Working from home is a fairly common occurrence in the present times. It may be a full-time remote working arrangement, a hybrid model where you split time between your workplace and home, or a business that you run entirely from your home. No matter what your situation, it is important to inform your insurer as your standard home insurance may not sufficiently cover business issues-related claims.
The expert home insurance brokers at Orr & Associates elaborate on different work from home situations and their impact on your home insurance policy in Ontario.
What is Covered by a Basic Home Insurance?
A basic or standard home insurance policy provides coverage to protect your home and its contents in the event of damage caused by theft, fire, flooding, vandalism, or specific weather conditions, such as heavy winds or lightening. Typically, this includes:
- Repairs or replacement costs for your home interiors and exteriors
- Repairs or replacement of household possessions, such as furniture, electronic appliances, jewellery (up to a certain amount)
- Personal liability coverage – in case of accidents in or on your property that cause physical harm to another person
If You are Working from Home Temporarily
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen many waves of severe restrictions, followed by easing of public health measures, leading to temporary work from home situations for many. During such times, you may be using your company assets, such as a laptop, desktop, or even furniture in some cases, and such equipment is usually covered by your employer’s commercial insurance policy. You do not need to add extra coverage for your business equipment in your existing home insurance policy.
Note that most home insurance policies have an additional coverage cap between $2,000 to $5,000 for business property, which is enough to safeguard work-related equipment in the rare instance that you use your personal devices (computer, laptop, etc.) to work from home.
Essentially, if you are temporarily working from home, there is no impact on your home insurance policy. However, if you are in a long-term or permanent remote working position, you may need to add certain endorsements that cover business related claims. For example, you can increase the on-premises business property liability limits to a maximum of $10,000.
Long-Term Home-Based Business
If you run a home-based business, it is advisable to get business coverage, either through an extension to your existing home insurance policy, or as a standalone commercial insurance for small business. While most home insurance policies come with the coverage cap for business equipment, you will need additional protection in the form of:
- General Liability Coverage: To cover any liabilities arising from physical or financial harm that your home-based business causes to others. For example, a claim related to a client who injured themselves while on your premises for business purposes.
- Professional Indemnity (Errors & Omissions) Coverage: To protect you from any claims that your product, service, or advice caused physical damage, emotional distress, or monetary losses to a client or customer. For example, if you are a physical therapist practising from home, this coverage protects you from claims of negligence that led to exacerbation of a patient’s injury.
- Damage to Business Property Coverage: To cover the repairs or replacement for any business property (including inventory, equipment, finished products, and premises) damaged due to fire, theft, flooding, and more.
- Business Interruption Coverage: To ensure continuity of business income in the event of losses incurred due to business property damage. For example, if a fire destroys your property or business equipment, this coverage will pay a sum for the loss of business until you carry out the necessary repairs and replacement in order to resume your operations.
- Employer Liability Coverage: To cover for any injuries sustained by your employees or interns while working for your business.
Our Experienced Home Insurance Brokers are Ready for You
At Orr & Associates, we aim to provide the best insurance coverage in keeping with your needs and budget. Our experienced and knowledgeable professionals can help you compare products from all the top insurance companies and make informed decisions on securing your home. We can also help you select the necessary add-ons or endorsements to cover business property, depending on the nature and length of your work from home arrangement.
For more information on our products and services, call us toll-free at 1 (866) 521 5926. You can also get in touch with us online to request a free quote for home, auto and other types of insurance.