By June 3, 2015 Read More →

Insuring your garden office

Insuring your garden office - image by The Garden Office GuideSpring is here, and many home workers are planning to build a garden office.

There are lots of things to think about when you make such a big purchase.

Fortunately PolicyBee have some straightforward advice on insuring your garden office in today’s sponsored post:

You can find more than fairies at the end of the garden.

A growing number of freelancers are moving their businesses out of their spare bedroom, and into custom-built garden offices. Once you’ve set up your Wi-Fi and bought a cordless kettle, you’re ready to go. All you need now is some insurance.

Ah. Stick that kettle on – this could take a while.

What’s the problem?
Garden offices are what insurers call a ‘non-standard construction’. That’s a jargon-y way of saying they’re not a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ building. Insurers consider non-standard constructions more risky. They’re often not as secure, not as sturdy, and more likely to be flammable.

As a result, insuring your garden office can be difficult – some insurers refuse to cover them altogether. It’s also expensive. The minimum premium one of our insurers charges to cover a standard office is £100. For a non-standard office, your premium would shoot up to at least £250.

PolicyBee - insurance for home workersThe small print
Insuring your garden office is only half the battle. Once you’re covered, you must comply with your insurer’s minimum security requirements.

Your insurer will insist you have key-operated locks on all opening doors and windows. They’ll also want to know your garden is secure. Ideally, your garden office would be in a fenced garden, accessible only through your house. If you do have a gate in your garden, keep this locked on the inside with a closed shackle padlock.

If you use any portable equipment in your garden office, your insurer will appreciate you taking it back to your house when you finish work. Leaving them unattended in your garden office could encourage break-ins. Most insurers exclude storm damage to garden offices since they tend to be less hardy than a standard office.

Bear in mind
There’s a big difference between a purpose-built garden office, and a lean-to with a laptop in. Many insurers will want proof that a qualified professional assembled your garden office. The same goes for electrical installation – let a professional do it, and get it checked every five years.

Make sure your garden office is properly insulated and waterproof. It’ll keep your insurer happy, and help protect your office equipment. Your insurer may ask you to send them a photograph of your garden office before they agree to cover you. It helps reassure them you’re not running your business out of a leaky old shed.

If the prospect of insuring your garden office seems like a minefield on your lawn, don’t panic. Getting cover is possible – you just have to do the right things. Your insurer isn’t making you jump through hoops for their amusement, either. What your insurer wants is usually what’s safest, and best, for your business too.

If all else fails, rest assured your broker would be more than happy to step in and offer a helping hand.

PolicyBeeLogo - insurance for home workers

PolicyBee is a specialist professional indemnity and business insurance broker born in CEO Iain’s shed because he was so frustrated at how confusing and difficult it was to get business insurance. PolicyBee is independent, digital, and understand the problems a young, modern business has because it is one. Although it’s no longer run from the shed.

work from home secrets

Follow the links for more of PolicyBee’s down-to-earth advice on insurance for home workers, covering your home office equipment and why you shouldn’t have such a jaded view of small business insurance claims after all.

And if you’re bewildered by professional indemnity insurance, check out the tongue in cheek post on Why you don’t need professional indemnity insurance. There’s also down-to-earth advice on how to avoid a claim, and what to do in the event that the worst happens and you do have to make a professional indemnity insurance claim.

Photo credit: The Garden Office Guide

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