Home insurance for pet businesses

Get specialist house insurance that allows you to run a business from home

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If you operate a pet business from home it can complicate getting insurance.

You’re probably aware that some sort of business cover is recommended, but did you know working from home can invalidate your home insurance?

Some pet business owners have been caught out when trying to renew a home policy – they mention they run a business from home and are told they won’t be covered. Or, even worse, they’re turned down when trying to make claim.

The word ‘business’ crops up again and again as an exclusion in home insurance policy documents. Whether it's cover for equipment, liability, money or the building itself, if you run a business from home your house insurance may not payout for these things.

The other time the word appears is in the list of activities you must tell your insurer about. That doesn’t mean they will refuse cover (although some might) but it is likely to affect your premium.

This is an exception from John Lewis’s (which is ranked number one in our list of the best home insurers) buildings cover: “Any home used for any trade, professional or business purposes except clerical business use.”

In practice, that means if your house falls down and you mention to John Lewis that you run a business from the building, your claim may be rejected.

For those looking into insurance for a pet business it’s worth contacting your local authority to find the correct licensing regulations and guidelines where you live. They should be able to explain the accreditation and insurance required.

Specialist cover for pet businesses

Pet businesses, from dog walking to home boarding, are often based in people’s homes and involve clients and their animals coming in and out of the building and into other homes, and those activities carry risks.

A range of companies offer home business insurance, such as Hiscox, HomeProtect, Axa and Direct Line.

Bought By Many has a pet business group that offers specialist cover through Petplan Sanctuary.

It includes liability cover, payouts for vet fees if an animal in your care needs treatment and £100,000 of professional indemnity insurance. Join over 6,500 other members and get a quote.

Business cover is relatively easy to shop around for but finding home insurance that allows you to run a company where you live can be tricky.

Most insurers say you have to let them know if you have a home business but they don’t say what the outcome of that disclosure will be.

They also list all the exclusions for home businesses, such as equipment and cash. Some of those things will be covered by business insurance but many people want the security of knowing their home cover is valid.

Brooks Braithwaite (Sussex) Ltd, another member of our family of insurance companies, offers a home insurance policy that tells customers upfront it does not have a business exclusion clause.

You can get an exclusive 10% discount on its home cover by joining this group. If you call to get a quote use the code BBHOME10 to get the discount.

It includes up to £500,000 of buildings cover and £50,000 of contents cover, and both include accidental damage. It offers joint or separate buildings and contents policies.

If you need higher levels of cover, let the team at Brooks know because they may be able to increase your limits.

The home policy also features £2m of liability cover for incidents relating to domestic pets.

Call Brooks on 0345 982 5499 to discuss your needs or join this group and fill in the form and a member for the Brooks Braithwaite team will get in touch to help with your quote.

Insurance is about peace of mind. If you operate a pet business at home, having the security of knowing the building you work and live in is covered is important, so make sure you’ve done your research.

What is the importance of home and business liability insurance?

Liability insurance protects you if someone claims they have been injured or their property has been damaged. It pays out if it is proven the claim is a result of your negligence.

It is particularly important for pet businesses because even the most well-trained animals can occasionally behave in an unpredictable way.

You’ll need separate liability for your business and your home because animals will be handled in different ways in both contexts. Although Brooks’ home liability policy covers pets, although it does not pay out for damage in your home caused by domestic animals.

What kind of insurance do I need for a pet business?

Pet businesses often like to have insurance that covers pets if they are injured while in your care, if a pet in your care injures someone or causes damage, if you lose an owners keys and cover for your business premises and equipment.

There are other things you may need cover for but those are the important features you should look for.

A number of companies have designed specific policies for pet businesses, including our sister insurer Petplan Sanctuary. Join our business group to get a quote.

Can you get combined home and business insurance?

Home and business insurance are two different kinds of cover so you may want separate policies.

The business cover is focused on the day-to-day risks associated with your work. Home insurance ensures you can repair any damage to your home or replace possessions if they are damaged or stolen.

Brooks' home insurance offers separate buildings and contents policies. That may be useful for people who are renting their home and only require contents insurance.

Digby Bodenham By Digby Bodenham

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