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    Working from home: The remote worker’s guide to insurance

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    With many businesses having been forced to adapt quickly to the prospect of remote work due to the pandemic, it’s important that remote workers make sure they know what their home insurance policy protects them from. If you’re working from home and attending hybrid meetings, you may need to ensure that your policy covers any damages that could occur during those meetings, whether they take place in-person or online.

    For those that are working from home, insurance is important for protecting them from having to pay out of pocket for any number of damages they may face or claims brought against them. However, there are many factors that could change exactly what type of insurance you need, from whether or not you’re self-employed to the types of services you provide. With all these factors in mind, we’ve come up with a guide to insurance for remote workers that will help to answer any questions you may have.

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    Does home insurance cover working from home?

    While homeowners insurance covers any damages to your own personal property, it’s important for remote workers to make sure that their professional business property is also covered. In some cases, homeowners insurance will protect business equipment to a degree. For instance, if a remote employee accidentally damages their work computer while at home, insurance companies will often pay out a certain amount.

    However, if you damage the computer while working at a café or carrying the computer outside, the payout is often greatly reduced.

    Are employers liable for employees working from home?

    Most full-time employees that are working from home are often covered by their employers’ business liability insurance, so if company property gets stolen or damaged, it won’t come out of the employee’s pocket to repair or replace these often expensive items. This also extends to employees that are physically injured — if a remote worker is hurt in their home office while working, they’re often entitled to workers compensation. Since there can be a lot of difference between policies, remember to always check with your employer so you know exactly how working from home affects your insurance as an employee.

    Related: How to effectively work from home

    Do I need additional insurance to work from home?

    There are multiple possible reasons for why you may need additional insurance while working from home.

    One such possibility is if you’re an independent business owner running your own home based business, it’s important to make sure you’re insured for whatever claims may come your way. Additionally, if your business involves receiving multiple packages or clients that regularly visit your home, you’ll also want to ensure your policy contains liability coverage for any possible claims — such as guests getting injured or damage to their property — regardless of whether or not you’re to blame.

    Related: Essential components of a productive and comfortable home office

    Are there any ways to get cheaper home insurance?

    Oftentimes, the best way to lower your home insurance rate is to call your provider and ask about any possible promotions or deals.

    Many insurance companies will also often look kindly on any security systems or new appliances you’ve recently installed that makes your home less likely to be the subject of a claim, which can result in a lower premium.

    Making sure your home insurance and your auto insurance are with the same provider is another popular way to lower your premiums, since your insurance coverage will be bundled together. And since you’re working from home, the decrease in driving will also result in a lower auto insurance rate.

    Related: How much does homeowners insurance cost

    Does renters insurance have the same coverage as home insurance?

    The coverage that renters insurance provides is very similar to homeowners insurance. Renters insurance is important to have for anyone living with a lease on a property, as it protects your personal belongings just like homeowners insurance does. However, a key difference between renters insurance and homeowners insurance is that renters insurance won’t provide structural or dwelling coverage on the building you’re living in. This is because it’s common for the landlord to have this type of insurance on the building, so you only have to worry about having coverage for your personal belongings.

    Will home insurance cover my freelance business?

    While much of the coverage enjoyed by full-time employees comes from a combination of home or renters insurance as well as protection from their company’s plan, this is not the case for the independent and freelance workers.

    Since self-employed workers with sole proprietorship and no employees don’t benefit from company plans, they aren’t covered by many work related claims from home insurance. If you’re self-employed or working a freelance job out of your home — even if it’s just part time — make sure you’re covered with a good insurance policy.

    Can I add extra coverage to my home insurance policy?

    If you ever want to increase your coverage on your home insurance policy for working from home to ensure you’re comfortably covered, you can always call your provider and take out an endorsement to increase the coverage or purchase an additional policy dedicated to protecting your home business. On top of this, consider discussing your specific needs, such as a remote support system, with your insurance company to ensure you have comprehensive coverage.

    This can be helpful in lots of scenarios, such as if you’ve just upgraded your computer hardware, phone, or other tools that you use for work.

    Whether you’ve been working from home for years or just recently started due to the pandemic, it’s important to know how these changes affect your insurance policy. Make sure you contact your boss and insurance company to get answers that are tailored to your specific policy.

    Related: Essential components of home office

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    Related: How to manage remote employees

    Originally published November 16, 2021, updated October 13, 2023

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