Business Contents vs Home Contents Insurance

Don't get caught out making a claim on your home contents policy when you use your equipment in a business capacity. We look at some of the differences between home contents insurance and business contents insurance.

03Feb'20

In episode 11 of Unsure? Insure! we look at why it's worth having a dedicated policy for your business equipment.

In January of 2017 my house was broken into. I was on a trip abroad when it happened, so I had a lot of my important gear with me—most of my camera equipment was with me as well as my laptop.

There was a camera bag in my house that had my second body in it along with some lenses and flashes I used when shooting weddings. The burglar stole that along with personal items, too.

One of the first questions my insurer asked me when making this claim was, “Do you use this item for business or personal?”.

The reason insurers ask this is because home contents policies exclude business equipment by default. If you spill a cup of tea on your work laptop and make a claim on your home insurance, it's likely not going to be covered if this hasn't been disclosed previously.

It's not uncommon for home insurance claims to be denied because it hasn't been disclosed that you work from home and use your insured equipment for business.

Frustrating, I know, but this is why it’s important to have a separate policy specifically for your work tools.

There are also important differences between business contents and home contents policies. For example, the policy we arrange at With Jack includes worldwide cover. Many home contents policies have limitations or restrictions around worldwide cover.

With business contents policies, you can expect a quicker turnaround with claims. When I claimed on my home contents insurance, it took a few weeks between filing the claim and receiving the payment. In between that there were a lot of phone calls to see what stage we were at with things.

With business contents policies, there’s an understanding that you’re reliant on this equipment to do your work, so insurers aim to settle claims as quickly as possible.

There might be more complex cases that take longer to settle, but generally they’re dealt with quickly so you can get back to work.

If you don’t want to take out a business contents policy, you can ask your home insurer if they’ll cover your business equipment. Some home insurers will add an endorsement to the policy to include business equipment.

This might increase the price of your insurance, but you don’t want to make a claim and have it rejected because you haven’t disclosed you’re using contents in a business capacity.

For an extra layer of protection that isn’t insurance related but could help you retrieve your stolen equipment, there's an app called Hidden that helps you locate and recover your Apple devices.

However, it is a good idea to have business contents insurance as most of our contents claims aren’t theft related—they're due to accidental damage. For example, somebody dro`pping their camera bag, a cyclist getting knocked off their bike and breaking their laptop, water damage etc…

To recap, here's what you should consider with business contents insurance vs home contents insurance:

  • Be aware that home insurance policies exclude equipment used for business by default
  • Have a dedicated business contents policy for equipment you use for work. This cover should be better suited for your needs
  • Alternatively, ask your home insurer to add a business equipment endorsement to your policy
  • Check out Hidden for an extra layer of protection in helping you locate and recover stolen devices
  • Most of our contents claims aren't actually due to theft. They're damage-related, so it's worth getting insured

We asked ourselves one important question …

What do we want out of an insurance provider?

With Jack is the answer