April 23, 2020

Teleworking: is your professional equipment insured at your private home?

Remote working, a practice adopted in an emergency necessity at the start of the lockdown, is now maybe a normal practice. Indeed, an increasing number of companies are offering their employees the possibility to work remotely once or several times a week. However, do you know which insurance covers theft or accidents involving professional equipment kept at your home?
The two following cases immediately separate this question: is the equipment provided and owned by an employer, or is the equipment yours, typically if you are self employed.

Are you employed by a company?

If the professional equipment belongs to the company and is provided for the purpose of teleworking that company should be responsible for insuring it.

Some companies have taken out insurance contracts to cover damage of professional equipment everywhere, in which case the equipment entrusted to its employees is insured, providing of course that the sum insured is sufficient or adequate. In other cases, the equipment is only insured at the company’s operating address.

Fortunately, some insurance companies have extended their general terms related to teleworking during the Covid-19 crisis. Conventional professional insurance contracts (comprehensive, all electronics risks, etc.) are extended to the employees’ private homes free of charge.

Specific advice during lockdown

Even when well insured, no one needs additional hassle.  Often a little common sense is enough. Keep these 5 tips in mind:

1.      Joker Card!
Do you have children? Make sure they understand that your professional equipment is out of bounds. No playing allowed near it.

2.      Headquarters
Create a work-dedicated space. A separation, even if only symbolic, between private and professional worlds, it avoids having to store and move all your items each night.

3.      Order and discipline (and ergonomics)
Work at a table or desk. It’s much better than the sofa or lounge chair to remain organised, it avoids back and shoulder pain and above all it keeps all your work tools close to hand.

4.      Take Breaks
 Take time for a breather, take a coffee break as you would have done with your colleagues.

5.      IT Assistance
Follow the advice of the IT department concerning the security of systems and data. Beware of corona-phishing and -hacking. Cybercriminals are currently very active.

What about professional equipment belonging to self-employed workers or freelance workers?

A self-employed person can insure their equipment and goods under the terms and conditions of their home insurance contract.

But this implies two things:

  • The coverage could be more limited
  • Only the basic guarantees are applied: fire, water damage, storm, glass breakage, etc.

Professional insurance on your equipment could offer greater coverage: theft, vandalism, breakage, accidental falls, short-circuit, etc.In addition it could provide an extra coverage for data recovery too.

Finally, within professional insurance policies the insurance provider will make the distinction of the type of equipment to be insured; for example, the premium will be different for medical equipment, construction tools or office equipment.

Ask your insurance agent for advice.

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