Co-working spaces are flourishing in Hong Kong as in every city around the world. Early stage start-up or even more traditional corporate companies are now choosing this solution to answer the needs of flexibility and autonomy of their employees. As work environment where you bring your own equipment and operate your business, do you know what risks you are facing or what are your contractual obligations toward the operator or the other members? We are bringing you below some information about the legal implication of being a member of a co-working space and the insurance you need as a member of a co-working space in Hong Kong
1 – How does co-working spaces work?
Very simple and straight forward, once the membership agreement is signed, the future user of the space will be granted a right to access the space and to share it with the other members while respecting the rules of the house.
Pricing formulas are as different as they are different kind of co-working space. You could pay by the hour, by the day or by month. You could rent a meeting room, a hot desk or your own desk. Each co-working space has its own specificities and identity.
Like for a hotel or a fitness club, the member is not considered as a tenant hence the liability toward the damage caused to the space itself is not as strong / heavy as for the operator of the space but as we said better feeling safe than sorry and have the appropriate insurance in place.
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2 – What are the risks for a co-working space member?
Co-working space have inherent risks laying on their members. Co-working space implies sharing a physical space with others, using an equipment that does not belong to you, working near a third party who has its own IT equipment and many more.
We are not saying it is the most dangerous place on earth to live or to work however risks and hazards exist so better know them. The following list should represent most of the incidents:
- A fire breaks out in the premises leading to some serious damages to your goods and equipment
- A water damage flood the office and destroy your IT equipment
- Your laptop gets stolen or somebody breaks it.
- With your hot coffee, you burn somebody’s arm or drop some liquid onto their computer
- While using the meeting room, you drop some water on the conference call system
- While organising an event in the space, one of your guest is damaging the equipment belonging to the co-working space operator
You could check in your membership contract the limitation of liability clause or the indemnity clause. However, chances are high that all the above risks or losses are not covered within the insurance program of the co-working operator. It will be therefore your task to make sure that losses are paid with your insurance if you have or with … your own money.
3 – What type of insurance?
If you have the budget, we advise each member to contract an appropriate insurance against the above risks. Insurance companies in Asia have some ready-to-buy business insurance package that will include under one single contract all the necessary covers.
For Hong Kong, the business package will include
- The property side for your goods and equipment
- The general liability side to protect your liability towards the member or the co-working space operator
- The employees compensation cover which is mandatory in Hong Kong as soon as you have some employees within your company
If you want to set up the appropriate business package insurance for your risk profile, we are telling you all here.
Looking for information or insurance solution
If you are a co-working space member in Hong Kong who needs insurance solution, we work with numerous insurance partner to provide you flexible coverage adapted to your risk profile so please don’t hesitate to send us an email with your contact details. You could visit our website to find out more about us and our services.