Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, there has been a significant increase in people working away from the traditional office setup. As the government enforces social distancing, working from home (WFH) is now a necessity for many employees, reducing the opportunities for the virus to spread.
Working from home brings with it a wide range of advantages and disadvantages, and many employees suddenly found themselves having to adapt quickly. Even for those who might have occasionally worked from home, conducting a greater level of work from their property meant having to make changes.
While in many instances, working from home will not raise any significant concerns in relation to your insurance, although it is wise to check. For example, if you depend on your residential insurance to protect your belongings and provide liability coverage, then you will need to clarify if this same level of protection applies to working from home.
This is an important consideration. Residential insurance is typically designed to cover losses to those everyday items that are connected to personal use rather than your business. While it might cover modest coverage for incidental business property, you might need increased coverage or a separate policy if you utilize specialist or expensive equipment.
For example, Jasmine is a graphic artist and photographer for a popular magazine. Since the outbreak began, she has had to work from home more frequently, and to do this, she requires:
- 30” enhanced display monitor
- Graphics tablet and stylus
- Digital single-lens reflex camera
- Adjustable drawing and composition table
- Additional storage cabinets
- Studio lighting and specialist photography equipment
With these items, she would need to take out a specialist policy or additional coverage as all of these items are used entirely for business use rather than personal. Equally, if she were to convert her garage into a photography studio, she would then also need separate coverage for that room.
If you have found yourself working from home more frequently since the pandemic began, then it is important you know the level of coverage you currently have. Certain types of property, such as electronics, are often subject to certain limitations due to the nature of their use.
If you are unsure of your coverage, make sure you speak with an insurance professional who will be able to help you explore the various options you have available to you. You should also check with your employer to ascertain the coverage for any company-owned equipment you are using.
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