As a remote worker, you work away from a central office. Working from anywhere – the dream! Whether that dream manifests at your kitchen table, at a public library or a hostel in Vietnam, remote workers without a doubt have incredible autonomy. But, that doesn’t mean you get to leave every headache behind at the office. You still have administrative tasks in your life, one of which is remote work insurance.
Insurance might even be the most overlooked aspect of the remote work lifestyle. That’s probably because there’s no catch-all insurance for remote workers, and because you’d rather look at travel guides instead of insurance
I know remote work insurance can’t compete with pictures of misty ruins at sunrise, but don’t tune me out yet! Let’s look today at the different types of insurance for remote workers that should be on your radar. How good will it feel to address this?!
Introduction To Insurance For Remote Workers
Many remote workers fall into one of two camps: remote workers who are self-employed freelancers and remote workers who are employed by a company. Self-employed remote workers will have to take care of all their own insurance needs whereas, the company of employed remote workers should cover some insurance expenses for their remote employees.
But then the questions remain, do you even need insurance as a remote worker? What should your company cover and how to find out if you are covered at all? If you’re a self-employed remote worker, what type of insurance should you go after?
Let’s walk through what you need to know about insurance for remote workers — regardless of your situation. Life is unexpected. Prepare yourself for life’s twists and turns with an appropriate insurance plan for your lifestyle.
Insurance For Self-Employed Remote Workers (Freelancers)
Most commercial business insurance plans are confusing or don’t appeal to freelancers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be protected. If you are a team of one working as a remote worker you will want to consider getting business insurance.
Types Of Insurance To Consider For Freelancers
Freelancers should look at their current day-to-day business activities to assess the different kinds of risks your business runs. Unfortunately, there is no one type of freelancer or remote insurance. Each business insurance plan is made up of different policies. Consider the following if you are a remote freelancer, in any industry.
If you own your own home and work out of a home office, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover a limited amount of business property. However, this limit is often not enough to account for all the computing and office equipment associated with telework.
It is advisable to check your current policy and consider increasing your financial coverage of important business equipment. As a freelancer, paying out of pocket for stolen or broken business equipment such as laptops could put you out of business.
General Liability Insurance
One common misconception is that general liability is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. If a client visits your home and breaks a camera or some other type of equipment they have brought with them, or slips and falls and injures themselves you may still be liable because it is part of your business activities.
As a freelancer that comes in physical contact with customers or the general public, you have a duty of care and therefore a general liability insurance policy is necessary. This policy will protect you against financial costs associated with a physical product that is defective or if a customer suffers injuries due to your negligence.
Professional Liability Insurance (Errors or Omissions Insurance)
If you are a freelancer who renders professional services, professional liability insurance should be at the top of your list. It helps protect against human error. If a client suffers financial loss or other negative consequences from one of your decisions or failure to perform, you will be covered for legal counsel, defense and other financial consequences resulting from your actions.
The internet at the heart of remote work. If you have access to sensitive information like credit cards, driver’s licenses or social security numbers and more than a cyber liability policy may be necessary. If your computer falls victim to a data breach or cyber attack this policy will help to reimburse you for the wide-ranging consequences of the attack.
Personal Health and Life Insurance
If you are self-employed as a freelancer you won’t have access to a company health care plan. The best way to save on medical and dental is to invest in a personal health insurance policy. Check to ensure it will also cover you in the unfortunate event of a disability.
If you have children or other dependents, a life insurance plan may also be an astute choice. As unpleasant as it may be to think about, a life insurance plan will financially protect your loved ones in the event of your untimely death.
Insurance for Employed Remote Workers
In North America, it is legally mandated in most states and provinces for companies to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees for medical expenses, lost wages and more in the event of a work-related accident.
The same worker’s compensation insurance benefits apply to home-based employees that apply to in-office employees. However, a remote worker may not be covered for insurance during lunches or breaks.
It is recommended that employees supplement their standard worker’s compensation insurance with coverage designed for their unique remote workforce. Factors that would determine the type of additional insurance required could be the type of work your employees perform or whether they have clients visit their homes.
Extended liability insurance is often non-negotiable when it comes to remote workers, because, as a company, you have less control over the space your employees work in. Liability insurance will protect your company against data breaches or falls and slips associated with a client visiting a home office. You could also invest in additional business insurance to cover any stolen business assets such as computer hardware.
The best thing to do to ensure you are protected is to have a conversation with your insurance partner. They will help you supplement or craft an insurance plan for your remote workforce.
If you are working for a company remotely, then contact your manager and ask them about the type of coverage you are currently covered under. If this is a new transition, it may be the case that they have not even considered the implication of working from home on insurance.
Just because you or your employees work from home doesn’t mean that you all shouldn’t be protected. Look into getting insurance for your remote work lifestyle to continue to enjoy all the perks with peace of mind.
Remote Work Insurance Final Thoughts
Does this break-down help make insurance for remote workers feel less intimidating? If you’re thinking “I don’t need to worry, I don’t have any of these issues now,” then that means it’s the perfect time to tackle your insurance needs.
Consider this your sign! It won’t be nearly as stressful as you think it will be, and the peace of mind makes you enjoy your remote work lifestyle even more.
Note from Kayla: This post about remote worker insurance is by Alanna Luc. Alanna works in the insurance industry and offered to share her expertise with us on this sticky subject. Thank you, Alanna!