Here is an interesting piece from Jimmy Wiliams, CEO of Urban Jungle, which provides insurance to generation rent and millennials. Since founding the business in 2016, the company has grown to over 30 staff, amassed over 37,000 customers and raised £7.8m in funding from private investors and VCs. Question; should insurance companies accept that WFH is here to stay and tailor home insurance policies to suit the new normal?
Millions of people might find their insurance policies don’t cover them for work related accidents that take place at home as lockdown eases across the UK, and this is wrong, an insurer has stated. Until recently, insurers had to apply home and contents policies to home workers and the self-employed as the country was being urged to stay at home.
However, as government advice changes, some home workers might find they aren’t covered as their policies may be ‘domestic only’. Jimmy Williams, co-founder and CEO of Urban Jungle, says this is wrong and that the traditional insurance industry should simply accept WFH as the ‘new normal’.
“It’s crazy that someone who spills a cuppa on their laptop while working from home might not be covered by their contents insurance,” says Williams. We think that it’s time all insurance policies officially reflected the big changes that are taking place in society. Changes such as flexible working, variable circumstances and an abundance of digital devices,” says Williams.
“The lines between work and home are likely to remain blurred for some time. So I think what everyone wants is flexibility, and it’s time that the insurance industry reflected that. Some people have made big changes to their homes to cope better with WFH. Sheds have been turned into offices, sprouting a new term ‘the shoffice.”
“The rise of the ‘shoffice’ is just another example of the fast-moving, dynamic world in which we live. I think young people are often ready and willing to embrace change. But they don’t always feel supported by major service providers such as banks, insurance companies and government. At Urban Jungle, we do want to support them, to make life as easy as possible and act in an ethical way.”
Home working pledges made by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are next reviewed and updated on April 30th 2021, meaning there could be disputes pitting the self-employed and homeworkers against the insurance industry.
Urban Jungle advises people to check their insurance policies before April 30, when the advice is reviewed. Advice from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is as follows, as of April 2021: “If you are an office-based worker and are working from home as a result of the pandemic, your home insurance cover will not be affected.”
However: “If you are able to return to work, but are choosing to work from home more often, then you may need to inform your insurer that your pattern of work has changed.”
Read the complete information from the ABI at: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-hub/home-insurance/
Urban Jungle’s post-lockdown guide to working from home provides an insurer’s views of work during lockdown, describing the kinds of accidents people have had. The guide also provides top tips for keeping your home working equipment safe and a diagram to help you work out if your insurance is still valid: