Working from home has always been available but until 2020 was not the norm. This year a huge proportion of the UK workforce has shifted from office to home working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some have begun to return to the office, many remain on remote working terms as businesses seek to adapt to a new normal, which involves prioritising minimising virus transition rates and keeping staff and customers safe. If you’re one of those who are now working from home - and likely to be for the foreseeable future - then how is this going to affect your existing home insurance?
Is home insurance invalidated?
In most cases if you are normally an office-based worker and you are now working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic then this isn’t going to have an impact on your home insurance. In fact, the Association of British Insurers has even gone so far as to make a statement to say that, in most cases, home insurance isn’t going to be affected for those who now have to work from home. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to check your insurance documents and read the small print so that you’re 100% sure that there isn’t going to be a problem - call your insurer if you’re not clear. This is especially so if the change in working patterns means that you now have people coming to your home, as this could introduce a new risk that isn’t covered by existing insurance. It’s also worth remembering that any equipment that belongs to your employer isn’t likely to be covered by your home insurance policy.
What about ‘business use’?
If your home is going to be permanently used as your office then you may need to update your insurance policy (or buy one that is better suited to your circumstances). However, if you’re simply working from home temporarily as a result of the pandemic then this shouldn’t be necessary. If you use your home address as the registered address for your business then it’s likely that any insurance provider will want to know what kind of business you’re in. That’s because this could create a range of risks - for example if you’re storing stock in your home for your retail business this could increase the risk of fire or a break in.
Is additional insurance necessary?
This should be decided on an individual basis. Some of the additional coverage that you might want to consider is public liability cover if people are coming into your home, professional indemnity cover if you’re providing people with advice, services or designs or employers liability cover if you have anyone working for you. Important to note is the fact that you may be legally required to have employer’s liability cover as part of your business in the UK.
It’s likely that your home insurance won’t be affected if you’re having to work from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, it’s still important to check whether that’s the case, as adjustments may need to be made to take into account any new risks and ensure that you’re still covered.