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As a shop owner, you make sure all activity on your premises insured, but it can be easy to get caught out as your insurance may not cover all your activity away from the physical shop.

‘Working away’ is a term used in the insurance world to describe any occasion in which you’re working away from your usual business premises. You might work in another location, or from home, at a trade show or visiting customers.

In years gone by Insurers regarded ‘Working Away’ as something inherently risky that required specific cover, and it wasn’t something covered as part of a standard shop package because the term would bring to mind engineering and plumbing. Often a specialist policy would be required to provide the necessary level of cover required.

Now it’s not nearly so scary, as most retailers will need to consider some form of ‘working away’, as the marketplace has evolved and businesses have too. In this article we’ll talk about:

  • Examples of ‘working away’ that many shops won’t realise requires specialist cover
  • Types of ‘working away’ that will often be covered by standard shop policy wording
  • Factors that will affect your premiums

Types Of Working Away

Installation or fitting – Insurers are often able to include work away from the premises for a small increase in premium for packaged policies, as the perceived additional risk is often deemed fairly low to Insurers.

Off-site training (first-aid, software etc.) – this should be checked out with the Insurer, as most are very happy with work of a clerical nature but may alter their terms and conditions depending upon the particulars.

Collection and delivery of goods are almost always included in standard shop insurance packages, whether by your own vehicles or a third party courier company. Usually the Goods in Transit section covers the goods themselves and the liability section covers the liability arising from the collection and delivery activities.

Selling products ‘off-site’ at trade shows, exhibitions, craft fairs or markets – it’s important to check whether such activities are covered by your policy. You can arrange for an extension to your policy with your insurer (either for a specific time period or for the rest of your policy term), or you can purchase specific exhibition cover from a different insurer.

Hairdressing and beauty treatments during home visits are not on a specified or insured premises, and so will count as working away for your insurance.

What Else Needs To Be Considered?

If you’re exhibiting or selling at a trade show, you may need to increase the sum insured on your policy, as not only will you have a full shop, but you’ll have a full stand at the show too!

If the venue you’re working at has requirements for businesses to have a certain limit of indemnity, you will need to notify your insurer. This can usually be achieved with minimal changes to your premium.

If you’re using heat, tools or plant you will need to make sure that’s covered. If you’re hiring any machinery or plant it’s important to check whether it will be covered by the company you’re hiring from, or whether you need it covered by your own policy.

If you’re working away from your normal premises, it’s wise to have public liability insurance, and you may find that some venues require it. This is a very important consideration, and as a shop owner we would advise you to have public liability regardless of working away, as it covers your responsibility to third parties. Similar to Employers’ Liability, it protects you from suffering financially if a claim is made against you or your business in respect of loss or damage to third party property or people as a result of your negligent acts. Additionally, if you believe a claim is fraudulent your insurer will help to make sure it’s investigated.

For more information about how we can help you with your insurance needs, call us on 020 3883 7976 between 9:00 – 5:30 Monday to Friday.