Home Offices May Not Be Covered Under Standard Home Insurance Policy

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  • Over the past several years, two things have happened simultaneously that don’t seem to have much to do with each other at first blush. Home insurance rates have slowly but steadily crept up, and technology has allowed more people to work out of their homes even if they don’t run their own companies. However, it seems that these insurance issues and having a home office might have more intersection than many owners might believe, and as such insurance agents may need to do a little more to explain to consumers the issues that can arise when they need to file a claim for such a space.

    A large and growing percentage of Americans work from their place of residence quite often, and many have an office in their homes to do so, according to a report from Property Casualty 360. However, experts caution that while these people may expect that any damage to such space should be covered by their standard homeowners’ insurance policy, the fact of the matter is that this isn’t always the case.

    When could that happen?
    Often, this is the case when an office is run out of a building that’s apart from the home structure itself, such as in a separate garage or shed, the report said. But even if it is attached to, or even part of, the home, there still may be issues. That’s because many insurers offer coverage specifically for home offices, and as such they might not be inclined to pay out on claims for damage to such a space under a standard home policy, especially if the value of that claim is rather sizable. For this reason, it might be wise for workers to make sure they know exactly what types of policies they will need.

    If insurance agents can help their clients more fully understand their policies – and what they do and don’t cover in certain circumstances – they’re likely to help both sides of the relationship avoid frustration if any hiccups would otherwise have been experienced. Letting people know what to expect in the event of a claim could go a long way toward providing a positive impression of an insurer’s overall customer service, and typically this is valued even more highly than giving policyholders occasional discounts. That, in turn, could lead to higher rates of customer satisfaction and even retention for the most proactive agents going forward.