason that a broker can give you advice and it is their job to find the right cover for you. If you buy specialist insurance cover online then be prepared to read the policy and all the documents as the responsibility lies with the buyer to make sure the cover is suitable, and the insurer provides no advice.
If you liked this, this may be of interest to you:
If you need help finding a broker in the UK there is more information here https://www.catherinefrance.com/post/how-to-find-a-good-insurance-broker-in-the-uk
If you use a computer to run your business, find out more about cyber insurance here
Can I run a business from my garden shed?
Important Note: The information in this post is general and is designed to be a guide to the subject matter, your needs will be very much individual to your business and, as I am sure you can understand, I cannot accommodate that in a blog post. This blog post is for information only and is not providing you with advice. If you would like to book a 1-2-1 call with me to discuss this in more detail , please pop over to firstname.lastname@example.org.