Insurers Urged to Act on Remote Working Confusion

There are growing fears that the UK government’s advice for workers to return to their offices next month could leave many staff facing an insurance minefield.

Personal finance comparison website finder.com, has warned despite lockdown starting to come to an end, over 2 in 5 customers (43%) claim they have received no communication from their home insurance policy provider about working from home, leaving them unsure if their policy or premium has been, or will be, affected.

A further 8% said they received information but it was not clear, meaning over half of customers (51%) aren’t clear on the situation.

The research found that when the working from home guidance changes on 1 August, a quarter of Brits (26%) intend to continue to work from home on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.

Of those who will do this, 7 in 10 (70%) are not aware that they may need to inform their insurer about their change in situation, meaning 9.7 million Brits could invalidate their home insurance.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the insurance industry’s pledge – that customers don’t need to inform their insurer if they work from home while government advice is to do so – will no longer apply at that point.

It seems that those born between 1946 and 1980 are most likely to be affected by this, with 8 in 10 boomers (79%) and almost three quarters (73%) of generation X saying that they are not aware that they will need to let their insurer know if they continue to work from home.

Despite all the insurance companies that Finder spoke to saying they had taken steps to communicate with customers, around 70% of both baby boomers and generation X said they had not received any information from their home insurer regarding working from home during lockdown, showing insurers must do more to communicate with their older customers.

It is likely that younger generations have been able to seek out this information more easily, with a lower 42% of millennial customers saying that they didn’t receive any communication from their provider.

Commenting on the findings, Danny Butler, insurance specialist at finder.com said: “When the government advised that people should work from home, it appears that insurers didn’t require customers to tell them if they changed their circumstances to follow this advice. However, this situation may change when the government’s advice on working from home relaxes on 1 August, and our research highlights a worrying trend of consumers not being kept sufficiently in the loop by their insurer.

“The fact that older generations are much more likely to say they have received no communication is also a concern. Regardless of whether information has been made available to customers or not, it seems that the methods and clarity of communication is something that should be looked at more closely by insurers.”

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