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Mind your hustle: get proper protection for your home business
Living costs continue to rise, forcing more and more Australians to take on additional work to earn a little extra to cope with increased mortgage payments, groceries and utilities bills.
A side hustle isn’t unusual anymore – about 857,000 people had more than one job in the March quarter, up more than 27% from five years ago, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The reasons for this are obvious. Times are tough and getting tougher, with economists predicting it will take some time yet before we start to see a recovery.
The number of Australians who have turned their side hustles – whether it’s a hobby repairing computers or a passion baking pastries – into thriving small business enterprises is only going to rise as they seek to ride out the difficult economic situation.
As your risk adviser, we’d like to be sure that any little side hustles you or family members may be engaging in are properly and adequately insured.
Because even if you’re just a one-person operation running only over the weekend or a few hours after your 9-to-5 office job, you face more or less the same risks as that of a small business owner with employees.
Recent cases before the courts and the industry’s disputes referee, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, have revealed that your home insurance could be compromised if you’re conducting a business from home – no matter how minor that business may be – without your home insurer’s knowledge.
Side hustlers whose homes have been lost or damaged have been shocked to find their home and contents insurance has been voided because they were running an income-generating activity from the garage, shed, basement or any part of the property.
So you will need business insurance that takes into account the nature of your side hustle, and a home insurer that’s aware of the situation. You will want to be adequately protected against any potential liabilities and not be left out of pocket if things go wrong. It could be a side-hustle customer seeking compensation for a faulty product or worse still, threatening legal action to get their way.
Why so complicated? Home and contents insurance policies are not designed to cover for commercial risks. That’s why home and contents premiums are usually lower than business insurance.
So if you’re a sole trader operating from your home, even if it’s just a side hustle, talk to us now. Tell us your precise arrangements and we can make sure you have appropriate cover. We can work out the insurance you need while you focus on growing your side hustle.