Know if your work needs additional coverage
Changes in workplace culture and technological advances have increased the popularity of telecommuting in recent years. Many people are working exclusively from home, and that can have implications on your insurance.
Can telecommuting affect your insurance needs? Do you need a different type of home insurance coverage? Here are some points to find out the answers.
Talk with your agent
More often than not, a standard homeowners insurance policy is adequate to keep a telecommuter well-covered. This is because insurance is all about protecting against potential loss, and there’s simply not much risk involved with someone working on their couch.
Having said that, there are special cases that present uncommon risks, which is why it’s advisable to check with your insurance agent, who knows what questions to ask to uncover any unexpected risks. Luckily, this type of insurance review can take place entirely over the phone.
When you need commercial insurance
There are so many unique situations that require additional coverage — too many to list. Some even necessitate the purchase of a commercial insurance policy, totally separate from your homeowners policy. For example, if you have an attached garage that you use for business, it’s likely covered by your current homeowners policy, or at least could be covered by an endorsement (coverage added to an existing policy).
But if your garage is freestanding, you may need a dedicated commercial insurance property policy. Insurance agents also will need to know whether you’re the business owner or you work for someone else to determine your insurance coverage.
Read more about when you might need commercial coverage for your home-based business.
What about worker’s comp?
Worker’s compensation is mandatory insurance in Washington that is purchased by an employer through the state to cover their business and their employees in case an on-the-job injury should occur. Which leads to the question: Does worker’s comp extend to job-related injuries that occur while working from home?
The short answer is yes; injuries that are caused directly by work-related activities should be covered, regardless of the location. But the definition of “work-related” is squishy, and you’ll have to prove that the injury occurred while doing work.
If you are unsure whether you need additional insurance while you work from home, talk with your agent today. AAA Washington Insurance agents are happy to review your insurance and answer your questions.
—Written by Matt Forrest, last updated in December 2022.
—Top photo is from WFH.