Ipswich firm’s insurance warning over ‘office’ equipment

With working from home set to become the new normal for many post covid-19, Ipswich insurance broker PolicyBee is urging people to ensure that their portable and static office equipment and contents have the right cover.
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And you’ll be glad you did because there is a clear distinction in some home contents insurance policies that means the tech you use for business in the home might not be covered.

According to its 2020 Claims Report, the largest sector of claims PolicyBee saw that year was for portable equipment such as laptops, cameras and mobile phones.

With the whole family at home through three lockdowns over 12 months, it’s no wonder the firm saw an increase in claims for equipment broken by being knocked, dropped, or by having a drink spilled over it.

In fact, portable equipment accounted for over a third (36 per cent) of all the claims PolicyBee processed in 2020, with other office contents claims amounting to 28 per cent.

Jane Aldous, claims team leader at PolicyBee, said: “Life has changed for good for some people. They may never return to a traditional office as some businesses have moved on.

“Many people have closed the door on commuting in favour of walking to the cabin at the bottom of the garden or a bedroom/office to start work. Others may be logging in from the local cafe at times, once restrictions allow.

“As such, we would urge people to check their contents insurance policy does, in fact, cover their technology for work purposes for use at home, and away if it is portable.

“Many household contents claims involve flood and water damage from leaks, or theft, so it could be a big loss if you happen to be wrong in thinking your policy will cover you for using your home technology for business use.”

With the cost of a top-of-the-range Microsoft Ultrabook laptop retailing for about £1,300 and Apple technology even higher, it can be an expensive mistake to make. Mobile phones can be just as costly.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics only go back to April 2020, but then it was saying 46 per cent of people in employment were working from home and of those, 86 per cent were doing so because of the pandemic.

There is much speculation on how much of the UK workforce will remain working from home after the pandemic but experts are agreed that technology has played a significant part in enabling it to happen.

For more on PolicyBee’s 2020 Claims Report go to: https://www.policybee.co.uk/business-insurance-claims-in-close-u

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