Many companies and businesses are seeing the benefits of letting their employees work remotely. They perceive this move as a way of saving on costs, improving employer-employee relations, and increasing employee productivity. Employees are also much elated by this work trend as it means they have more time to spend with their families, they can work more comfortably and they have control over their schedules.While there are many perks to a work from home setup, employees and employers should also note the liabilities that it entails. Even though employees are no longer working within offices or production areas, the fact that they are still working remotely means employers have a responsibility in ensuring their safety and benefits, and employees likewise have responsibilities to fulfill for their employers. Insurance and workers’ compensation are key concerns that employers and employees should take into account.
Here, we will discuss some insurance-related factors that involve employees working from home.
- The role of employees
- The role of employers
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Car insurance
- Health insurance
The employees share equal responsibility with their employers when it comes to ensuring their safety and insurance. The employees’ homes may be comfortable places to work in, but they are not always safe. Most home offices do not have ergonomic furniture pieces that ensure the safety and well-being of remote workers. Often, seats and tables do not have sufficient back and arm support, which leads to back issues, shoulder pains, and carpal tunnel injuries. As a remote worker, you should check if you need insurance if you’re working from home, and your primary source of information is your employer.
Employers have the responsibility of ensuring the safety and proper compensation of employees if they get injured. A group insurance policy is one way of providing insurance coverage for multiple workers. If your employer has not yet secured an insurance policy for you and your fellow remote workers, you should present the reasons to your employer why you need insurance.
Another good source of information is an insurance company. Various insurance companies would gladly attend to your inquiries about your work situation and what insurance types of insurance can cover your work from home setup. Knowing that you need insurance even when you are working doesn’t mean you can be complacent in your work, so keep taking steps to ensure that your work environment is safe and healthy.
Employers are responsible for providing insurance for their employees and ensuring that their workplace is safe and ergonomic. It applies to both office workplaces and remote workplaces for employees who are working from home. Employers can require employees to comply with company health and safety policies before they begin working from home. Employers can also do an ocular inspection of their employees’ workstations or have them fill out a work from home safety survey.
Employers should provide their employees with homeowner’s insurance and include the employees in the coverage of their business owners’ policy. Business owners may also need to secure property insurance if they let their employees use company-owned computers and equipment. Property insurance safeguards these company-owned properties from accidental loss, but the extent of the coverage may vary with each insurance provider.
Workers’ compensation is a vital benefit that employees must have, whether they are office-based or home-based. It is equally vital for employers to secure workers’ compensation insurance to safeguard their business and employees in case of injuries, especially during unexpected emergencies while at work. Every state has its system of rules when it comes to workers’ compensation law, and work from home employees are generally included in these rules. It stated in this law that employees are to be compensated if they are harmed or injured while on the job or performing job-related tasks. These rules are designed to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation and retraining costs, lost wages, and disability payments. The responsibility of covering this compensation lies with the employers, so employers need to take steps to reduce and limit workers’ compensation liabilities.
Homeowner’s insurance is an excellent way of protecting your home, assets, and personal property. One misconception is this type of insurance is not needed if an employee’s computer, equipment, and other devices are company-owned. While most-company owned items used by work from home employees are covered by the employers’ property insurance, not all work from home setups are arranged this way. Other employers or companies may only provide software and online tools while employees use their personal computers and mobile devices. In this arrangement, your homeowner’s insurance will cover most of your personal property, including your business equipment, depending on your insurance provider.
Many employees might think of canceling their insurance just because they no longer have to travel to work or they only travel when they need to. It can be a costly mistake. Even if you’re not driving most of the time anymore, your state may still require your registered car to be insured. Even if you live outside of the states with this requirement, your comprehensive insurance can cover theft, fire, and natural disasters even if your car stays on the driveway most of the time and is not driven.
If you plan to work from home for a long time, you can consider a pay-per-mile insurance policy as a cost-efficient choice. The policy is straightforward and simple, and you get savings when you do not drive frequently.
Health insurance can be something that either you or your employer can shoulder, depending on the work-from-home arrangement. Typically, employers cover the health insurance of their employees, but the coverage can be limited. In a work-from-home setting where the employees stay at home and interact with their families more, they need more comprehensive insurance coverage to include their family members. Although company-sponsored health insurance policies can include immediate family members, the terms and conditions vary with each insurance provider. To ensure that the employees and their families have health insurance coverage, they may opt to purchase health insurance that covers their respective families. It is relevant and valuable with the current COVID-19 pandemic not yet dissipating.
Communication and the proper information are essential in covering insurance-related concerns between employees and employers. Employees in the office and home workplace settings face distinct work-related risks and injuries, and these should be effectively handled by the employers. Spending on workers’ compensation insurance may entail significant costs for employers, but it is potentially a good idea in keeping the business and employees protected.
*Please note this is for reference purposes only and not legal advice. Consult an expert/advisor before purchasing any products.