Home Insurance and Working From Home During COVID-19?

Caeva O'Callaghan | June 25th, 2020

COVID-19 may affect your business more than you think. When it comes to home insurance, it’s best to lessen all risks.

You may need to tell your home insurance provider if you are working at home during COVID-19. It all depends on what you do for work, and how you carry it out. If yours is a typical office job, there will be no problem. But if your work involves meeting members of the public, this may raise some issues.

In this article, we’ll cover questions such as:

  • Do I need to tell my insurance provider I’m working from home?
  • How does COVID-19 affect my home insurance?
  • Will my home insurance cover me for COVID-19?

Because this is a challenging time for everyone, we want you to be aware of the facts of working from home during COVID-19. Read on to discover if there’s anything you need to do.

Risks of COVID-19

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Ireland in the first quarter of 2020, many people were unfortunately furloughed or asked to work from home. This is because coronavirus needs close human contact to spread. Offices, factories and other workplaces make perfect breeding grounds for the virus.

Studies have shown the virus can be transmitted among individuals through coughs, sneezes, talking or singing at close distances. It can also live on surfaces for varying lengths of time.

This means that, after an initial shutdown, many businesses have been able to adapt enough to reopen. Staff of essential shops and supermarkets now serve from behind screens, social distancing measures have been put in place, and hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes may be available at the entrance to wipe down trolley handles and baskets.

But these measures are a lot more difficult in schools and office environments. People need to mingle, there isn’t enough space for everyone to social distance, and the risks are too high. That’s why many are now working from home, but that doesn’t mean the risks are zero.

During a normal workday at home, you aren’t necessarily likely to take any risks you wouldn’t do on a day off, so your home insurance would stay the same. You only need to inform your insurer if your work includes risky activities or meeting members of the public.

Office jobs

Office-based activities are, by and large, safe. If you sit at your desk in your home office from 9 to 5, you aren’t going to be putting yourself in any more danger than you do regularly.

Has your company has given you a laptop, audio visual technology, office supplies or ergonomic adaptations for you to be able to do your job? Your employer’s insurance policy will cover them. In the case that these items are damaged or stolen, you need to contact your employer so they can make a claim. There is no need to add these items to your home insurance policy.

When it comes to your personal possessions, your own home insurance will cover them. However, it’s worth noting that if you take your equipment out of the home – to carry out surveys or give quotes, for example – these will not be covered under a standard policy. It’s worth taking out all risks cover to protect your belongings while out and about.

When customers come to you

If you’re working from home as a consultant, counsellor or coach, for example, you may need to ask customers to visit your home for business purposes. This is when you need to get your home insurance involved.

When others visit your home, the risk of transmitting the virus is much greater. It may also be difficult to socially distance and stay 2 metres from one another inside your house.

Depending on the business type, your insurance provider may request – or outright insist – that you purchase a business insurance policy. This will cover you if someone gets sick after visiting your home.

If there’s any other way you can conduct business without having people visit your home, we recommend exploring these options. However, when contact with members of the public is essential, it’s a good idea to keep the visits as short as possible. Wash your hands often, have hand sanitiser available, and wear a mask and gloves if appropriate.

Taking these precautions will lessen the risk for you and your employers, and put your clients’ minds at ease.

If you are unsure whether you need to notify your insurance company, talk to us today.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 and the potential impact on home insurance, pick up the phone and talk to our insurance experts and we can advise you if you need to notify your insurance company. You can call us anytime between 8.30am and 5.30pm Mon-Fri on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If your house insurance is up for yearly renewal, you can get a home insurance quote directly from QuoteMe.ie online. We compare house insurance from 12 of the leading providers to help find you the right cover for your needs. 

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.