A new concern has come into focus since the COVID-19 pandemic has many more people having to work from home.
Does working from home affect homeowners’ insurance?
Businesses across the country have moved many of their professionals into work-from-home arrangements. That has led to some confusion as to who is liable and whose insurance will payout in the case of an injury or any property damage.
Generally speaking, if your business has full-time employees who now work from home, your workplace coverage should extend to them at home. Your insurance would also cover any company property that they now use at home. The coverage should include workers’ compensation for injuries that happen to them while working, as well as liability insurance for injuries that could happen to business-related guests on their property.
A business’ insurance policy may also provide limited coverage if a worker’s personal property is damaged while performing work-related tasks at home. However, if you have workers whose status has changed during the pandemic, coverage needs might need to shift. For example, if you have a worker who is now categorized as an independent contractor, then they are functioning as a “business” and will need their own insurance to protect their home office, equipment, and other “workplace” liabilities (e.g., if a customer has an injury while visiting their home). That would also be true for a worker who has added a sideline gig as additional employment to help make ends meet.
Even small sales jobs, such as representing a skincare line or selling candles, would likely be considered to be a home-based business. That means, if customers come to an employee’s house to pick up products, their homeowners’ insurance would not pay for injuries that occur on their property. Some insurance carriers may offer optional endorsements that can be added to a homeowners’ policy to cover these risks.
All employers also need to maintain all considerations for the health and safety of their employees and their workspaces for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance purposes. Even work-at-home injuries could possibly result in workers’ comp claims. Employment law and Business law attorney can help you to be prepared for these and other legal issues.
At The Floyd Law Firm PC, our firm is committed to helping large and small business owners navigate the laws and insurance regulations in order to make informed decisions. Over the years, we have developed ongoing relationships with many of the business owners, as well as their dedicated employees, who have come to us for assistance with individual legal concerns. If you need our help reviewing and filing your business, home, or personal insurance claim, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.