Employee Safety and Business Insurance While Working Remotely

Woman in pajamas working remotely on laptop at home with her dog. With the current pandemic leading to lockdowns and orders to stay at home, many are now working from home. Beyond reducing exposure to COVID-19, there are many notable benefits for employees, such as flexibility, comfort, and savings on commute. However, this convenience comes with some risks to your business, such as the exclusion of business property coverage from homeowners insurance and liability exposure to visiting business associates. To ensure you’re protected from the added risks, learn to teach employee safety and understand your business insurance coverage while working remotely.

Teach Workplace Safety

While employees are on-site, it falls on human resources to mitigate any potential hazards in the workspace, but when they work from home, maintaining a safe work environment falls on the employee. If your employee is injured while working at home, they may be covered by your workers compensation, but since that only provides half their pay, it’s best to instruct your employees how to employ safety measures at home:

  • Eliminate trip and fall hazards: Remind them to keep their floors clear, keep power cords away from high-traffic areas, and properly clean spills to prevent slips.
  • Create an ergonomic workstation: As musculoskeletal disorders are common injuries in work environments, inform them to set up a workstation in a layout that provides proper body support.
  • Practice emergency protocols: Fires and health emergencies won’t take a break once they’re out of the office. Instruct them to make sure their escape routes are unobstructed and their children know how to contact the appropriate authorities in case of emergency.

Protect Your Business Property

Most homeowners policies exclude business equipment from their coverage. If their work computer is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire or weather-related incident, the cost of repair or replacement would fall on your business. However, while there are home-based business add-ons that will cover up to $2,500, there are more comprehensive policies that you can invest in to ensure the protection of this property, as will be discussed below.

Limit Liability Exposure

While you’re unlikely to have any clients or business associates visiting your employees’ homes at this time, if they’re conducting business in their home, liability exposure does not extend to business guests. Their homeowners insurance will cover the injuries incurred by a friend or family member on their property, but it won’t pay for injuries suffered by someone visiting for business-related purposes. While it’s true some insurance carriers offer add-ons to homeowners policies to extend coverage to business risks, it’s up to you to ensure your company is protected from threats of liability.

Commercial Policies to Consider

While your employee’s homeowners insurance won’t cover the cost of your business’s equipment, there are several policies you can invest in to safeguard the company from losses:

  • General liability insurance: This will protect your business against harm caused to individuals or business property and even damages resulting from advertising, such as copyright infringement.
  • Commercial property insurance: This does not just cover commercial buildings, but it also covers the business equipment employees use to work remotely.
  • Commercial umbrella coverage: This will provide your business with additional liability coverage to ensure the most protection for your company’s assets.

In the face of a pandemic, businesses are being forced to close the doors of their physical locations, but that does not mean you need to halt all operations. Learning how to teach employee safety and understanding your business insurance overage while working remotely can set your company up for success during these trying times. With TJ Woods Insurance’s years of experience, we know precisely what policies will provide your business the coverage it needs when your employees transition to remote work. Call us today to find out how to get the most out of your business insurance.