Does working from home affect my home insurance?
Over the past year, many people have found themselves working from home more than ever before. Businesses and organisations have had to rapidly adapt to new working conditions due to the COVID-19 lockdown, and that means employees have also had to quickly carve out a home office – be it at the kitchen table, with a laptop balanced on your knees, or some other equally creative solution!
As the UK slowly re-opens and adjusts to life after lockdown, many businesses are continuing to embrace this more flexible approach to working. Office hours quickly appear to be becoming optional, with working from home and all the perks that come with it becoming the norm.
One aspect you may not have considered when it comes to this new arrangement is how working from home more often may affect your home insurance policy. That’s what we’ll cover in this guide
Will working from home affect my home insurance?
It’s likely that working from home will have some kind of impact on your home insurance policy. Why? Simply because the risks of accidents or theft in your home change when you are home on a much more frequent basis. For example, your risk of being burgled may be reduced because your home is left unoccupied less – but your risk of accidental damage to personal belongings such as your laptop (what havoc a spilt cup of coffee can cause!) goes up.
It may be the case that you need to discuss your new working conditions with your home insurance provider and make sure you have adequate cover in place for this adjustment in risks.
Accidental damage to your personal belongings such as laptops, phones, and other business equipment is a risk that naturally increases when working from home.
However, not all home insurance policies will cover you for accidental damage, let alone accidental damage to a) gadgets or b) business equipment. It’s, therefore, a good idea to check the details of your home insurance policy to make sure you’re covered and if not, find out what additional coverage you need to ensure your business equipment is insured in the event of an accident.
Employer’s business equipment insurance
If you are using business equipment from your employer, such as a work laptop, you may find that this equipment is already covered by an insurance policy the company has in place.
In this case, you may not need to adjust your own home insurance policy. Check with your employer whether they have this type of cover and confirm that those items are still insured even when working from home.
Is my home insurance policy affect if I run my own business from home?
Most home insurance policies cover you for ‘clerical work’ down from home. This extends to general administrative duties, and most people who have a typical ‘office job’ which is done from a PC or laptop at a desk can safely assume their work duties are included in that definition (although it’s always best to check with your provider for absolute confirmation).
However, if you are using your home as a workplace for duties beyond clerical work, you may not be covered by your home insurance policy. For example, if you are running a home business and using your home in the following ways, you may need an additional type of insurance:
- Storing stock
- Meeting suppliers, vendors, or employees from your home
- Meeting third parties (such as customers) at your home
In these cases, you may need to take out a business insurance policy to cover you for public liability, employer’s liability, and the replacement value of your business equipment/stock.
The most important thing you can do when changing your work routine to work from home more often is check in with your insurance provider first to ensure your policy remains valid.
Working from home is likely to be the new reality for many people as we emerge from yet another UK lockdown, but ensuring your home and its contents remain covered by your insurance policy should anything happen to them is key.
If you haven’t taken out a home insurance policy yet, our simple to use quote tool will take you step-by-step through the process of covering the structure of your home, your belongings, or both.