The number of Americans working from home continues to increase. According to Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics, the estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. In order to enable this, businesses have to relocate computer equipment, files, supplies, and other business property to employees’ homes.
These actions can increase exposures to uninsured losses for both businesses and homeowners. These risks include:
Cyber Security – It’s Essential
Mandated shutdowns across the nation have become the norm due to COVID-19 concerns. In response, small business across the country have transitioned employees to a work-from-home strategy.
Unfortunately, every time an employee connects to their corporate network from home, they’re creating possible access points for hackers to exploit. When this happens multiple times on a single network, as it has amid orders for regional lockdowns, it’s increasingly difficult to ensure every connection is secure. Help your insured understand that they are now more exposed to cybersecurity gaps if the proper protection isn’t in place.
Vacant Property – It’s Timely
Millions of commercial buildings are sitting vacant as a result of social distancing mandates.
Therefore, losses occurring at these properties may be larger because they might go weeks without anyone entering the premises. Normally small losses, such as water damage, that go undetected during closures will become big losses; normally big losses will become even bigger.
Your insured might not know that properties unoccupied for a certain number of consecutive days and experience losses may be precluded under their current insurance policy. Educate your clients on the importance of having sufficient coverage during COVID-19 shutdowns so they’re less vulnerable to exposures.
Homeowners Insurance – It’s Limiting
Homeowners insurance isn’t business insurance. It protects personal property and personal activities. If something is deemed “for business use,” there are strict limits to how homeowners insurance handles that loss.
Explain to your working-from-home clients that a standard homeowners insurance policy may provide limited coverage for business property that is stored in their home, and even if it does, the coverage limits might not be high enough for adequate protection.
In conclusion, ask your clients if they have recently examined their insurance portfolio for increased exposure to uninsured losses, and if they have taken corrective action. In this year of COVID-19 uncertainty, it’s imperative that they do so.