The term ‘unprecedented times’ is quickly becoming a cliché. However, that doesn’t make the statement any less accurate. We have fast learnt the real meaning of the term agile and adaptable. Businesses who moved quickly to implement a new process, leverage technology and establish more flexible working arrangements will likely see positive outcomes. Enough time has passed now that the initial knee jerk reaction to keep business moving is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean its time to rest on your laurels. Your business likely looks different, but have you considered what this means in terms of risk? Luckily, you have a team of insurance specialists here to help you address risks in your business that may be lurking behind the curtain.
We all know that insurance can feel like a complicated web of words. Insurance policies are often written in a very specific way, meaning there may be clauses in your policy compromising the level of cover for your new mode of operating. Likewise, you may be paying premiums for insurance you no longer require.
So, what should you be aware of? See below for our list of 4 insurance changes that may affect your business with the work from home movement.
- Is your office space still covered if you’re not there?
If your business has moved from office working to a work from home model, have you considered the unoccupancy clause in your policy? Interestingly, some business insurance policies discontinue to provide cover once a premises is deemed unoccupied for a period (e.g. 60 or 90 days) from the original date of unoccupancy. The Insurers may have differences in their definition of ‘unoccupied’, and if still visiting the premises regularly, this clause may not apply.
Take into account that you could be at greater risk if your office is unattended, as a more attractive target for burglaries or vandalism. Storm, water leakage or fire damage may also go unnoticed for longer if the property is unattended, leading to higher repair costs. Being unaware of an unoccupancy clause may leave you in the lurch, with reduced or non-existent cover. It may be worthwhile to consider updating your policy or reviewing your office space if you feel your new working location may be permanent or long term.
- Is your office equipment covered if out of the office?
Portable equipment cover is essential if your team is now working from home or transporting office equipment. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and these are more likely in a home environment where small children or pets are active. Security measures at a home residence may also be less controlled than an office or workspace, leaving you open to potential losses.
It is also important to consider any machinery you use for your business. Do you bring your tools of trade or machinery home with you? Is it stored in a safe and secure location? Is it covered under your current policy if it is damaged or stolen from home? These are important questions to ask when removing business items from your principal work premises.
- Are you still responsible for your employees?
If you have employees that are now working from home, you are still responsible for their health. Remember that health is not only physical health but mental health as well. It is worth ensuring that your new virtual workforce has appropriate working policies in place to make sure your team stay safe and well while performing their duties. We recommend reviewing your OH&S policies to align with the new risks you may be facing.
For example, have you considered the possibility that mental health while working from home may decline and that workers compensation covers this as well?
The risks to staff wellbeing are different now that more people are working from home. Luckily, we can help you identify what these risks may be for your business. It might be worth reaching out to the relevant Workplace Health & Safety authority in your state if you feel you could use some guidance in this area.
- Have you heard of cybersecurity?
We are officially in the digital age. Even if you run an offline business (for example, construction, cleaning, retail), your cybersecurity is always at risk. What does this mean for you? Well, if you store any client or business information online, this information is at risk of being hacked or stolen. This could include databases, cloud storage systems and even video conferencing and chat software. When working with clients, their privacy is essential, and they are trusting you with their personal information. Have you considered what the implications would be if this data was exposed?
Cyber insurance is a product that is increasingly essential to business, big and small. Today’s virtual workforce has resulted in more data than ever being stored or transferred online, and cyber insurance will cover you for many online exposures, including data breaches. For example, if you require forensic investigation, are required to pay damages over breach of privacy or find yourself in a sticky ransomware situation, a cyber insurance policy will likely save you a small fortune and a lot of heartbreak.
We recommend everyone considers a Cyber insurance policy and this is an area that our team specialises in. If you have concerns with cyber insurance, would like some more information or a quote to consider, you can easily reach out to us using the chat box (located to your bottom left) or by email, phone or LinkedIn.
As the business landscape changes, and we have all adapted and our models transformed, it is the best time to ensure your business is appropriately protected. If you run a small, medium or big business and you would like a free risk assessment or some further advice on how to protect your business and your team, please reach out to us. We are a friendly and experienced team of business insurance specialists with knowledge across many industries, and we are happy to help where we can.
Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.