Ceta Insurance is calling on brokers to check in with their clients to make sure their insurance policies cover them if they are working from home.
As a result of the pandemic, the number of people working from home increased from 27% in 2019, to 37% in 2020, and while many are now returning to the office, the majority (57%) of workers say that they would prefer to continue to work from home either full-time or at least some of the time.
While, for most people, working from home is unlikely to impact their home insurance, there are a number of exceptions and Ceta Insurance is urging brokers to check in with their clients to make sure they are covered.
James O’Hara, commercial director at Ceta, said: “According to the ABI, if you are an office-based worker that is continuing to work from home in at least some capacity, ‘it will remain the case’ that you don’t need to contact your insurer, but there are a number of exceptions.
“For example, if you have visitors to your home on business matters, you make, sell or store goods from home, offer services from your home i.e. beauty treatments, hairdressing, child minding, or have started running a business from home during the pandemic.”
One of the biggest areas of contention though, is conversion, extensions and renovations – according to the ABI, home insurance policies will also need to be revisited if the home has been altered in any way to accommodate for a home office environment.
This could impact a significant number of people, because, while most of those working from home have set up an impromptu home office in the lounge (21%) or their bedroom (15%), 7% have converted either the garage, a summer house or a shed, while 3% built a dedicated office in the garden – all of which would need to be declared to the insurer, as they come under the exclusions.
O’Hara added: “While it is great news that most home working will be covered by a standard home insurance policy, there is a danger that because most circumstances are covered, those whose aren’t will just assume they don’t need to worry, and this could leave millions of homes at risk.
“There is, therefore, a huge opportunity for brokers to get in touch with their clients to check on their home working situations. If they discover that their client has created a new office space, that they are now offering services from their home or having clients or customers to visit, they can then really show their value by helping them find competitive cover for their new, home working circumstances and keep closer to their clients for any upcoming moves or re-mortgaging.”
Ceta offers brokers cover for standard home insurance, but are also specialists in non-standard policies, including for conversions, renovations and unusual home offices as well as for home-based jobs that would not be covered by a standard policy.
O’Hara said: “Our partnerships with specialist third-party insurers mean that more than 90% of non-standard risks can be managed and secured with ease, speed and reassurance. Via our Infinity platform brokers can get quotes in less than two minutes and monitor everything on our live dashboard, while our dedicated, expert support teams are on hand to answer any queries.”