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Working from home: Insuring equipment

Business equipment cover is essential when you work at home

Business equipment cover is essential, whether you have one ancient word processor, or five gleaming Macs with associated printers and scanners. You need to think about the type of work you do and whether or not you need the cover to be mobile.

You can choose between home-based work policies and those designed for people on the move. Most home-based policies will also include up to £1,500 cover for a laptop worldwide. If your equipment is more valuable you should ask your insurer to increase the cover.

Equally if you are spending a lot of time away from home, then a mobile policy might suit you better. You will join an eminent list of doctors, lawyers and even film producers who find this type of cover works best for them.

Insurers say that the most common type of claim is for accidental damage. People are frequently leaving equipment on planes, trains and even on the top of cars. They also seem to leave computers in vulnerable spots where the rain gets in – the garden or too close to a hotspot.

Computers get dropped all the time and occasionally a toddler will “help” mummy or daddy with their work and trash the machine at the same time.

Surprisingly theft is not the issue that you may have thought and that is another reason for thinking carefully about your insurer. Traditionally household insurance has been calculated using postcodes. Depending on your postcode, the insurer will assess the risk of theft. Certain areas are known to be more risky than others. Insurers work on the basis that most people leave their house sometime before 9.00am and will not be returning until the late afternoon. Premiums are calculated on those assumptions.

Of course, as a home worker, you do no such thing. As a result, your house is much better protected and statistically much less likely to be burgled. But the sad news is that few regular household insurers will take that into account.

If you opt, instead, for a specialist home worker package you will generally see the benefit of time spent at home because their calculation is exactly the opposite. You do not leave so often and therefore there is no greater risk in any one part of the country.

Insurers say that the most common type of claim is for accidental damage.

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