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 home 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.
How is business contents insurance different to home insurance?
Not only is there a chance your home insurer doesn't cover work equipment, there are 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 cover when travelling.
Data recovery costs
Another bonus of having an insurance policy for your business equipment is the reconstitution of electronic data feature. This is one of my favourite policy features and means that if your hard drive suffers accidental damage and the data needs to be recovered by a specialist, the insurer will pay the costs of reconstituting your data. As one of our customers recently discovered this can easily cost thousands of pounds.
Quicker claims payout
With contents insurance for business you can expect a quicker turnaround with claims. It took a few weeks between filing the claim and receiving the payment when I claimed on my home insurance. In between that there were a lot of phone calls to see what stage we were at with things.
With business insurance there’s an understanding that you’re reliant on this equipment to do your work. This means insurers aim to settle claims as quickly as possible. There might be more complex cases that take longer to settle, but straightforward claims can often be settled within 24 hours.
Making sure you're properly covered
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. Hidden helps you locate and recover your Apple devices, and keeps your data secure.
However, it is a good idea to have business contents insurance as most of our contents claims aren’t theft related. The most common cause of contents claims is due to accidental damage. Somebody dropping their camera bag, a cyclist getting knocked off their bike and breaking their laptop, water damage etc…
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 by offering worldwide cover, data reconsitution costs and more features
- 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 due to theft. They're as a result of accidental damage so it is worth insuring your work kit