Working from home is something that many of us have had to do recently, and for some it is a regular occurrence. But what effect can working at home have on your home insurance? Do you need extra cover for office equipment or running a business?
Is Your Home Insurance Be Impacted By Home Working During The Coronavirus Outbreak?
Generally speaking, with regards to the current circumstances due to coronavirus, if you're 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 shouldn’t be affected.
During these unprecedented times, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has issued a statement to confirm that (in the majority of cases) home insurance cover will not be affected by working from home during the coronavirus crisis. It states:
“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.”
Does Working From Home Under Normal Circumstances Affect Your Home Insurance?
When looking at working from home in the longer term, the key factor to keep in mind when it comes to your home insurance is the nature of the work that you carry out. If the work that you carry out is computer-based ‘office work’ you must disclose this to your home insurer. This is because extensions to your home contents policy may be needed to enable you to cover your equipment.
Additionally, if you have clients or visitors to your home as part of doing business or if you store stock or goods associated with your business at your home address, these may both have an impact on your insurance. This is because having additional people coming to your house or storing a large number of additional items could be seen as more of an insurance risk.
Does Your Insurer Need To Know Where You Work?
No matter how little or often you work from home, it is always best to keep your insurer updated so that they have the most accurate picture of your circumstances.
This will allow your home insurer to let you know whether you are or aren’t covered for the work you carry out from home or if you have sufficient cover in place to protect your home.
Can I Run My Business From Home?
A lot of individuals across the UK run a business from home. When your home address is also your registered business address then your home insurance company will need to know the nature of your business.
Insurers will want to know certain pieces of information from you, such as what equipment you use, who is on your premises and whether your store goods at home.
Based on your personal circumstances, your insurers may decide to extend your contents cover to include your business stock and equipment, or ask you to take out separate cover for these items.
It is important to note that if you run your business from home and do not notify your insurer, your home insurance may be invalidated if you do need to claim.
Is Extra Home Insurance Cover Needed To Work From Home?
Depending on the nature of your job, you may want to make sure you're fully covered for accidents that happen as a result of working from home. Therefore, it may be worth considering taking out extra insurance such as extended accidental cover. This may include:
- Public Liability - This covers you if a visitor to your workplace is injured and makes a claim. It can also cover you if you accidentally damage something that belongs to a customer.
- Professional Indemnity - This covers you if someone complains about the advice or service you have provided. They may sue if the advice you gave them was wrong or cost them money.
- Employer's Liability - If you employ anyone, on any basis, even volunteers, you need to have cover in case they injure themselves while working for you.
The effect that working at home may have on your home insurance will be dependent on a variety of factors including the type of work you do, how often you work from home and whether you run a business, amongst other things. You may even need to consider other types of insurance depending on whether you are self-employed, the type of work you carry out and whether you have any employees.
If you're 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 shouldn’t be affected.
It is important to check with your insurer though with regards to what is and what isn’t covered by your policy. All insurance policies offer varying levels of cover and have different exclusions.
In order to find the right home insurance suited to you, the best advice we can give you is to shop around. The Be Wiser website is a fantastic place to start to help you find the right home insurance cover for your needs.