Living during a pandemic has been a different experience for many of us. One of the big changes has been working from home, either running a businesses or working remotely for an employer. We’ve become accustomed to reminding our colleagues when mics are off, being cognisant of our cameras during meetings and updating our webcam backgrounds to depending on the kind of day we’re having (e.g. bad hair day). And, did you know that working from home may change your insurance?
It's worth asking your insurance broker about whether your
homeowners insurance provides enough coverage for your office equipment, now that it's being used to make a living, not just for home emails, social media and school work. You may even need to adjust your home coverage to take into account possessions that are used for work purposes. Keep reading to learn more. How can working from home affect your home insurance?
Homeowners insurance is not the same as business insurance, so your risks as a homeowner are much different than your risks as an employee. Here are some reasons why your home insurance policy may not be adequate if you work from home:
You may not have coverage for everything you need in order to successfully work from home. We recommend you review your policy with your licensed broker to ensure your contents are properly covered. Some possessions such as furniture, clothes or electrical appliances may have protection against theft or damage, but it’s best to know how your plan works and if office equipment that you bring home is included.
Your home insurance policy may not cover any bodily injury like
slip and fall or property damage that happens when customers visit your home for professional services. Although meeting with people in person is discouraged right now, we recommend that you speak with your insurance broker if your profession requires it. Some insurance policies may exclude accidental damage to mobile phones, laptops, or any portable computer equipment once they are outside the home. So, if you use your laptop or mobile devices away from your property, it’s probably worth adding personal possessions coverage to your home insurance.
If some of your equipment is provided by your organization, you may want to inquire about what is allowed when it comes to working remotely as this is likely covered their business insurance plan.
What insurance do I need to work from home?
A stand-alone home insurance policy may not provide all the coverage to be properly protected if you work from home. If you own your own business and have employees working from home, you may also want to seek advice on what your current commercial policy protects and what needs to be added.
Some questions you may want to ask your BrokerLink insurance advisor include:
Do I need extra coverage on my risks or personal possessions?
Should I look into a general liability coverage that protects myself and business against claims resulting from bodily injury or property damage?
What does my current business policy have around Employers Liability Insurance? Should I look at upping this coverage to protect myself as a business owner from being sued by an employee?
Am I thoroughly covered under Professional Indemnity Insurance if a customer claims that I caused any emotional, financial or physical damage due to my products or services?
Do I need to adjust my commercial vehicle insurance for myself and employees due to the pandemic?
What kind of insurance is available for gadgets now that I’m working from home? Is this covered under my employer’s policy if the gadgets are owned by the company or should it be under my personal plan if I own the items being used to do my job?
Your insurance broker will be able to assess your current plan and recommend any updates based on your new situation.
Do I need business insurance if working from home?
Running a business is a fulltime job, and we know the pandemic has only increased your questions on how to stay safe and protected while growing your empire. Below we’ve shared some reasons as to why you may want to consider
Do you keep any inventory such as stock or product samples at home? If so, you may need a separate commercial policy on top of your existing home policy.
Do you store any flammable or hazardous materials in your home or garage? You may want to talk with your broker to ensure this is protected under your home policy or if you’ll need additional coverage.
Do you have a team of employees that help you run your day-to-day operations? That means you’re legally obliged to have the right kind of coverage to protect yourself and them from any damages.
Here are some tips for staying productive while you're working from home:
Set up a separate workspace to help you stay focused.
Work within your normal hours and be sure to take your designated breaks.
Personalize your workspace with photos, plants, candles or anything else that will motivate you.
Make sure you stick to a routine and rather than rolling out of bed to log on, get up a bit earlier to ease into your day.
Keep socializing with those around you whether it’s through phone calls or face-to-face video chats, it’ll help you stay connected.
Get the right coverage for your home at BrokerLink
If you're at home more, you may want to make sure you're fully covered for incidents and accidents that happen as a result of working from home. It’s easy to find and compare home insurance policies with the help of professionals.
If you're looking for the right insurance coverage while you're working from home, BrokerLink can help.
Contact your BrokerLink broker and we will make sure your home has the appropriate amount of coverage. How working from home could impact your home insurance FAQs
Do I need to tell my insurance company if I work from home?
Instead of going straight to your insurance company, we encourage customers to go directly to their BrokerLink insurance advisor. As a brokerage, we will walk you through your options and make any recommendations based on our expertise. We act as the middle man between customers and insurance companies so you can spend more time doing the things you care about. It’s important to update your insurance broker during any life changes as this may impact what policies you have in place. Some times you may need additional coverage while in other cases you may have too much now that you’re working from home. Every situation is unique, so we’ll work with you to make sure you are well protected.
Does working from home affect my mortgage?
If you are working from home as an employee, it typically doesn’t affect your mortgage. However, if you are a business owner we encourage you to reach out to your mortgage lender to ask. No matter what your working from home situation looks like, it’s always best to speak with the experts as every situation is unique.
Do I need public liability insurance to work from home?
With the ongoing safety precautions of the pandemic, meeting with people in person is not advised. However, if your job requires you to do so, opting for liability coverage is encouraged. If people are visiting your home for business reasons, your personal home insurance policy may not be enough if there is an accident or claim.