Even before the pandemic struck in 2020, more and more Americans were working from home than ever before. Advances in technology have allowed workers to become more mobile, offering expanded opportunities to work out of the house. Additionally, home-based businesses and the gig economy have further increased the number of those who work from home.
Often overlooked, however, is potential exposure working from home creates. Left unchecked, property damage or negligence could pose a real financial threat to your finances. Generally speaking, homeowners insurance excludes claims involving work from home unless the coverage has been specifically added.
If you have any of the following circumstances, it might be time to review your homeowners insurance options with your insurance agent.
You are responsible for the safety of anyone visiting your home. This includes clients, prospects, and vendors who come to your house to conduct business. While homeowners policies include liability insurance, you will need to add a specific rider to extend coverage to those visiting for business purposes.
Nearly all businesses require some physical property to operate. From cameras for the home-based photographer to special appliances of the work-at-home chef, insurance companies may deny your claim if business personal property coverage isn’t added onto your policy.
If your home suffered a loss and your business personal property was damaged, would your income be affected? Although most homeowners insurance policies cannot provide business income protection, some may allow the use of additional living expenses to be paid toward continuing your business at another location until your property is repaired or replaced.
If your business requires the collection and maintenance of personally identifiable information (PII), you are liable if such information is stolen or shared by unauthorized individuals. Some homeowners insurance companies can offer limited coverage for data breaches, although more robust coverage may be required depending on the number and type of records you keep.
One area of exposure not available under your homeowners insurance policy is protected against any errors or omissions you make on your clients’ behalf. For example, if you run a bookkeeping service from your home and make a calculation error resulting in financial harm to your client, you would be personally liable for the economic damages. Speak to an insurance agent about available errors and omissions or professional liability insurance.
As an Employee
For the most part, employees working remotely from home will have protection available to them through their employer. Yet, it is still best to check with both your employer and insurance agent to make sure you aren’t left exposed to potential lawsuits or the cost of business property in the event of a loss.
Not Sure If You Have the Right Coverage?
If you are working from home and aren’t sure if you have the right coverage, or if you are covered by your current policies, give us a call. We’d be happy to review your coverage and situation with you to make sure you are adequately protected.