While most people still drive to an office each day, there’s been an explosion in the number of people working from home over the last two decades. This was made possible by inexpensive computers and the availability of high speed internet access. What used to be the norm for realtors and traveling sales people has become typical for:
- Software developers
- Web designers
- Interior designers
- Copy writers
- Advertising people
- Pharmaceutical representatives
- And many more
This leads us to a key question. How do we ensure that these offices are adequately insured if something happens to the home such as a water leak, fire, or theft? The value of office furniture, computers, scanners, printers, and software can range from $500 to $5,000 or more.
Does your home or renters policy cover the office and equipment? Most people assume so, but it truly depends on a couple of items:
- Are you an employee or self-employed
- Who owns the furniture & equipment
If you’re an employee:
- Laptops, tablets, and most electronic equipment are typically owned by your employer.
- The employer’s insurance covers those items and even samples, marketing materials, and promotional items.
- Furniture would be covered under the contents or personal property section of your home or renters policy.
If you’re self-employed this could go one of two ways:
- If you, the individual, owns the electronic equipment, furniture, and other items your home or renters policy should be sufficient to protect them.
- Depending on the insurance company, optional Business Pursuits coverage may be needed to fully cover these items.
- Business Pursuits coverage does not provide liability coverage.
- If liability coverage is needed, then general liability or professional liability coverage will protect in the event of a liability claim.
- If your business owns the electronic equipment, furniture, and other items, then your home or renters policy may exclude coverage on them.
- Some insurance companies provide optional coverage to accommodate these items through a policy endorsement.
- Some do not provide such an endorsement and in these cases, a business owner’s policy is needed.
- Business owner’s policies typically provide liability coverage, as well as coverage for business personal property such as computer equipment and office furniture.
One other important item:
- Does your home or renters policy cover the equipment in the office only
- Does it extend to when you’re working out of your home office and at a client’s office, home, or the local Starbucks
If you’re taking any of your equipment with you, then confirm that it’s covered regardless of where you are.
If you have a home office, read your policy to make sure you’re protected. If you’re not sure, talk with your insurance agent and have them confirm it for you.
What’s been your experience? Share what you’ve done or any question you may have in our comments section or on our Facebook. No one wants to discover what’s not covered at the time of a claim!