Coronavirus

Insurers’ support for home-workers to continue, says ABI

New guidance will now replace the pledges revealed over a year ago

A pledge made over a year ago by insurers to support those working from home is set to continue permanently, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has confirmed.

As restrictions begin to lift across the UK, and many businesses look to adopt flexible working on a longer-term basis, ABI members have reviewed the temporary pledges introduced during the first lockdown to support customers.

The pledges 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. 

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These pledges were extended during subsequent lockdowns last year, and remain in place until 30 April 2021. However, new guidance will now replace the pledges on a permanent basis.

Now, if you are an office-based worker and will continue working from home, it will remain the case that you don’t need to contact your insurer unless any of the following applies:

  • You have visitors to your home on business matters, for example, a face to face client meeting.
  • Your business makes or sells goods from your home or you store any of these items at your home, particularly if the goods valuable or include hazardous or flammable material (such as gas cylinders or fireworks)
  • You’re offering any other services from your home. For example, this would apply to jobs such as providing beauty treatments, hairdressing, child minding, dog grooming or being an exercise instructor.
  • You’ve adapted your property (i.e. using an outbuilding as your home office or have undertaken any major renovation works) or acquired new business equipment that belongs to you. 

In addition, the ABI said customers must speak with their insurer or broker if there are ongoing changes to working and driving activities since taking out the policy, such as using your own vehicle to commute to work.

It said that insurers “appreciate this may continue to be a difficult time for some customers and will be ready to discuss insurance cover, including options for those who may be experiencing financial hardship”.

If customers use 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.

Laura Hughes, ABI manager, General Insurance said: “Insurers have supported customers throughout the challenges of the past year, including paying up to £3bn in the UK for Covid-related insurance claims and donating over £100m 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.”

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