It’s been almost four months since many of us in Alberta have been physically distancing, self-isolating, and working around COVID-19 in a bid to keep cases low and flatten the curve. While Alberta may be in the process of opening up for business again, working from home has become part of the new normal, and many people have been managing their professional work from home during this time.
Though many companies have started inviting their employees to return to the office, employees are increasingly choosing to split their time between home and the office. One question that we get a lot is about whether or not your home insurance covers working from home and other business related activities.
Home Insurance 101
To answer this, first we have to understand how working from home affects your home insurance policy and what your home insurance covers. For most basic home insurance policies, you are protecting the physical interior and exterior from vandalism and damage, your possessions like your electronics, furniture, and big ticket items like jewellery and specialty bikes (up to a certain amount) from theft and natural disasters. You also have some liability coverage should someone come to your home and suffer an accident that causes them harm.
Home Insurance if You’re an Employee
When you’re working from home, you’re probably using your employer’s equipment to do your job, including laptops or tablets, monitors and docking stations, and any peripherals and job specific instruments that you may need. That equipment is usually covered by your employer’s insurance policy, and you won’t need to add extra coverage to your home insurance policy.
DID YOU KNOW? If you use your own computers or laptops for work, your insurance policy will need extra cap coverage for this business property. If you’re unsure about your coverage, why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you understand your policy.
If you have a client-facing role where you may need to meet with people in person in your home, you will want to consider getting additional liability coverage, as your personal liability coverage may not be valid in the case of a claim related to your work.
Home Insurance if You’re Self-Employed
If you’re working from home because you’ve started your own business, or can no longer go to your regular workspace outside of the home, you may want to consider getting business coverage, either as an extension to your existing home insurance policy, or as a separate policy for your business. While most home insurance offers coverage for home business equipment, there are other coverages for your business that you may need, including professional indemnity, damage to business property, business interruption, and employee liability coverage.
DID YOU KNOW? Depending on the size of your business, you can choose to either add business coverage endorsements to your home policy or acquire separate business insurance. We’re always happy to help insure small, home-based businesses, so reach out today to talk about your options.
What Else Should I Know?
Even if you don’t end up purchasing additional insurance for your new work from home reality, make sure you let your insurance provider know that your home doubles as a workspace. If you don’t, your provider may deny a claim or void your policy altogether due to undisclosed risks associated with your home office. Whether you are working from home only a couple of days each week, or are going to be at home steadily til 2021, be sure to keep communicating. Your insurance provider or broker can help you better understand the risks and coverage available.
At Northgate Insurance Centre, we’ve been providing expert insurance advice to Calgarians for over 30 years. With policies to keep you covered when you’re working from home, we’re here to get you competitive coverage with the best rates. Reach out today to have any of your questions answered.