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Does Working From Home Affect Your Home Insurance?

Maria’s company has embraced a hybrid working model, and she works from home two days a week. While she enjoys splitting her time between working remotely and being a part of her company’s in-office culture, she’s curious about how working from home affects her home insurance coverage.

Terrence has recently become a small-business owner, and has decided to operate his venture out of his own home. He’s been wondering how running a small business out of his house will impact his home insurance, and whether or not he needs more coverage.

If your day-to-day workspace looks a lot different than it did in the past, you’re hardly alone. In recent years, work-from-home or hybrid work arrangements have become much more prevalent than they were in the past. Many U.S. citizens are now working at least one day a week from their homes.

It’s important to understand both how working from home can impact your insurance needs, and who is ultimately responsible for providing coverage. There’s not a general, definitive rule on who is responsible, whether it be the homeowner or the employer. It depends on the specific working-from-home scenario, and understanding expectations is critical.

Let’s look at three work-from-home scenarios and how they may impact your home insurance.

Scenario 1: “I’m working from home using my company’s equipment.”

If you’re simply working from home on a company computer like Maria is, it’s not typically an issue. Check with your employer and understand expectations if company-owned property is damaged in your home, particularly if you’re storing company supplies or samples.

Consider keeping a record of any equipment you’ve taken home from your workplace, document it with your employer and confirm that business property is covered by your employer’s insurance when it’s in your home. Generally speaking, you don’t want to put in a claim on your homeowners policy if you don’t have to; a loss may impact your premiums. 

If you’re expected to cover your company’s equipment under your personal home insurance policy, contact your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Scenario 2: “I’m working from home using my personal equipment.”

Maybe you’ve invested in your home office – dual monitors or a standing desk, for instance. Or maybe you’re using a personal computer to perform work for your employer. Either way, make sure you’re protected if anything happens while you’re working from home. 

If you’re working from home and using your own equipment, it’s important to make sure your homeowners policy has enough coverage. Amica offers special computer coverage as an endorsement to any policy. It covers desktop computers and laptops, but also items like your smartphone or iPad, with a special deductible that’s typically much lower than your standard homeowner's deductible.

Always keep in mind that a homeowners policy includes a Special Limits of Liability clause for property used primarily for business purposes. This limit is typically $2,500, although it may depend on the state in which the policyowner resides.  The special limit applies even if the policy includes the special computer coverage equipment endorsement.

Also consider the precautions you should take with your employer’s data on your own devices. Most employers require using secure access points. Follow the same cybersecurity procedures as you would in the office to minimize the risk of a data breach.

Scenario 3: “I’m running my own business out of my home.”

If you’ve gone from working for someone else to running your own business from home, like Terrence, it may be time to look into additional coverage – like the business in the home protection for incidental occupancies provided by Amica.

Many small businesses like Terrence’s are operated out of someone’s house, which is different than simply working from home. Everything from the type of business you have to where you’re physically working within your home can impact your coverage and liability.

If you’re running a business out of a home, consider these questions before talking to an insurance provider:

  • Does your business bring clients into your home?
  • Do you have a dedicated space for your business?
  • Is all of your equipment properly protected?

The answers can help your provider understand your specific situation and advise you on the best coverage to fit your needs.

Making sure you’re covered.

Whether your work life has changed, or you’ve made changes to your home, it’s always a good idea to review your homeowners policy on a regular basis. And if you’re ever in doubt, call your insurance provider with questions

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