Business contents insurance

What is business contents insurance and why do you need it?

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Whether you work from a home office or dedicated premises, losing the equipment your business relies on to operate can cripple it. Business contents insurance covers the possessions linked to your business, so that you can dust yourself off and carry on if they’re lost, stolen or damaged.

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What is business contents insurance?

Business contents insurance covers the equipment and furnishings you use for your business against theft, loss or damage.

This includes having your tools stolen or your premises (or home office if you work from home) damaged by a variety of reasons, such as water leaks and fire. Your insurance covers the cost of replacing your lost equipment, meaning you can get back to work as soon as possible.

When would I need business contents insurance?

It is not mandatory under UK law to have business contents insurance. However, it is highly recommended, especially if you rely heavily on your tools or furnishings to operate.

If all you need for your work is a laptop, you might be able to get gadget cover for it, or include it in your home contents insurance (be aware some policies do not allow possessions used for business, so make sure you check the small print).

If your equipment constitutes more than just one item, you should consider taking out business contents insurance.

Some possible situations that could lead to a claim include:

  • Flooding
  • Storm damage (including lightning)
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism or malicious damage

What does business contents insurance cover?

Cover benefits will vary between each insurance provider, but most policies will typically cover your tools and equipment for damage, theft, loss and vandalism.

You might also be able to insure your business contents for damage, loss or theft while in transit and cover your stock in storage or while it’s being delivered to customers.

Some providers may offer business contents insurance as part of a general business insurance policy. These usually include:

Common claims examples

  • A fire in your premises. No one likes to think of something like this happening, but fires can and do start accidentally, or sometimes even maliciously. What’s more, if your premises are in a busy industrial area, fire can start elsewhere and spread. If this happens, replacing the contents of your office (including furnishing and tech equipment) can be expensive, so contents insurance can be a real lifeline.
  • Storm or flood damage to your premises. Similarly to the above, the contents of your business can also be damaged by the elements. This can sometimes be just as devastating as a fire, and not having to pay out to replace all of your equipment can make a real difference.
  • Break-in or theft of tools. Unfortunately, businesses and tradespeople are often targeted by criminals. Your premises can be robbed of valuable equipment or tech, and your tools can be stolen from your vehicle. Business contents insurance can cover you for your losses in both instances.
  • Malicious damage or vandalism. Some people cause damage for damage’s sake. If this happens to property relating to your business, your contents insurance will cover the expenses.

It’s important to note that, if you own the premises your business is located in, you should consider getting business buildings insurance as well. Business contents insurance is unlikely to cover damage to the fabric of the building, including roof, flooring, pipes and fitted fixtures.

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