Many employees are now working from home and businesses have had to adapt to this change in working practice. Whilst some businesses had business continuity plans in place or employees that normally work from home, for other businesses the concept of home working is completely new and even unconsidered until it became a government requirement. Notably, Twitter recently announced that they will allow their staff to work from home on a permanent basis in future, it may be that this is a long-lasting shift in working practice across the country.
Although working from home has many advantages, there are also some risks that need to be identified and you will need to ensure that you are fully protected to avoid potential losses. Insurance policies are often overlooked or taken for granted, however, not having the right cover for your business could be crucial to its long-term success, especially in these uncertain times. It is therefore essential that your current policies and level of cover required are checked, and if necessary updated to include changes to how your business operates now and in the future.
Areas for consideration to minimise potential risk and liability:
1. Employers Liability Insurance
This policy covers employers against liability for personal injury or illness of employees when carrying out their work duties. Whilst employers should already have this policy it may not automatically cover employees working from home, check your policy to ensure you are covered.
2. Cyber and data insurance (also be known as cyber liability insurance or data protection insurance)
Cybercrime continues to increase with criminals capitalising on employees working from home, e.g. phishing attacks have risen 667% in the UK in March. By having insurance in place, you are ensuring your business is protected should the worst happen. The level of cover required will depend on the cost of getting your business back up and running after an attack.
3. Business interruption insurance
There are always going to be certain perils and unidentifiable disasters that a business may be faced with and now more than ever, businesses are aware of the importance of cash flow on the ability to trade and cover overheads. Business interruption cover is designed to help your business get back to trading after an insurable event has taken place. Cover for business interruption can vary from insurer to insurer and impact the ability to claim under this section, therefore it’s essential to regularly review policies to ensure the cover meets business needs. When doing this it’s worth speaking to a consultant to gain expert advice on how new working practices could impact cover requirements and limits.
4. Employee contracts
Employers should check that there is a working from home clause within employee contracts. If this is not covered within the terms and conditions a letter of modification with acceptance from employees may be required.
5. Business equipment
Businesses who have been able to provide items such as laptops, monitor, desk phones to staff working from home should ensure their equipment is insured away from the office.
6. Employees home insurance
Employees should check with their home insurance provider to see if they are covered to work from home or if it affects their policy and the relevant adjustments may need to be made. Business equipment is not likely to be covered through home insurance as it usually covered by the employer’s insurance.
For further guidance on your insurance needs in these unprecedented circumstances please contact us on 03330 433 233 or firstname.lastname@example.org to be put in touch with one of our carefully selected supply chain partners.