How does working from home affect home insurance?
Working from home or hybrid working is the new normal for many of us. Since the pandemic, there has been a big increase in home working.
In most cases, your home contents insurance will cover you for home working, but there are a few exceptions.
Does my home insurance cover me for home working?
Yes. John Lewis Contents Insurance covers the office equipment and furniture you use for home working such as your computer, desk and office chair.
So you’re covered if you’re employed and using your personal equipment - including your phone or computer - for working from home.
You’re covered for loss, damage and theft of business equipment:
- Up to £2,000 with our Bronze cover
- Up to £5,000 with our Silver cover
- Up to £10,000 with our Gold cover
- Up to £25,000 with our Specialist cover
The same applies if you’re one of the more than 5 million self-employed people in the UK. The main difference here is that you must let us know if you’ve started your own business.
If you’re employed by a company and they provide your office equipment for home working, this should be covered under your employer’s insurance. However, it's always worth checking with them.
Recently started working from home?
Have you recently switched to home or hybrid working? If so, it’s important to set up a home office environment where you feel comfortable and productive.
There are several creative ways to do this even if you only have a small or shared space. Lighting is very important for wellbeing, as is an ergonomic workspace. A good working environment is better for your eyes and posture. So it might be worth making a small investment into a desk lamp, wrist support or adjustable chair, for example.
Do I have to tell my insurer I’m working from home?
Generally, you don't need to let your insurance company know that you’re working from home unless you’ve started your own business.
If you have a Specialist Home Insurance policy with John Lewis, you will need to let us know about any business activities undertaken at your home. This does not include clerical or office work (unless you employ staff).
If you’re not sure you can always check your policy or get in touch with your insurance provider.
Do I need business insurance if I’m working from home?
If you’re working for an employer you should not need additional business insurance. This is because their corporate insurance should cover you. It’s always worth checking with your employer if you’re not sure.
If you’re a sole trader who works outside the home and only uses your home for doing admin, this shouldn’t affect your insurance premium. However, you do need to let your insurance provider know.
You will need additional business insurance cover when working from home if you:
Have staff employed to work from your home (except domestic staff)
Have visitors, paying guests or clients in your home (for example, if you are a childminder)
Use one of your rooms as a treatment room (for example, for therapy or hairdressing)
Store business cash at home – very few insurance providers cover this
If you have a Bronze, Silver or Gold policy, you will also need additional business insurance if you store any stock in your home (for example, if you print t-shirts). Our Specialist Home Insurance covers business stock up to £10,000.
It's also worth noting that all Cyber cover from John Lewis excludes business activities. Therefore, if your employer doesn't have corporate insurance which covers this, you may want to look into additional business insurance.
Additional cover for people running a business from home
If you’re self-employed and run a business from home, you will likely need business insurance. The following are examples of types of business insurance you may need to consider:
Some tips to prevent accidental damage to office equipment at home:
- Keep laptops away from children, grandchildren and pets.
- Try not to leave drinks near laptops, phones and other electronic devices.
- Use a cable tidy to keep long wires and cables from becoming trip hazards.
- Take extra care when replacing your printer ink, particularly if you have carpets.
If you regularly travel around with your portable office equipment, you may want to consider our Gadget Insurance add-on. This covers your gadgets anywhere in the world.
Remember, too, that we cover loss of media downloads and personal data but not loss of business data. So always make sure you back everything up.
How to insure your home office with John Lewis
John Lewis Finance, John Lewis Home Insurance and John Lewis & Partners are all trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales (Registered Company Number 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Munich Re Digital Partners Limited, a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to carry on insurance distribution activities.
John Lewis Finance, John Lewis Insurance and John Lewis & Partners are all trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales (Registered Company Number 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority no. 416011) of Covea Insurance plc which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (registration no. 202277). John Lewis Specialist Home Insurance is underwritten by Covea Insurance plc. Registered Office: A&B Mills, Dean Clough, Halifax, HX3 5AX. Registered in England and Wales (registration no. 613259).