Home sweet home, unless it's your workplace
OWNERS of home-based businesses should not assume that their home and contents insurance will provide adequate coverage for their business and their business activities, insurers are warning.
Home-based businesses usually need the same sort of insurance cover that they would if there were run from a different site.
The first of these is public liability insurance, which covers businesses for any injuries or damage to other people or possessions caused by the business or its actions.
Tony Sykes, of General Insurance Brokers of Australia, points out many businesses won't realise they need public liability insurance but all should have it, because it provides Australia-wide coverage for events that occur outside the home as well.
They particularly need it if there are visitors to the home business.
Businesses employing staff are required by law to take out workers compensation insurance.
This can sometimes also apply to a one-person business, Sykes says.
Business insurance packages also cover the business property against events such as burglary and fire, and can include insurance against equipment breakdown and tax audits, as well as professional indemnity insurance.
An insurance broker at Yellow Brick Road, Ilona Kalima, says people should always let their home and contents insurer know that they are running a business from the home, even if they have separate cover.
This way it can be noted on the policy and avoid any complications in the event of an earlier claim.
''Providing you can verify that there is separate insurance in place, the householder's insurer will note and agree,'' she says.
Kalima gives the example of a seamstress who makes wedding dresses and has clients come to her home for fittings.
Her household insurance policy would not cover her if one of her clients suffered an injury at the home, for instance from a fall.
''She would need to have separate insurance and again, the householder's insurer would need to be advised that the property was also being used for business,'' Kalima says.