Working from Home: Insurance Considerations
Working from home became a new reality for millions of Britons in 2020. But if you were focused on carving out a space at home and getting to grips with a new schedule, you may have overlooked the insurance implications of remote working.
In this article, we explore the Home Insurance considerations you may need to make while working from home.
What does Home Insurance typically cover?
It normally covers your buildings and contents (or just contents if you’re renting). This protects possessions used for personal, domestic use and ‘household administration’ tasks.
As such, there is no automatic cover for ‘business use’, or damage to items used for this purpose. Anything that is solely used in connection with your occupation – or has been purchased by the business – is not likely to be covered. This includes items such as a laptop, or kitchen equipment if you have a sideline baking cakes.
It’s worth noting that if you’re using your employer’s equipment to work from home, these should be covered by the business’s insurance. However, it’s always worth checking with your employer.
Do I need to tell my insurer that I’m working from home?
At the time of writing, advice from the Association of British Insurers states that ‘you do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover’ if you are an office-based worker temporarily working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It goes on to say that if you choose to continue working from home after this, you should notify your broker. We can arrange what is known as an ‘office from home’ policy to cover your risks.
What if I don’t do office work?
You should contact your insurance broker or insurer for more advice. For instance, if you’re producing food or furnishings, you should discuss how this affects your Home Insurance. It’s important to remember that if you hold stock at home, it may not be covered by your Contents Insurance.
It’s also worth mentioning that you may need a Products Liability Insurance policy. It protects you if your products cause illness or injury to members of the public or damage to their property. The policy helps to cover any legal costs and compensation awarded if the customer pursues you for damages.
What are the risks of working from home?
The most obvious risk relates to your possessions, as outlined above. You could invalidate your Home Insurance if your insurer is unaware that you’re working from home.
But there are other risks to consider that aren’t covered by Home Insurance.
For instance, if a guest visits your home for work (in line with social distancing rules, of course!) and they suffer an accident, your Home Insurance is unlikely to protect you against compensation claims. A Public Liability Insurance policy would protect you in this instance.
Read more: What is Public Liability Insurance?
And of course, if you have any employees, you still need to take out Employers’ Liability Insurance.
What if I’m doing delivery work?
There was a marked increase in home-delivery activity during lockdown, with many part-time/ad-hoc job opportunities arising. These often involve using your own vehicle, so if you’re tempted to do a spot of delivery driving during the pandemic, you need to be aware that your Motor Insurance is unlikely to automatically provide cover.
Delivering pizzas for your local takeaway is deemed as ‘carriage of goods for hire and reward’ and this cover needs to be added to your Motor Insurance, which will incur an additional cost. Equally, if you are using your van for parcel delivery, rather than just carrying around tools of trade, additional Goods in Transit Insurance will most likely be required.
Got Questions About Working from Home?
Contact our Personal Lines team. They can answer questions about your individual insurance requirements and ensure you have appropriate insurance, whatever you do. Simply call 01223 792290 to speak to our team.
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