Almost 10 million could be left without valid home insurance if they keep working from home
Millions of Britons are at risk of invalidating their home insurance if they choose to continue working from home after the ease of lockdown rules to encourage people to return to the office.
Some 26 per cent of people plan to continue working from home on a permanent or semi-permanent basis as the coronavirus lockdown lifts, but seven in 10 are unaware they may need to inform their insurance provider of their change in circumstance, research has found.
This amounts to 9.7 million people whose home insurance may be affected.
In addition, over half of customers are confused about how working from home could impact their policy, with 43 per cent claiming they received no communication from their insurer and a further eight per cent saying information they received was unclear.
Early in the lockdown, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) made a pledge that customers would not need to inform their insurer if they work from home while government advice is to do so. But this pledge may no longer apply and could have a serious impact on people’s home cover, warned the report.
According to ABI, the pledge will be reviewed, but until then, home insurance “will not be affected regardless of the government’s advice to return to work”. However, the association is advising people to inform their insurer if they are able to return to work, but are choosing to work from home more often.
“If you will be receiving visitors to your home on business matters, you should check with your insurer,” it added. “Business equipment used is likely not 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 larger, more traditional insurance companies could also put customers at risk of invalidating their existing home insurance, said Jimmy Williams, CEO of Urban Jungle.