Working from home: does insurance cover my work computer?

Any major lifestyle change can impact your existing insurance policies – including how and where you work. In the wake of the pandemic, more Australians are working in a hybrid setting or entirely remote, which means you may be using your personal or office devices in order to work at home. But what happens if those devices are damaged or destroyed due to an unexpected incident – would your current home and contents insurance cover the replacement costs?

The importance of home and contents insurance

Despite money playing a factor in almost every part of our lives, many Australians feel they aren’t as financially literate as they would like to be. In fact, according to our Choosi Digital Finance Trends 2021 Report, a massive 41% of Aussies say they have no idea what their credit score is, and one in five say they’ve had problems in the past with credit checks and loan assessments because of their history using buy now pay later (BNPL) services.

While these issues won’t necessarily influence your insurance situation, they are part of a wider conversation around Australians and their financial literacy. For example, did you know that underinsurance is a common problem right across the country? According to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 80% of homeowners are underinsured, while the Insurance Council of Australia reports that almost one in four (23%) households don’t have any building or contents insurance at all – equivalent to around 1.8 million residential properties.

Think about what that could mean for not just your physical home, but everything you hold dear inside of it. This could be of extra concern for the 50% of Australians already worried about their debt, leading to tangible negative effects on their lives. Without home and contents insurance, you could have to cover all the costs of damaged or destroyed property, whether it’s due to fire, storm, flood, theft, falling trees or a variety of other unpredictable events.

Does home and contents insurance cover your WFH equipment?

When it comes to working from home, there’s a new question that many staff now want an answer to: is my work gear protected under my existing home and contents insurance? The answer will depend on who owns the device, your insurer and the type of policy you have.

In most cases, the reality is that your home insurance won’t cover any business-related losses you incur while at home. This includes devices owned by your employer or – if you run a business – owned by the company. If you purchased and use your own personal device for work, this may be covered under contents for a home office.

Your first step should be to call your current insurer and ask them about your specific situation. Especially if you are now working from home full-time or running a business entirely from your home, your insurer needs to know this as it will likely have an effect on your policy.

4 tips for maximising your home and contents policy

Whether you are a full-time remote worker, you’ve recently started a hybrid working situation, or if you only work from home on the odd occasion, it’s important that you are aware of what is and isn’t covered – especially if you will be bringing home, and using, work devices. Here are some tips to get the most out of your home and contents insurance:

  1. Keep your policy updated: As your lifestyle changes, you will need to update your insurance to match your current needs. Working from home is one major change to your life that you will need to alert your insurer to. They will be able to tell you whether or not you can get specific devices covered under your policy.
  2. Value items correctly: Especially with expensive equipment and technology, you will want to ensure items in your home are correctly valued in the event they are damaged or destroyed. If you are underinsured, you will likely have to cover the financial gap yourself.
  3. Review regularly: It’s a good habit to review your home and contents insurance policy at least once a year. You might be surprised by how much your situation has changed over the course of 12 months, and a quick review will reveal if you need to add or remove items from your policy.

Get the most from your policy

Having the right level of home and contents insurance is only one piece of the puzzle. In order to get the most from your policy and ensure you have an adequate level of cover for an unexpected event, you may need to add specific items to the cover.

Now that hybrid and remote work have become the norm, it’s important that you take steps to protect your home correctly. If you are considering home and contents insurance, start comparing a range of policies with Choosi today.