House insurance.

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Newbeeneil

Queen Bee
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Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
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Location
Fernhurst Sussex
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
40 plus 23 that I maintain for clients.
I had to renew my house insurance yesterday and remember someone mentioning that your insurance can be invalid if you run a business from your home. So while I was chatting to the company I thought I should mention that sell honey from a shelf outside my house with an honestly box.
Well this set the cat among the pigeons and needed many unheard conversations between the operative and his manager to decide if it was a business run from home or a hobby. In the end it was decided that since no one actually entered my house that it was ok and I would be covered but they would not confirm this by email and I was given a reference of the recorded conversation that I was advised to quote should there be any queries in future.

However some lines in their proposal form got me thinking.

Business use

As you've told us that your home is used for business purposes we'll provide cover as long as:


  • only one room is used
  • no staff work from your home
  • nothing is sold, manufactured, repaired or restored from your home
The last line intrigued me as I can think of no home business that would be covered because of that last line!
 
If I hadn’t been honest there is a chance my policy would be invalid so I’m pleased I bought it up and I have the conversation as proof of their agreement to cover me.
How people get cover while selling honey from their house is a mystery to me!
 
I had to renew my house insurance yesterday and remember someone mentioning that your insurance can be invalid if you run a business from your home. So while I was chatting to the company I thought I should mention that sell honey from a shelf outside my house with an honestly box.
Well this set the cat among the pigeons and needed many unheard conversations between the operative and his manager to decide if it was a business run from home or a hobby. In the end it was decided that since no one actually entered my house that it was ok and I would be covered but they would not confirm this by email and I was given a reference of the recorded conversation that I was advised to quote should there be any queries in future.

However some lines in their proposal form got me thinking.

Business use

As you've told us that your home is used for business purposes we'll provide cover as long as:


  • only one room is used
  • no staff work from your home
  • nothing is sold, manufactured, repaired or restored from your home
The last line intrigued me as I can think of no home business that would be covered because of that last line!
I assumed they would only have an issue with staff or customers coming to or entering the house.
I don’t sell from the house, selling only through a local shop, so didn’t declare.
That last line means you can’t sell on fleabay either then? Or flog any stuff off to clear out unwanted items?
 
I assumed they would only have an issue with staff or customers coming to or entering the house.
I don’t sell from the house, selling only through a local shop, so didn’t declare.
That last line means you can’t sell on fleabay either then? Or flog any stuff off to clear out unwanted items?
To be honest I'm not sure what the last line means. I got the feeling the guy I was talking to didnt either.
I think you could clear out unwanted items and sell on fleabay as long as it is not considered to be a business.
 
We've always run a business from home (piano teaching). Not all companies would accept us as customers, but many were aware (or we made them aware) that the standard procedure for people like us was to insert a clause that claims for theft were limited to forced or violent entry.

And, I guess, our house would be insurable even with a clause such as 3) above:
  • nothing is sold, manufactured, repaired or restored from your home
 
We've always run a business from home (piano teaching). Not all companies would accept us as customers, but many were aware (or we made them aware) that the standard procedure for people like us was to insert a clause that claims for theft were limited to forced or violent entry.

And, I guess, our house would be insurable even with a clause such as 3) above:
  • nothing is sold, manufactured, repaired or restored from your home
But by teaching piano you are selling a service do you would not be insured.
 
Ebay surely handles the selling, you just list items on the platform? Unless doing cash on collection that might mean ebay businesses are ok. Amazon companies also further removed if using Amazon warehouse for their packing etc..
 
To be honest I'm not sure what the last line means. I got the feeling the guy I was talking to didnt either.
I think you could clear out unwanted items and sell on fleabay as long as it is not considered to be a business.
So my nuc sales are ok as long as they leave the premises before the wonga is handed over?!
 
So my nuc sales are ok as long as they leave the premises before the wonga is handed over?!
TBH, I never got to the reasoning behind the restrictions. If you have a business selling nucs then it probably would invalidate the insurance because the "selling" is done from your address. If however you sold a few a year in the spring and don't advertise I got the feeling that would be fine.
In the discussions I had, everyone wanted to be as vague as possible and not commit themselves.
 
I got the same response when I renewed my house insurance. They were satisfied that all my sales were from retail outlets, but they got me on public liability insurance. Their offer was ridiculous, but renewal of my bbka membership solved the problem.
 
Think about the reasons your Beekeeping business may cause a claim on your home insurance.
You don't employ staff, so that's fine.
Damage caused to your property by faulty electrical equipment or burning wax, is a possibility.
Theft of expensive equipment, possibly. So maybe get cover that includes these expensive items.
 
Being a new beekeeper I'm not yet troubled by having enough honey to sell, I live in hope.
My house insurers were happy to add my hives, kept in our rural garden, to the policy. Public liability is covered by BBKA membership, so should not worry a house insurer. (I have read that cover extends up to 40 hives, so I don't think that that will trouble me either; beyond that seeking commercial insurance ? via the BFA is suggested)
Running a 'side hustle' from home is very, very normal. (Think selling veg, or eggs at the gate, as lots of country dwellers do, or a small craft hobby that is a little bit more than that, but not much). Working From Home has also become very common, although many people have always done this - think writers, self-employed 'consultants', etc. The early stages of many businesses begins, quite legitimately, at home - think Apple or HP, both of which began in garages.
Keeping bees at home does impact on risk, beyond public liability, eg theft of hives and equipment, needing another shed to hide / store all those purchases in, risks associated with using extractors etc, and the (very real) fire risk associated associated with candle making. BUT I would imagine that it's little different to having a motorbike or old banger in an extra garage that is tinkered with, and may be sold on if it is ever finished....Or medium scale home brewing (not for sale) in a shed, wood turning / carpentry etc. etc.
Selling the odd jar at the gate does increase risk, more so if it's sold at the door, simply because of an increase in unknown visitors to the home, and it provides a reasonable excuse for someone stopping and taking a brief look.
My experience is that costs of home insurance vary very widely indeed. At the less expensive end one can expect a box ticking approach (less experienced staff, only able to work from a tightly controlled script), little flexibility, stringent conditions, and claims that may take some time to settle. More towards the other end expect brilliantly helpful, flexible approaches.
All in all I'd conclude that you get what you pay for, and it may cost a few, or more, jars of honey sold to get more flexible insurance.
If one ever exceeds whatever the limit HMRC currently sets for starting to pay tax on a 'side hustle', then why not talk to an accountant / HMRC about whether one can set increased insurance cost as a business expense, and pay less tax...if you are self-employed and do Self Assessment, then this is familiar territory.
Having said all that, having knowledge within the beekeeping community of more flexible insurers who have experience of insuring hobby beekeepers, who sell some honey / candles etc would be useful.
Any nominations?
 
Being a new beekeeper I'm not yet troubled by having enough honey to sell, I live in hope.
My house insurers were happy to add my hives, kept in our rural garden, to the policy. Public liability is covered by BBKA membership, so should not worry a house insurer. (I have read that cover extends up to 40 hives, so I don't think that that will trouble me either; beyond that seeking commercial insurance ? via the BFA is suggested)
Running a 'side hustle' from home is very, very normal. (Think selling veg, or eggs at the gate, as lots of country dwellers do, or a small craft hobby that is a little bit more than that, but not much). Working From Home has also become very common, although many people have always done this - think writers, self-employed 'consultants', etc. The early stages of many businesses begins, quite legitimately, at home - think Apple or HP, both of which began in garages.
Keeping bees at home does impact on risk, beyond public liability, eg theft of hives and equipment, needing another shed to hide / store all those purchases in, risks associated with using extractors etc, and the (very real) fire risk associated associated with candle making. BUT I would imagine that it's little different to having a motorbike or old banger in an extra garage that is tinkered with, and may be sold on if it is ever finished....Or medium scale home brewing (not for sale) in a shed, wood turning / carpentry etc. etc.
Selling the odd jar at the gate does increase risk, more so if it's sold at the door, simply because of an increase in unknown visitors to the home, and it provides a reasonable excuse for someone stopping and taking a brief look.
My experience is that costs of home insurance vary very widely indeed. At the less expensive end one can expect a box ticking approach (less experienced staff, only able to work from a tightly controlled script), little flexibility, stringent conditions, and claims that may take some time to settle. More towards the other end expect brilliantly helpful, flexible approaches.
All in all I'd conclude that you get what you pay for, and it may cost a few, or more, jars of honey sold to get more flexible insurance.
If one ever exceeds whatever the limit HMRC currently sets for starting to pay tax on a 'side hustle', then why not talk to an accountant / HMRC about whether one can set increased insurance cost as a business expense, and pay less tax...if you are self-employed and do Self Assessment, then this is familiar territory.
Having said all that, having knowledge within the beekeeping community of more flexible insurers who have experience of insuring hobby beekeepers, who sell some honey / candles etc would be useful.
Any nominations?
I agree, if anyone does find an insurer who agrees selling honey is not a house insurance issue then please share it. My insurer was Legal and General (Now part of LV) and although they agreed in the end that it would not be an issue it took a bit of persuading.
 
How much insurance will increase next year remains to be seen. It's all tied to the global crisis. Homeowners Insurance in Maine interests me a lot. I always want to find a better deal. Of course, not everyone wants more comprehensive insurance. But I would like to warn hotheads against too-cheap options. FBD is quite a reasonable option. Although some people regret not using AA. In our state, flood insurance is probably the most common. But in recent years, we've had a lot of wildfires. Guess what to insure against.
 
TBH, I never got to the reasoning behind the restrictions. If you have a business selling nucs then it probably would invalidate the insurance because the "selling" is done from your address. If however you sold a few a year in the spring and don't advertise I got the feeling that would be fine.
In the discussions I had, everyone wanted to be as vague as possible and not commit themselves.
Less a business, more of a recoup some of the bee stuff outlay exercise!
 

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