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Home Insurance: Does Working From Home Affect Insurance?

Apr 8, 2020

Working from home can impact on your home insurance. It is important that your insurer is aware if you work from home in order that you do not invalidate your home insurance policy. Those who work from home or run a business from home may also need to consider other covers when it comes to working from home insurance.

An increasing number of people are working from home during the current Coronavirus crisis in a bid to slow and stop the outbreak. So, we also look at why things are different for those working from home in response to government advice during the Coronavirus crisis.

Does working from home affect your house insurance?

The short answer to this, is yes. In normal circumstances, if you work from home your home insurance will be affected. A standard home insurance policy will typically not provide sufficient cover if you work from home. Particularly if you run your own business.

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 as to what is not covered.

It is also important to inform your insurer if you work from home. Whether you work from home on a full time or part time basis or even occasionally you’ll want 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 equipment etc.

Remember, if you work from home and do not notify your insurer your home insurance may be invalidated if you do need to claim.

Will your home insurance be impacted by home working during the Coronavirus outbreak?

There are an unprecedented number of people currently working from home due to the Coronavirus crisis. Many of whom would not usually do so. In these unprecedented times the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have 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.

The ABI website states 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.’

The ABI go on to state that there is no need to contact your insurer to update cover or extend your cover in the circumstances that you are currently working from home due to following government advice or the need to self-isolate.

There is an assumption made in this statement that the work being carried out is clerical in nature. Limitations may apply if you are receiving visitors to your home as part of doing business. Read the full advice regarding working from home insurance during the Coronavirus crisis on the ABI website.

What are the key things to keep in mind if you work from home on a long-term basis or decide to work from home in the future?

If you work from home on a long- term basis (not just during the Coronavirus outbreak) or start your own business which you run from home, the information that we noted in the first section of this blog ‘Does working from home affect your house insurance?’ will apply to you.

One of the key things to keep in mind when it comes to your home insurance and working from home is the nature of the work that you carry out.

If the work that you carry out is clerical in nature – i.e. computer based, ‘office work’ you must disclose this to your home insurer. Extensions to your home contents policy may enable you to cover your work equipment in these cases.

But remember, your equipment is only one area to think about. You may 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 receive visitors to your home as part of doing business or store stock/goods at your home address associated with your business, these may both have more of an impact on your insurance needs. The risk for accidents to happen as a result of working from home are higher in these cases, and home insurance is unlikely to provide cover for these types of risk.

For those who run a business from home, additional business insurance products may be required in addition to your home insurance. These may include:

Public liability insurance – you will need to consider this is you have visitors to your home. Public liability insurance will provide cover if your business is held responsible for injury or property damage caused to a member of the public or a client.

Professional Indemnity insurance – this valuable cover for those who provide advice, services or designs, will typically cover you if your business is sued by a client for a mistake that you have made. Read more about who needs professional indemnity cover in our guide.

Employers’ liability insurance – if you employ any staff then employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement I the UK.

There are many insurance products available to small businesses and it is important that you get your small business insurance needs right in order to protect your business, clients and employees. You may want to consider working with a broker such as Anthony Jones who have a team of small business insurance experts who can help you determine the risks your business may face and the insurance products you’ll want to consider to cover these risks. Get in touch with us today on 020 8290 9080 or email us at business@anthonyjones.com

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