It is no secret that the pandemic sent people to their homes to work. So many of us got use to it too so the idea of working remotely is here to stay. In fact, data scientists at Ladders believe that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022 and continue to climb into 2023. This is certainly is not a fad and is now really considered a mainstream work benefit.
That all sounds great to many of you. You feel that you are more productive at home and good riddance to the commute. But there are insurance implications you need to consider. But first let’s delve into the definitions of working from home.
Do you work for someone? Do you own your own business or are a contract employee? These distinctions are important because it can determine what kind of coverage you may need.
Working for someone means you work remotely and that also means that you probably have an employer that issued you at least a computer and perhaps monitor and maybe other peripherals like a printer or scanner. More than likely all of the equipment is covered by your employer but just to be safe, we suggest you confirm this with your human resources department.
It would be important, regardless of your employment status, to understand how property is covered under a homeowners or renters policy. You would have coverage for personal property (like a laptop) but what if you are using it for business purposes. Most policies have a cap on the amount of business property – $1,500 to perhaps $2,500. That’s is why it would be important to check with human resources. A laptop, screen and other items could tap out $2,500 pretty quickly. And in some cases, there are some people that are working remotely that use their own laptops. Your employer is not covering that.
We have some clients that have now decided to no longer rent an office and work from home. That means they are self employed. Not a remote working situation at all and in this scenario you have to start taking some pretty hard inventory of what it is you have at home. Also, do clients come to your home? Do you visit clients? The liability issues start to pile up. In most cases it would make sense to get your own business owners policy.
One other item to consider if you are a in a remote working situation is your auto insurance. Now you have just cut out most of the mileage you drive each year. You could potentially save some money on your auto insurance if you tell your agent to reduce the mileage on your policy. There could be some substantial savings. And to take that a step further, if you are willing to participate in a company’s telematics program, you could be tacking on an even greater savings. Most carriers now have an app that you can download on your phone. There are even companies now that rate by the mile.
Each situation is going to be different so that’s why we feel speaking to your agent and reviewing your individual situation is an extremely prudent step.