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Doctor, doctor, how do I insure my stuff overnight in a coworking space?

Dear Doctor, how do I insure my stuff overnight in a coworking space?

Ben Rose says...

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Coworking spaces are an increasingly popular option for start-ups, small businesses and freelancers, offering flexible, creative and sociable space that won’t break the bank. London now has over 150 different coworking options, catering to almost any type of business, budget, and way of working. We’re based in one ourselves – WeWork – and love the sense of community we have here.

Yet, despite their popularity, many traditional insurers don’t allow for coworking in their contents policies, leaving many businesses like yours, wondering how to protect their kit. These traditional policies stipulate that your belongings must be kept in a separate, locked office space, which simply isn’t possible in many coworking hubs, that are by their very nature, open-plan, shared spaces. Plus, if you have desktop computers, these can’t easily be locked away whenever you leave the office.

Thankfully, Digital Risks has recognised the popularity and importance of coworking spaces, and designed a policy which suits the needs of businesses like yours. Our policies even include property left unattended in a coworking space, providing it was stolen by forceable access to the building itself, an office, locker or desk drawer. And If you work with desktop computers, that’s okay too – you simply need to make sure they are attached to the desk with a Kensington Lock.

Doctor, doctor, how can I be sure my insurer will pay my claim?

That means, even with contents insurance, you should always keep your valuable equipment locked away when you’re not using it, even if you trust those around you in the hub. After all, you never know who could be coming in and out of the building and it’s not worth taking the risk.

There is also a common misconception that your belongings will automatically be covered by the coworking space itself, when this is unlikely to be the case. You will therefore need to arrange insurance yourself before moving in.

And while you’re thinking about contents insurance, there are a few other policies you should be bearing in mind. Firstly, alongside protection for your belongings within the office, you’re likely to need portable equipment insurance, which covers everything you take out and about with you, whether that’s laptops, mobiles, cameras or tablets. With 70,000 smartphones stolen just in London last year, you certainly can’t be too careful.

Secondly, as your business is sharing space with other businesses and individuals, you should also consider public liability insurance (PL), which covers you if you or one of your employees causes an injury or property damage to one of your hub-mates, or any other member of the public when you’re out and about.

If you are unsure whether to buy business insurance online or through a broker, take a look at the last post by Digital Risks here.

Digital Risks (www.digitalrisks.co.uk) is a specialist insurance provider that focuses 100% on the needs of digital businesses.

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