Coronavirus: Brits confused by how working from home affects home insurance

Abigail Fenton
·2 min read
Brits are spending more time online in lockdown. (Thomas Lefebvre/Unsplash)
Two in three Brits plans to keep working from home after the government advice expires — but they don't know how this will affect their insurance. Photo: Thomas Lefebvre/Unsplash

Half of Brits are confused about how working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their home insurance policy, research shows.

More than a quarter (26%) of Brits intend to continue to work from home on a permanent or semi-permanent basis when the government guidance changes on 1 August, according to a survey of 2,000 UK adults by finance comparison website Finder.

But two in five (43%) said they have not received any 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.

Meanwhile, 8% said they received information but it was not clear. This means around half of Brits do not understand the situation.

What’s more, seven in 10 Brits are not even aware they may need to inform their insurer about their change in situation — putting 9.7 million at risk of accidentally invalidating their home insurance.

READ MORE: UK regions most at risk from rising home insurance

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the 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.

The study found baby boomers are most affected by this, with a whopping eight in 10 Brits born between 1946 and 1964 admitting they did not know they will have to let their insurer know they will be working from home.

But generation X follow close behind, with nearly three quarters (73%) of those born from between 1965 and 1980 saying the same.

According to Finder, every insurance company it spoke to claimed they had taken steps to communicate with customers. Despite this, seven in 10 boomers and gen X Brits said they haven’t received any information from their home insurer regarding working from home during lockdown.

The research shows firms must do more to communicate with their older customers, Finder said.

READ MORE: Home insurance up 27% over the last three years

It’s likely younger generations have been able to seek out this information more easily, with a lower 42% of millennials not receiving any communication from their provider.

“Our research highlights a worrying trend of consumers not being kept sufficiently in the loop by their insurer,” said Danny Butler, insurance specialist at Finder.

“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.”