Insurance

Posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2022

How WFH Impacts The Business Insurance Needs of Small Business Owners

Covid-19 turned working from home from a rarity into a trend. It has now become an entrenched part of working life and many employees and businesses are operating out of a home office. But just because your home is also your workplace, it doesn’t mean you don’t need business insurance. Just like any office space, anything can happen. Unexpected calamities can cripple a small business. Let First For Women provide you with the cover your home office needs, letting you enjoy all the benefits that come with being a businesswoman commanding her own space.

The global shift to remote working & the rise of the small business

Working from home is not a new concept. But in the last few years, it has become more and more popular. There are a few reasons behind this.

1) More people are working from home

There has been speculation throughout the 21st century that there would be a shift towards remote work. But once the Covid-19 pandemic hit,  working from home really became the norm. While many employees have and will continue to return to the office in the coming months, there has been a permanent switch to people working from home as a common part of workplace life.

According to research done by the McKinsey Global Institute[1], many executives have indicated that a hybrid model where some employees will work remotely is here to stay. 

2) More people are embarking on entrepreneurship - from home

It isn’t just employees who are moving away from working in high-rise buildings. Many entrepreneurs have realised the benefits of operating their small businesses from home. According to Stats SA[2], the small business sector is growing by 12,3% a year. Many of these businesses have found that the easiest way to cut down on transport and office rental costs is to simply work from home. These home office businesses, like any business, need to seriously consider taking out the right kind of insurance for businesses. 

H2: Do you need business insurance if you have a home office?

Many entrepreneurs who run a business from home may not realise that home insurance does not cover their small business insurance needs. Homeowners insurance is not designed for businesses and will leave out some important coverage.

Typical homeowner’s insurance, for instance, will only provide coverage for a small amount of office equipment. If there is any kind of damage or loss to your office, it might not be fully protected by your policy.

Can you imagine if your computer breaks down, right before a big delivery, and you can’t access your order forms? It could mean a huge loss, which a small business would struggle to climb back from. The only way to ensure that all your computers and specialised work equipment are covered from a loss like this is to take out business insurance.

H2: What business insurance does an SME need?

Insurance for businesses isn’t just for big conglomerates. Anyone who runs a home-based business will benefit from having a policy based on their small business needs.

One of these is liability cover which financially protects you if there is a lawsuit against you from a client or employee who has suffered a loss or damage while on your property.  

Something else to think about is insurance for your products. If the product must be delivered, there’s a chance it could be lost or damaged on the way. Goods in transit cover will limit some of your loss if this ever does happen.

It’s hard to imagine, but there have been times when a client has been injured because of goods they have bought. The last thing you want is to face a lawsuit because someone has been injured when using your product. Product liability covers any compensation claims which may come your way.

How does working from home affect your current business insurance?

It is crucial to speak to your insurer to discuss which business insurance plan will best suit your needs. Because small business insurance is designed to protect unique, individual companies, the type of business insurance policy you decide on will depend on the nature of the enterprise you run.

You may think that your home and business life are blurred, but your insurer sees this very differently. For example, businesses which depend on having a virtual office will likely have expensive computers and other technical gadgets like headsets, webcams and tablets which can quickly add up in value. If you have not told your insurer that you are running this business, they may not pay out a claim.

When moving to a home office, you may even have added new hardware, such as generators and inverters to help when there are blackouts. This equipment is not easy or cheap to replace. Keeping your insurer updated is the wisest option. They may even suggest that comprehensive business cover might be best in this scenario, so that you are adequately covered if anything happens.

Which kind of business insurance is best for small business owners?

There are many different types of business insurance and only some of the options are better suited for small companies and entrepreneurs. As many entrepreneurs rely on the income from their home office to support both themselves and their families, getting the right insurance cover is crucial.

Unfortunately, mistakes and accidents happen no matter how prepared we think we are, especially when dealing with the public. The last thing you want is to not be covered when the unthinkable happens.

Imagine if you give the wrong professional advice to a client? The results could be terrible. With errors and omissions insurance, you would be given legal advice in case a legal suit is brought against you.

What about if clients come to your home office or delivery workers step onto your property and one of them slips and breaks a leg? This opens you up to liability claims. Liability insurance will protect your financial interest if there is ever a lawsuit or third-party claim taken out against you for any injury or loss on your business premises.  

Get a business insurance quote from First for Women

It’s time to lower the risks your small business faces. Contact First for Women today and get a personalised business insurance quote online for your convenience. No hassle or fuss. We offer a wide range of different business insurance products to suit your industry sector and company size. Whether it’s retail shop, café, hair salon or boutique estate agency, we have the right kind of cover for you.

Sources:

[1] McKinsey & Co: What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries. 

[2] Stats SA: Three facts about small business turnover in South Africa 

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