Social distancing due to the coronavirus has led to many people working from home. While telework has been steadily growing in the past few decades, the pandemic has created a surge in opportunities for remote jobs. This very different new business landscape has raised many insurance questions about working from home.
Insurance Issues with Working from Home
Work from home insurance is something to learn about when you are considering a remote job. Keep in mind at most workplaces, employees are covered by workers’ compensation if they get injured or ill on the job. You might ask if homeowners insurance offers similar benefits.
Homeowners insurance pertains to protecting personal property. When you run a business from home, this insurance only covers certain items that are lost or damaged. Some homeowner policies allow you to claim up to $2,500 for loss or damage that occurs in the home. The payout is much smaller if items such as laptops are lost elsewhere.
But what if your personal laptop that your employer allows you to use for company work gets stolen? That’s a question worth pursuing to get clarity from your employer.
What Does Home Insurance Cover?
The reason homeowners insurance doesn’t provide wide coverage that includes home business protection is because homeowners have many different risks and responsibilities. As a business owner, you may need various types of insurance, regardless of where the job is based.
So you need separate business insurance, even if you work as an independent contractor. Legally, independent contractors are business owners. If you are working from home as an employee of a company, though, it’s usually the employer’s responsibility to pay for certain insurance.
Your homeowner policy is based on many risk factors associated with your personal property. It might cover a lost or stolen computer that you purchased in your name. But it probably won’t cover the item if it were purchased and owned by your employer. In that case, your employer would need to provide the coverage and a replacement.
What Employers Cover for Remote Work
- The business property provided for telework
- Limited coverage for personal property while working
- Workers’ compensation for on-the-job injuries during a scheduled work period
- Liability coverage if a business guest is injured on your property
Additionally, an employer may provide work from home health insurance, particularly for full-time remote employees. However, if you are an independent contractor, you’re held to a different standard because you’re in control of your work environment. As an independent contractor, you are expected to have your own insurance policies, which are considered normal business expenses.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is a broad solution used across all industries to protect employees. Coverage involves employment issues such as discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination. Cyber insurance for data is another consideration for home workers due to cybercrime.
Turning to Business Insurance
Business insurance is something every business owner must consider, especially if it involves protecting valuable property. One of the reasons independent contractors command higher pay is to cover various business costs. A business insurance policy usually covers the following:
- The business property you own at home or a remote location
- Business liability in case a visitor-related to your work is injured
- Business interruption insurance to pay for revenue loss due to downsizing
Clearly, the safest way to go for independent contractors is to have their own business insurance. You cannot assume that an employer will cover your property and your health unless you ask.
It’s a good idea to talk with your employer about what the company covers regarding working from home. Does the company cover your personal property that you use for the job, or is it covered by homeowners’ insurance? As telework becomes more common, it’s important to understand how coverage works for remote jobs. Contact the experts at 01 Insurance to learn more about how insurance can protect your property.