SOHO stands for Small Office, Home Office and it’s used to refer to people who work from home (sorry it’s a boring explanation). With the cost of business premises still high even though the housing market is in free fall, it’s natural to base start-ups in the spare room and the garage for storing inventory. With computers, people can easily work from home. Employers cut their expensive office overheads by having their full-time staff telecommute. The self-employed freelance or run e-commerce sites.
Unfortunately, most people never think about home insurance. They have their home insurance policy but never read the small print. The bad news? The majority of policies either exclude or limit the cover for people who telecommute or operate a home business.
Let’s deal with your boss offering you the chance to work from home. That’s great for you, saving all that money in gas or bus fares to travel to work. But if your boss gives you a computer, router and other office equipment, make sure the business insures it all. If not, you’re likely to find a burglary expensive. Your home insurance probably doesn’t cover any property belonging to someone outside the immediate family. So who’s going to pay for all the missing kit? The answer is to add an endorsement to your existing policy and to pass the additional cost on to your boss (you can sell this because your personal endorsement will be less than the business insurance cost).
If it’s your own business, how much is all your equipment and inventory worth? Even if some of the value is covered under your home policy, there’s almost certainly no cover if you take any of it outside the home. Worse, there’s no liability cover so if anyone is injured whilst dealing with your business, you’ve just discovered the joys of self-insurance. You’ll be pleased to know there are options. If your own business is small scale, add an endorsement to your policy (sometimes called permitted incidental occupancies). But if the business is more substantial, there’s no substitute for a work at home business owners insurance policy. It’s more expensive but, because it offers strong liability cover against all claims for loss caused by the operation of your business, it pays for itself in the long run. You can use online quotes to find the best homeowners insurance for your needs.