Business owners had to scramble to adapt to a new reality in the early days of the pandemic that included having most employees work from home. Due to the sudden nature of the changes, work from home insurance may have been the last thing on their mind. Nearly a year later, some business owners are ready to rethink insurance risks for employees that work from home. If you’re one of them, we hope the information provided below about the risks of working from home will be helpful.
Cyber Risks Associated with At-Home Workers
Now that restrictions have eased and most public-facing businesses are open again, some employees who normally work at home have ventured out. With laptop in hand, they head to coffee shops, libraries, and other public places just to see other human beings. While understandable, public Wi-Fi networks expose businesses to significantly more risk than home Wi-Fi networks do. Hackers have a much easier time accessing unsecured networks to obtain private company information, including sensitive information about customers.
Employees working on their own home computers instead of a company computer also present a security risk. Although some prefer that arrangement, personal computers don’t have the same levels of security that your company computers have. You will need to decide if you will ban this practice or allow it with some strict privacy rules in place. The same is true for employees who take a company computer to a public space to work. Regardless of the policies you set, cyber liability insurance is a serious option to consider.
Safety of Employees and Clients
Employers have the obligation to ensure a safe working environment for their employees whether they work onsite, offsite, or at home. While it may be impossible to review each employee’s physical workspace, you could consider asking for a video or a remote meeting to view it that way. This gives you the chance to look for hazards the employee didn’t recognize. You also want to ensure that each employee has a comfortable workstation appropriate to their job duties and personal needs to avoid workers’ compensation claims.
Sometimes employees may meet with your company’s clients in their home. While not a common practice during the coronavirus pandemic, both you and the employee should understand liability laws if the client injures himself or herself on the property. The employee’s homeowners’ insurance policy may not cover the claim if it happened during work hours, leaving you to pick up the tab. General liability insurance for business owners can help in this case.
Other Considerations About Insurance When Employees Work From Home
Here are a few other situations that might come up with employees working from home:
- The employee gets into an accident and injures someone while driving a company vehicle.
- A child of the employee causes extensive damage to company computers, printers, cell phones, or other business equipment.
- The employee stores company inventory at home to ship to customers, and a fire breaks out destroying it all.
A customized work at home insurance policy can save you a lot of stress and money as you continue to navigate these new work arrangements.