Could your insurance be invalidated by people working from home?

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There are now millions of Britain’s starting to work from home and may continue to do after the 1st August. At this moment in time this looks like the date that the government will ease the further lockdown rules to encourage people to return to the office.

We understand from research there is sum 26 people planning to continue working from home. Whether this is on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. However, people are not aware that they need to inform their insurance provider of their change in circumstances. This could amount to at least 9.7 million people who have home insurance that could be affected after the 1st August.

Unfortunately, people are confused about how working from home could impact their policy. The association of business insurers in the early part of the lockdown made a press to customers will not need to inform their insurers if they work from home whilst the government advises us to do so. However, this pledge no longer applies after the 1st August and could have serious impacts on peoples home cover.

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Association Of Business Insurers.

According to the association of business insurers commonly known as (ABI) the pledge will be reviewed on the 1st September but until then home insurance will not yet be affected by the governments advice. The association are advising people to inform their insurer if they can return to work or choosing to work from home more often.

They state “if you would be receiving visitors to your home on business matters, you should check with your insurer” it added. “Business equipment used is not likely to be covered. However, in most cases the employer would be liable for ensuring their equipment is insured away from the office”.

A lack of policy flexibility among large, more traditional insurance companies can also put customers at risk. What insurers are arguing is that it will change your risk because you might spill more tea on a laptop but not sure it will. In the high court recently lots of small business customers have taken the big insurers to court and won a case for them to be paid out. However, this was on a restrictive basis. It is advisable that if you have a big change of circumstances, you contact your insurer to let them know and see if this affects your policy. Even if they just acknowledge it if something comes up then you can show them you have had the communication.

Obviously, this mainly relates to people who have home insurance and not commercial insurance. However, you should always check to exactly see what the situation is.

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There was also a reveal recently the top ten hot spots for water damage throughout the United Kingdom. The insurance companies are going to make it more and more difficult in future for you to obtain full flood cover. The ever-changing climate that is taking place all over the world will mean that insurers will look more closely at individual places. Ensuring they will still offer flood cover. It is important in this instance that you check your policy to see whether it is included or not.

For instance, it was found in the last 12 months that 5.9% of Hull and its surrounding urban areas have suffered water damage from floods. The city of Hull is unfortunately known as one of the flood capitals of Britain and has for the 4th Year in a row had at least 6% of all properties affected by water damage from flooding in the past year.

This means that approximately 13,600 of the 230,000 homes in the area have been flooded. Hull is well known to be built on a flood plane. 90% of homes are below the high-water tide line. This was evident when it was devastated by floods in 2007 when 100ml of rain fell in one day. It flooded more than 7,000 homes in that month alone. The national average for suffering such flood damage is 0.7%. This means unfortunately the people living in Hull are more likely to have 8x more flood than others.

The top ten hotspots for floods are;

Hull

Carlyle

Lancaster

Llandudno

Exeter

Perth

Worcester

Gloucester

Llandrindod Wells

Hereford

If you do not have flood cover you can always look at taking out a separate cover. There is a company called Flood Re who may be able to cover this for you. This is a joint incisive between the government and insurers. Aiming to try and make flood cover more available for owners living in flood risks.

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