If you are working from home as a result of a national lockdown, your existing home insurance does not require updating. However, if you are freelancing, running your own business or looking to work from home on a longer-term basis, you may need to update your insurance policy.
Working from Home Since Lockdown
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the influx of people now working from home due to national lockdown will not have to date their home insurance policies. They issued a statement to assure homeowners that their home insurance will not be affected by the new remote working set up. They advise that “‘if you are an office-based worker and need to work from home because of government advice or because you need to self-isolate, your home insurance cover will not be affected.’
However, it is always worth checking with your specific policy and insurer. This is especially true for any workers requiring receiving clients or visitors in their home as an essential part of their work.
Implications for House Insurance when Working from Home
If you are looking to work from home full-time, your home insurance will be affected. Generally, standard home insurance policies are not designed to cover remote working. This is especially true for those who are running their own businesses out of their homes.
Policies vary from insurer to insurer so it is always best to check what is included in your specific policy. Additionally, if you are working from home it is your responsibility to inform your insurer so that they are updated about your current circumstances. It may be the case that your policy needs updating in order to provide sufficient cover.
Key areas to consider are:
- The nature of your work – i.e. if your work is mainly clerical or computer based, your home contents policy should cover your work equipment
- If you are self-employed
- Whether you have any employees or receive clients or visitors to your home
- If you store any goods or stock at your home
Do I Need Additional Home Insurance Cover to Work from Home?
Depending on the nature of your job, it may be advisable to take out additional insurance in order to cover you for any potential accidents or risks.
Public Liability – this type of policy will cover you if someone visiting your home is injured or if something that belongs to them is damaged and they make a claim.
Professional Indemnity – this will cover you if someone submits a complaint about the advice or service you have provided.
Employer’s Liability – this covers you if you employee anyone, be it on a full-time, part-time or volunteer basis, and something happens to them whilst they are working for you.
What is Covered by my Employer?
Employers are legally obliged to have employer liability insurance covering them for damages of £5 million, as a minimum. This means that should you fall ill or become injured as a result of the work that you are doing from home, your employer’s insurance would cover the claim. However, this is only true for businesses that are limited companies.
Things like offering health insurance or life insurance are employee benefits and not required by law.
Working from Home Equipment
Home contents insurance covers your possessions but does not usually extend to office equipment. However, due to the unique circumstances, the majority of UK insurers have extended their policies in order to cover any items used for business or professional purposes whilst working from home. This can include laptops and mobile devices. However, it is worth double checking with your employer to make sure that there is sufficient cover for these items.