Insurers will continue to support home workers as businesses find new flexible ways of working, a trade association has said.
As coronavirus restrictions start to ease across the UK, and many businesses look to adopt flexible working on a longer-term basis, members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have reviewed temporary pledges introduced during lockdown to support customers.
Insurers’ pledges, which remain in place until April 30, have included support for office-based workers who had to move to working from home and drivers needing to use their own vehicle to commute to work as a result of the pandemic.
Under permanent guidance set out by the ABI on Tuesday, if someone is an office-based worker who continues to work from home, it will generally remain the case that they do not need to contact their insurer.
There will be exceptions though, including if someone has people visiting their home for business matters, or if they manufacture and sell goods from their home, or they have adapted their property, such as setting up an outbuilding as a home office.
And people offering services such as hairdressing, beauty treatments, child minding, fitness classes or dog grooming will still need to tell their insurer.
The ABI said anyone who has established, or is planning to establish, a business from home during the pandemic, or has moved the running of their business to their home premises, should discuss the cover required with their insurer or broker.
They should check their policy to make sure it is still right for them and if they are unsure their insurer or broker will be able to check.
Laura Hughes, ABI manager, general insurance said: “Insurers have supported customers throughout the challenges of the past year, including paying up to £3billion in the UK for Covid-related insurance claims and donating over £100million to charities through the Covid-19 support fund.
“As many businesses and workers adapt to more permanent and flexible ways of working, continuing the pledge to support office-based workers will be of great help to many of the UK’s 17 million home insurance customers.”
In terms of motor insurance, as travel to workplaces becomes more routine, the ABI said it will again become necessary for drivers to check their insurance cover is appropriate for their needs.
They will need to speak with their insurer or broker if there are ongoing changes to their working and driving activities since taking out the policy.
This includes using their own vehicle to commute to work or driving to different locations for work purposes. As was common practice before the coronavirus pandemic, this will apply to all roles.
The ABI added that insurers appreciate this may continue to be a difficult time for some customers and they will be ready to discuss insurance cover, including options for those who may be experiencing financial hardship.
If someone is using their own vehicle for voluntary purposes, such as to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, this will continue to be covered at no extra cost by the vast majority of ABI members.
However, some insurers may wish to be informed of this use – so volunteer drivers should check their individual policy.