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How Working Remotely Could Affect Your Home and Auto Insurance in Ontario

How Working Remotely Could Affect Your Home and Auto Insurance in Ontario

January, 4 2022

Employees currently working from home may have some questions about their insurance coverage. Many workers have set up a temporary home office in their homes while the companies they work for continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19.

Adding that to the fact that these remote workers are not using their vehicles half as often as they were before the pandemic, and you have a lot of people wondering how all this may affect their insurance premiums.

How the Pandemic Has Affected Home Insurance Policies

Many insurance policies have exclusions for policyholders who use their homes for their business. Before COVID-19, that mainly applied to individuals who ran their own business in their homes. However, the definition of business could now include an employee who is doing their job remotely for their employers.

One expert suggests that if you are working from home, it could still be considered a home business. Many insurance providers are now changing these rules, allowing them to be more flexible when it comes to their terms for remote workers.

At the same time, if the change is only temporary, it is not recommended that remote workers inform their insurance providers as this could cause the provider to deny a claim in the future.

The endorsement for home insurance coverage to operate a business out of their home could add an average of $20 to a premium, but that can vary from one provider to the next.

What About Coverage for Business Property At Home?

Homeowner’s insurance policies in Ontario limit business-related property such as a printer or laptop. For all business property losses covered by a home insurance policy, the limit is typically around $5,000. And the coverage only applies if the incident happened at home. So if you had your laptop with you in your car and it was stolen, the insurance coverage would not pay for that loss.

If you are using equipment from your company in your home, it would be a good idea to check with your employer about how much their insurance will cover for loss or damage. There are many gray areas when it comes to this situation, and since we are all dealing with the consequences of the pandemic for the first time, there is a lot of trial and error concerning insurance companies and remote workers.

Insurance can be very confusing, and if you are not familiar with the terminology, it can be challenging to understand what is covered and what is not. That is why it is always a good idea to give your agent a call.

Possible Savings on Auto Insurance for Remote Workers

Some remote workers may qualify for a rebate on their auto insurance premium. That may be true for many remote workers who no longer use their car to drive to the office every day. You may not get your auto premium reduced because you are not using your car as often.

However, if you have a lien on your car or it is leased, your insurance provider may consider reducing your coverage since they also have an interest in the automobile. Your insurance provider wants to ensure that your vehicle is always protected, and they do not want to lose any money on it. Therefore they may make some changes to ensure that drivers are not paying out too much on a policy for a vehicle they rarely use.

What to Do If You Have Difficulty Paying Your Homeowner’s Insurance Premium

With changes occurring rapidly within communities throughout Ontario, it can be a challenging and uncertain time for many of the people of Canada. Insurance companies understand the struggles everyone is facing. Therefore they want to do what they can to alleviate the financial burden for those hit the hardest during this difficult time.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), many insurance providers have reached out to their customers to offer additional options for payment.

What Changes Could Help You Decrease Your Auto Insurance Payments?

Remote workers looking for ways to tighten their budget should consult with their auto insurance providers for assistance. How you use your vehicle can affect your insurance rates and what the insurance company will charge you. Therefore those who are now driving less are also playing less on their premium.

By switching your car’s designated use on your policy from commute to pleasure, it can help make a significant difference in your payout. Some policyholders have seen discounts from 10 to 15% on their monthly premiums simply by cutting down on their driving.

It is also a good idea to consider changing the type of auto coverage you have if you are not using your vehicle as much as before. You may not need to have all the expensive add-ons as you had when you were commuting to work five days a week.

You could also consider increasing your deductible at this time. You will have lower car insurance premiums to pay when you have a higher deductible. Just keep in mind that if you do get into an accident, a higher deductible will require you to pay more out of pocket.

What Changes are in Store for Those Who Want to Work from Home Permanently?

While many Canadians have gone back to working in restaurants, stores, factories, and offices, there is still a good amount of people who want to continue working from home for as long as possible or even permanently. The Bank of Nova Scotia, for instance, decided to keep the majority of their headquarter workers as remote workers throughout 2021.

For employees who want to continue working from home even after their colleagues have returned to the workplace, it is highly recommended that you consult with your home insurance provider as soon as possible.

While it is also good to contact your auto insurance provider, the need is not as urgent. Car insurance is regulated provincially, and for the most part, the coverage remains standard. Home insurance, however, can vary significantly. There is also the fact that when you work from home, you increase the liability that may not be included or entirely covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

Fortunately, it is possible to add on more coverage, allowing you to stay protected as you continue to work remotely. Insurance providers understand these are new and unusual changes, and many are happy to work with their policyholders and make the necessary changes to ensure everyone and everything is covered as it should be.

Is There a Higher Risk for Insurance Claims When You Work Remotely?

Whether you choose to work from home only temporarily or permanently, it is essential to remember that there are more insurance risks when you work remotely. You will assume a higher risk whenever a client visits your home. You will also endure higher risks when using your own car for work duties such as making deliveries.

While insurance claims are not more likely to happen simply because you are a remote worker, you still will not have the complete protection of your employer’s insurance policy to depend on.

Contact Your Insurance Agent Today For More Information

Every home and auto insurance policy is different, so be sure to check with your insurance agent in Ontario to find out more about how working from home can affect your coverage and premium.

To find out more about the impact of working remotely on your home or auto policies, get in touch with the experts here at Duliban Insurance today. We look forward to helping you and answering any questions you may have.

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