Working from home and homeworker insurance

Specialist cover for professionals based at home from as little as £5 a month

  • Fast, easy online quote in 90 seconds

  • Interest free direct debit

  • No hidden fees or cancellation charges

Working from home carries many unique risks, so if you’re a homeworker, it’s vital you are properly insured.

As a specialist insurer with over 30 years’ experience insuring professionals, we have designed our homeworker insurance policies to cover the risks facing home-based professionals.

Unlike many insurers that offer a ‘one size fits all’ policy for both homeworkers and office-based businesses, we offer separate, specialist homeworker policies that can be tailored to the specific risks facing your home business.

If you are unsure which types of protection your business needs, we can help you tailor your homeworker insurance. Our simple quote system allows you to choose the cover you want at a premium you can afford.

Do I need specialist ‘working from home' insurance?

While specialist home working insurance isn’t a legal necessity, if you run a business from home, it’s a good idea to have this kind of protection in place.

Home workers face a variety of risks. Without the right insurance, a mistake in a piece of work, damage you cause to a client’s property or the theft of a laptop could cost your business thousands of pounds.

How does working from home affect home insurance?

Home insurance doesn’t usually cover people when they work from home. Instead, home insurance usually covers:

  • damage to the structure of your building from fires, storms and floods
  • theft of contents, such as furniture, clothing and electronics
  • fire or water damage to your belongings, such as furniture, clothing and electronics
  • vandalism of contents, such as furniture, clothing and electronics

Unfortunately, home insurance is unlikely to offer home workers the specialist protection they need. If you work from home, you may want to consider taking out personal possessions cover as part of your home insurance to protect you against the loss, damage or theft of items you may take out and about for work. Personal possessions insurance can cover a variety of items, including:

  • phones
  • tablets
  • laptops
  • cameras
  • musical instruments
  • sports equipment

In addition, if you run a business, you’ll need to make sure you have the right business insurance in place. For example, if you employ workers, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance. If you deal with members of the public, you should consider taking out public liability insurance, and if you give advice or offer a professional service in the course of your work, you’ll require professional indemnity insurance.

Why choose Markel for working from home insurance?

At Markel, we understand the unique risks that homeworkers face and are well placed to provide insurance products that fit their requirements. With over three decades of experience offering sector-specific advice to freelancers, contractors, SMEs, charities and community groups, you can rely on us to give you the cover you need.

If you’re looking for work from home insurance, we can help. Here are some of the reasons you should consider taking out a policy with us:

✔ Policies from £5 a month

We believe that we can offer affordable work from home insurance which will help you to get the cover you need whilst trying to keep your expenses to a minimum.

✔ Quotes in under two minutes

It only takes 90 seconds to get a quote with Markel. All you have to do is fill out a simple online form and we’ll do the rest.

✔ Customer recommended

We insure more than 200,000 micro businesses and have excellent customer experience reviews on Feefo.com.

✔ Reliable cover

We are a division of Markel International, a Lloyd’s and London market insurer that wrote £1.09 billion of gross premium totals in 2020.

✔ Round-the-clock legal advice

With Markel, there’s no need to wait to get your questions answered. If you take out a policy with us, you’ll get access to a 24/7 legal helpline staffed by qualified solicitors.

*The £5 a month premium referenced above is based on a public liability insurance policy with a £1m level of cover.

What insurance do I need to work from home?

Whether you’re a freelance photographer or you run a tutoring business, if you work from home, there are a variety of insurance products you may need. As a starting point, you should consider public liability, professional indemnity, employers’ liability and business equipment insurance.

Do I need public liability insurance to work from home?

If members of the public visit your home for business purposes, then you should have public liability insurance in place. Public liability safeguards your business against compensation claims, and the associated legal costs, if a third party becomes injured or their property is damaged due to your work.

For example, if a customer visits your business to collect an order and slips on a wet floor, you could be held liable for compensation. Similarly, if a dressmaker ripped a client’s wedding dress while making alterations, they could be responsible for paying damages.

Do I need insurance for employees working from home?

If you employ workers, you are legally obliged to have employers’ liability in place - whether they work from home or not. You must take out this cover as soon as you become an employer and your policy must cover you for at least £5 million. Employers’ liability is there to protect you should an employee sustain an injury or develop an illness because of the work they do for you. There are however situations in which this cover isn’t necessary. For example, if you only employ a family member or someone who is based abroad, you may be exempt.

Do I need business equipment insurance working from home?

Business equipment insurance is designed to cover against the loss, theft and accidental damage of necessary equipment, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. If you use any such equipment while working from home, you should consider taking out this type of insurance.

Do I need professional indemnity insurance working from home?

Professional indemnity insurance can protect you if you’ve made a mistake, provided poor advice or acted negligently and it has resulted in financial loss or reputational damage for your client. If you provide advice, offer a professional service, handle client data or are responsible for intellectual property, you should consider taking out professional indemnity insurance - whether you work from home or not.

For example, if a freelance copywriter is accused of plagiarism or a counsellor was found to give incorrect advice or guidance, legal action could be taken against them. In these cases, PI insurance could cover the cost of compensation awarded to the clients, as well as any legal costs.

How much working from home cover should I have?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to working from home cover. What may suit one individual may not necessarily suit another.

Exactly how much cover you will need depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • the size of your business
  • the nature of your business
  • how many visitors you have to your property
  • how often you have visitors to your property
  • the amount of equipment you have

To discuss your specific requirements, get in touch with our customer service team or get a quote in just 90 seconds.

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Cover starting at just £5 a month

Tailor your homeworker insurance with these specialist covers

  • Professional indemnity insurance

    Professional indemnity insurance covers the cost of defending your business against allegations of professional negligence (such as giving your client incorrect or wrongful advice) and any compensation or damages subsequently awarded against you. This is vital protection for all homeworkers and insurance cover is available with limits ranging from £50,000 to £5m.

  • Public and product liability insurance

    Public and product liability insurance covers the cost of defending your business (including damages awarded against you if unsuccessful) if someone is injured, or their property damaged, which arises from you going about your business or supplying products. The legal fees alone could cost your business thousands of pounds. This is an important cover if you regularly deal with clients or members of the public. Limits range from £1m to £5m.

  • Employer’s liability insurance

    Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if your business has employees. It covers your business against claims for injury or illness suffered by employees arising from their employment. Regardless of the industry you work in, if your business employs staff, you need this cover. Cover for £10m.

  • Legal expenses insurance

    Legal expenses insurance pays your legal costs and expenses for contract disputes, tax enquiries (including IR35), attending jury service, debt recovery, personal injury, as well as any award you are required to pay following an employment dispute with an employee. There is a limit of £100,000.

    If a client takes legal action against you because of an error you have made, this cover can prevent you from needing to use your own finances to cover legal expenses.

  • Directors and officers insurance

    Directors and officers insurance covers the costs of defending you as a director or officer of your company against allegations of wrongful acts and any damages subsequently awarded against you. Cover is also provided in respect of the legal costs and expenses of defending actions for disqualification as a director, investigations and extradition proceedings. Limits range from £100,000 to £5m.

  • Office insurance

    Home office insurance covers your office buildings, office contents and computer equipment against accidental damage (including theft) whilst on your business premises. You can also choose to cover your business equipment (such as laptops and mobile phones) on a worldwide basis, and insure your business against loss of income and/or additional trading expenses following events such as damage to your property.

  • Occupational personal accident insurance

     

    Occupational personal accident insurance provides a weekly payment if you are unable to work due to temporary total disablement (subject to a 14 day deferment period).

    In the event of loss of limbs, sight, speech, hearing, permanent total disablement or death, a lump sum would be paid out.

    If you would struggle to maintain an income if you were unable to work following the accident, you should consider having occupational personal accident insurance to help ease the financial burden. Limits from £100/week to £500/week for temporary total disablement (£25k lump sum to £100k lump sum for permanent total disablement).

     

     

  • Cyber and data risks insurance

    Cyber and data risks insurance pays the costs of restoring data and equipment, informing clients, meeting ransom demands and loss of your net profit following a cyber attack. It also pays your legal defence costs and damages you are legally liable to pay to other parties. If you hold confidential information about your clients and their projects on computers and other internet connected devices, you should consider to this cover.

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Cover starting at just £5 a month

Frequently asked questions

  • Does my home insurance cover my garden office?

    If you use a garden office for recreational use, your home insurance package should provide the cover you need. However, if you use it for business purposes, you may require commercial cover in the form of homeworker’s insurance.

  • Do I need business insurance if working from home?

    Yes, regardless of whether you work from home or not, if you work as a contractor, freelancer or if you run an SME, charity or community group, you should have the appropriate insurance in place.

    For example, you may require employers’ liability insurance if you have employees, public liability insurance if you come into contact with members of the public or professional indemnity insurance if you provide advice or a professional service.

    At Markel, we can create a home worker’s insurance package that is tailored to your specific needs and covers the risks you face.

  • Does working from home affect my car insurance?

    If you use your own car in the course of your business activities, you might need to amend your car insurance to cover the miles you travel on top of non-work driving.

    Your current policy may only cover social, domestic and pleasure (SDP) use, also known as ‘social only’ use. This covers things like going shopping, visiting family and friends and going on days out. You may also have cover for social, domestic and pleasure including commuting (SDP+C) use.

    Some comprehensive policies cover business use as standard but you should check your policy. If you drive for business reasons, for example to deliver an order to a customer or to go to a client meeting, and you don’t have suitable cover in place, you’re breaking the law and risk being fined and getting points on your licence. You could even be disqualified from driving.

  • Do I have to tell my insurer I work from home?

    It’s important that your home insurer has as full a picture as possible of your circumstances so it’s a good idea to tell your insurer if you work from home, even if it is just on a part-time or occasional basis. You must tell your insurer if any of the following apply:

    • You’ve moved a business to your home or are planning to
    • You make, sell or store goods at your home
    • Members of the public visit your home for business reasons
    • You’ve adapted your home for business purposes
    • You’ve purchased equipment that belongs to your business
  • Does home insurance cost more if you run a business from home?

    If you run a business from home, your insurer will need to take this into consideration when calculating the cost of your premium. You may find that your premium increases, especially if you have regular visitors to your property for business purposes or you store valuable goods or hazardous equipment for work at your home.

  • What’s considered ‘business use’?

    Business use is usually defined as any activity performed in a repeated or continued way for financial gain.

  • How is Markel regulated?

    Markel is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority (FCA registered number 202570). You can find out more on the Financial Services Register.

Specialist services available to Markel policyholders

Our policyholders receive access to these unique services designed to make your life easier (included as standard with certain covers).

24 hour legal helpline 24 hour legal advice helpline

When you insure with Markel, you'll benefit from 24/7 telephone access to a qualified solicitor at no additional cost. Expert legal advice can be costly when you're working for yourself and it's difficult to know who to turn to for a trustworthy answer. Whether it's a question on health and safety, employment law, legal structures for your business or how to handle a difficult client, an experienced team of solicitors are on hand day and night to help you with any business-related legal queries. Included as standard with all policies.

Legal hub access Markel Law Hub access

In addition to our 24 hour legal helpline, you'll have access to the Markel Law Hub - an award winning online resource of legal and business guides, templates and content written and created by our team of expert solicitors. Instantly download ready-made contracts, policies, procedures and guidance you can use for your business - without paying any expensive legal fees. Included as standard with all policies.

Fee dispute service

Customers don't always pay on time and chasing fees or invoices costs time and money. Mindful of the impact this has on your business, we offer our policyholders access to a unique fee dispute helpline operated by one of the UK's leading law firms, who will provide specialist legal guidance and support on fee dispute issues. Included as standard with professional indemnity insurance.

Discounted IR35 contract reviews

Falling within IR35 legislation - which determines that an individual is avoiding tax by using a limited company to disguise employment - is a huge concern for contractors and consultants, with the fees and penalties due to HMRC eye-wateringly high. Our policyholders receive an exclusive discount on IR35 contract reviews from Markel Tax (a Markel company), who have over 20 years experience advising individuals and businesses on their tax status. As part of the service, Markel Tax will review your contract, along with your working practices, to determine whether or not you are operating outside of IR35, and you'll receive a written report with suggested contract amendments where appropriate. Policyholders can access this service by calling 0345 223 2727 or emailing contractreviews@markel.com, quoting 'MKLD' and your policy number.

Public relations crisis management service

In today's 24 hour news culture, public relations disasters can occur at any time. Having to deal with the press whilst managing a difficult situation can be hugely stressful as well as being a potential minefield. When there is a risk to your business as a result of negative press attention, our specialist public relations crisis management firm, The Counsel House, will work with you to help manage allegations of fraud, injury caused to employees or the public, and official investigations into your company's affairs. Included as standard with professional indemnity insurance, directors and officers insurance, cyber and data risks insurance and legal representation and employment disputes insurance.

Cyber response helpline

If you're the victim of a targeted cyber attack, our cyber response helpline provides access to specialist solicitors and information security experts who will give expert legal and technical IT security guidance on the issues arising from cyber and data protection risks. Included as standard with cyber and data risks insurance.

Cover starting at just £5 a month