Insuring your home-based business

When you are running a home-based business, it's vital that you talk to your insurance company about cover for your office equipment and any stock or products stored at home.

The type and amount of insurance you need will depend on the kind of business you have and the replacement value of your equipment. A good first step would be to do an inventory of all your business-related equipment and attach a value to it.

You can then add this on to your home and/or household contents' insurance or you could (and probably should) insure the business assets separately. Remember to list items like laptops and business cellphones, so they are also covered, even if they're not actually stolen or damaged at home.

It's a good idea to take stock of all your assets every year to make sure that you have sufficient cover. Discovering too late that you are under-insured can be a costly mistake.

Should I be insured for anything else?

Most small business owners are so busy with the actual operational side of their company that they don't consider planning for the unexpected bumps in the road. While many of them are beyond our control, we can make sure we are able to cope without it impacting the business too negatively.

What happens to the business should you pass away or become disabled? If you have employees, have they been insured against accidental injury at work, death or disability? Not having the proper plans and insurances in place can cost you a lot of money and even force you to shut down completely.

What about legal insurance? It may sound far-fetched, but you (i.e. the business) could be sued or taken to the CCMA. If you lose the case, your business could essentially go under trying to cover legal costs and to pay the judgement.

We all live in hope that none of these things ever happen to us, but something inevitably does and it's important to be have measures in place to soften the blow. Speak to your insurance advisor or shop around for the best insurance for your business.

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