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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the working landscape in Britain has changed beyond recognition. In the first week of April 2020, we surveyed 2,000 British adults and found 60% of them were working from home. In July 2020, we conducted another survey and found that 26% of Brits are planning to continue to work from home either permanently or occasionally after government guidelines advising against travelling to the office relax.
So what does this mean for your home insurance policy? While there is no dedicated insurance policy for people doing clerical work from home, conducting any sort of business activity from your house or flat can affect your home insurance policy, and even invalidate it in some circumstances.
Keep reading to find out what you need to do if you intend to keep working from home as part of your current role, or if you’re thinking of starting a business from your private residence.
The short answer is yes.
Most insurance companies make a clear distinction when it comes to covering property and equipment used for business vs domestic purposes. But lockdown measures brought on by COVID-19 and the shift to home working blurred the lines between business and personal and left many confused.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) launched a pledge that absolved customers from the requirement to inform their insurers of changes in circumstances regarding working arrangements up until 1 September.
Laura Hughes, property insurance policy manager at the ABI, told us in July: “We worked with our members who write
home insurance policies to show some real pragmatism and flexibility around understanding these sudden
changes. That was done to ease worries for individuals facing lockdown, but also to make sure we’re speaking
with one voice. It was a way for the industry as a whole to provide some clarity.”
However, research conducted by Finder as part of our industry report on home insurance during lockdown found that guidelines were not clear and varied between providers. This means that the only way to be sure you are covered is to contact your home insurance company and inform them of your situation. This way, you are unlikely to encounter any problem should you need to make a claim.
You can be covered to work from home under your standard home insurance policy, but you have to tell your insurance company that you are working from home to avoid invalidating the policy.
Additionally, some types of home working, like if you hold stock or see clients in your house or flat, do require extra cover and cannot be included in a regular building or contents insurance policy.
This depends on the business you run and the kind of cover you need, but you should be able to get business cover to work from home.
Different types of businesses will require different types of cover, for example, if you receive visitors or keep stock in your home. You might also want to consider your car insurance cover if you use your vehicle for work. Keep reading for more details on the kind of cover you can include in your business insurance policy.
The cover you need for working from home varies depending on the kind of activity your work involves:
If you run your own business or work as a freelancer, you might want to consider taking out the following policies as well:
If you are an employee, you don’t need to worry about these types of cover, as they either won’t apply to you, or are the responsibility of your employer.
Finder published a paper in July 2020 on how the coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent rise in home working, are affecting the home insurance industry. Our paper includes original research and predictions from experts including Jimmy Williams, CEO of Urban Jungle; Amy Brettell, head of customer for UK claims at Zurich; Mark Eastham, CEO of Avantia; Yasha Kuruvilla, analyst at consultancy GlobalData; and Laura Hughes, property insurance policy manager at the ABI.
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