Does Home Insurance Cover Work Laptops Being Stolen From Home?
Caeva O'Callaghan | February 21st, 2023
Working from home? You may need to tell your home insurance that your daily activities have changed. But what if your work laptop is stolen – do you need to tell your home insurance?
No. You do not need to claim on your home insurance when work equipment is stolen from your home. These items will be covered by your employers’ business insurance, and you should inform them straight away so they can make a claim.
In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:
- Does my home insurance cover work equipment?
- What do I need to do if my work laptop is stolen?
- How does working from home affect my insurance?
If your employer gives you a laptop, they need to have insurance for it, or be willing to cover the cost of repair or replacement. On the other hand, if the laptop is yours, you should make sure it’s protected against risks.
Does my home insurance cover work equipment?
No. If you have a work laptop, phone, or any other equipment or materials provided by your employer, your employer’s business insurance will protect them against damage or theft. Equipment your employer gives you will not be covered by your home insurance, and you need to contact your employer directly if something happens to your work laptop.
This is because even though your employer gives you these devices for the purposes of work, they still belong to the company. It’s not yours, so it’s not your responsibility to insure the item: in other words, you have no insurable interest in the laptop.
If someone steals the laptop from your home or your car during a meeting and your employer has no insurance, it’s their fault. They’ve lost money, and unless you were negligent with the laptop they probably can’t make you pay for it. Negligence means you failed to act in a way any reasonable person should to keep the equipment safe.
If the laptop is lost or stolen, you should inform your employer as soon as possible – not just to get a new one, but to inform them of a possible data leak. Your employer may also need to make a claim on their cyber insurance to prevent customer, client and staff data being targeted by hackers.
What do I need to do if my work laptop is stolen?
Tell your employer as soon as possible. They will need to open a new claim with their business insurance, and possibly their cyber insurance if the laptop contained valuable or sensitive data.
As more people than ever are working from home, it’s becoming more common for companies to loan or give their employees devices such as laptops or phones for the purposes of working from home. Having a separate laptop helps employees keep their work and personal lives separate, ensures they have the computing power and software they need wherever they go, and (at least in theory) keeps company data more secure.
Of course, this relies on the company having the necessary cyber insurance in place, as well as the necessary contents insurance to cover the laptop itself. Your employer should always update the laptop with the latest anti-virus software and provide you with thorough IT security training. This mitigates the risk of a disaster happening, even if the laptop is stolen.
How does working from home affect my insurance?
Working from home should not affect your home insurance, unless your day to day activities radically change. It’s all to do with risk: if you stay at your kitchen table with a laptop, and only move for the occasional coffee, the risk of fire, flood or any other damage is no higher.
It’s always a good idea to let your insurance know the home will be occupied more than they might expect, just in case. And don’t forget: if you are self-employed, you may need your own business insurance.
Ask your employer about the tasks you’re expected to do while working from home. If you are required to meet members of the public at home as part of your work – as a counsellor or consultant, for example – then you may need to inform your home insurance.