Advice matters
Insurance and remote work: What businesses need to know

Working from home is here to stay in some form or another, at least for some occupations. It may not be everyone’s favourite way of working, but it is something that many employees – here and overseas – are willing to continue in the ‘new normal’.

According to a recent global survey for the World Economic Forum, two-thirds of people around the world would like to work flexibly when the pandemic is over, and almost a third are prepared to quit their job if their employer requires them to go back to the office full time. Only one in four people said they wanted to work in the office five times a week.

If you’re a business owner, you may like to know about the insurance implications of remote work – read on for some key things to consider, according to our SHARE advisers who specialise in fire and general insurance advice.

Business equipment

Many of our business clients have been asking us if the employee’s personal home and contents insurance provides cover for business equipment. Our short answer is that it depends on the policy that your team member has, and the type of equipment – so it’s something worth checking with an adviser.

Generally speaking, laptops are usually covered up to a limit of about $10,000. But when it comes to using or storing specialist equipment, cover may not be provided. Also, unlike commercial insurance, limits on home and contents policies can’t be negotiated, so if your employee uses high-value equipment from home that may not be protected.

Personal and professional liability

If you’re considering adopting remote working practices in the long term, it’s important that you and your employees take a fresh look at insurance cover, as there might be risks that you haven’t consider before.

If you’re operating a business from home, you may also need to ensure that you have liability cover in place, should you be not liable for injuries or damages you may inadvertently cause to others – for example, if a courier trips in your employee’s driveway while delivering a business-related parcel.

Cyber security

With the rise of remote working, cyber security is becoming more and more important for any business. Cyber insurance, along with specialist tools and cyber safety training across the business, can bring peace of mind to your organisation.

While we don’t provide advice on cyber insurance, we can point you in the right direction. Get in touch if you’d like to explore your options.

Health and safety

Employers are responsible for developing good health and safety practices with their staff, both in the office as well as working from home or other location. The Government has created a helpful Health & Safety guide on how to make a ‘working from home’ plan, which outlines the key steps that managers need to take.

As this document highlights, there’s more to remote work than just a comfortable workstation and legal requirements. While some employees might be natural-born remote workers, others may need a little help to maintain social interaction and structure their day as a normal workday. So, make sure you’re there for your team, with regular check-ins.

Looking for advice?

Working from home can mean different things to different businesses, and you have your own unique needs, goals, and risks.

If you’re exploring your options in this space, please don’t hesitate to contact us: your SHARE adviser can guide you on where to seek quality advice for your circumstances.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.