Courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has become the year of the remote worker. Since business owners have seen stable and in many cases, increased productivity from their remote workers, as well as a reduction in overhead costs, 2021 may continue remote operations in the case of many businesses.
However, it’s important to point out that business owners need to consider more than just productivity and overhead cost reduction. Many business owners haven’t given consideration to their changes in liability from employing a remote workforce.
Since managing a remote workforce is new to many business owners, it’s important that business owners consider their business insurance protection. It’s great to reduce operational expenses, but not if it could cost you more in other ways.
Here are a few business insurance questions business owners should be considering.
Does my commercial general liability policy cover remote employees?
As part of your business insurance package, general liability protects your business against financial loss resulting from bodily injury, advertising injury, and property damage caused by your business or employees. We can review your policy to be sure that you are still adequately covered while employing remote workers.
If your remote employee must meet business clients from home, it will be your commercial general liability policy that must cover any injury, not the employee’s homeowners insurance. You may need a change in coverages due to risks that may not be covered by your commercial general liability policy.
Do I need additional business property insurance?
Business property insurance protects the physical location of your business and any tools, equipment and inventory. Your business property policy may exclude or limit the coverage for property that is not located at your business premises. An insurance agent at V.F. McNeil Insurance can help you determine if you need additional coverage for property used off-premises by remote workers.
An employee’s own homeowners policy usually will not cover the loss of business-owned equipment that is damaged or stolen in their home.
Are my remote workers covered by the workers’ compensation insurance my company purchases?
It is incumbent on you as an employer to ensure a safe working environment for your employees — whether they work at your business location or from their homes. In general, your workers’ compensation insurance covers all of your workers for illness or injury arising out of or in the course of employment — no matter where they physically work.
However, ensuring a safe working environment for remote workers increases your responsibilities as an employer. In addition, it is more difficult for a remote worker to demonstrate that an injury or illness “arises out of” or occurs “in the course of” employment — your telecommuting policies and procedures will be of critical importance.
Will my cyber liability insurance cover remote employees?
The answer to that question is not simple because cyber policies vary greatly and may contain exclusions that would affect remote workers. And a remote worker using a public or a poorly secured home network could put your entire business at risk and expose your customers’ private information. V.F. McNeil can help you be sure you have appropriate cyber liability coverage.
In addition, you must ensure that every device an employee uses is protected from cyber breaches. First, require that employees use only your business-owned devices for work; second, set every employee up with a secure connection from their home office to your business network. You may have to engage the help of an IT specialist, but the investment pales beside the potential costs of a cyberattack.
Since the pandemic started
Let us help you keep your business and employees safe … anywhere they work. If you haven’t discussed your business insurance since the pandemic started, please contact us today at 203.481.2684 | www.vfmcneil.com. Our friendly, knowledgeable insurance professionals are happy to answer your questions and help you get the right insurance for your business.