Remote working is becoming the new norm and according to research by Psychology Today, this approach benefits both companies and their employees with Stanford research observing a 13% performance increase in remote vs. office workers.
As a result, many companies will continue to function remotely even after the pandemic ends. If you have a remote working model, you’ll need to make changes to your company policy and to begin with, you’ll need to update your employee insurance plan.
Why updating your insurance to cover remote employees is critical
The shift to remote working means how office spaces function has changed.
If you had a previous insurance policy, chances are many of the clauses no longer apply. There are also new concerns it will not cover. All this has legal implications your organization needs to be aware of.
If you don’t change your company’s insurance policy, you risk exposure on multiple levels and to avoid this, you’ll need to get a new policy drafted. At the very least, you should get legal help to review existing policies and identify coverage issues. Any commercial policy you attempt to use will have big holes in it because the way work is done and where it’s done has changed drastically.
What should be included and not in these types of insurances
The kind of coverage you’ll need depends on what type of company you are. Different businesses have different needs based on how they operate. However, there are a few things that should be included in whatever insurance package you get.
1. Cyber Insurance
Older insurance policies often do not have dedicated cyber insurance and instead depend on limited coverage policies. If the majority of your workers are based remotely, you must buy an inclusive cyber insurance policy. Hacking and data theft are very real concerns in an online environment that should not be taken lightly.
Recent statements from the US Department of Homeland Security quote a dramatic increase in cyberattacks since the beginning of this pandemic. Their list of ten most exploited vulnerabilities includes flaws in VPNs and other software tools. Too often, companies do not prepare their workers, develop data recovery plans, or invest in cyber insurance. As a result, they suffer financial losses.
2. Commercial Crime Insurance
Policies covering commercial crime and cybercrime are often interlinked. For example, this type includes losses during funds transfer and fraud transfers made from the insured’s account by a third party.
Above all, make sure you know exactly what the policy terms cover. There are cases of providers insisting acts like spoofing don’t fall under commercial crime. Certain holes in policy can be avoided if the right language is used in the contract. However, all such negotiations must occur before purchase.
3. Employers’ Liability Insurance
This type usually covers physical harm to workers. For usual contracts, the details depend on where the injury took place and what the worker was doing at the type. But the dynamics of how this insurance type works changes a lot when you shift it from office space to a remote working space.
The specifics of this category depend on how the workers are listed. One detail you have to provide is ‘coverage territory.’ Make sure it covers any location you have workers living in and any they travel to.
4. Property Insurance
As a remote-based team you might feel a need to dismiss property insurance. After all, if you don’t own or rent office space why bother? But this type also covers equipment like laptops or other devices. Whether your policy covers the data on such devices depends on you and your provider.
Criteria to consider when insuring remote employees
When insuring remote workers you need to take into consideration, where they live, what physical conditions they work in, and what category of work they do?
There are numerous types of insurance options available to companies with remote workers. However, the factors that come into play depend on each company. As a result, you should consult legal help to help you decide what kind of coverage you require. Additionally, you should collect data on all your employees.
Conditions and benefits to look our for
For cyber insurance, ensure your policy covers workers’ devices within the clause for systems covered for cyber attacks. That means you need to have specific language covering “devices authorized by the Insured to access the Insured’s computer network.” Also, include coverage for unintentional violations of privacy laws.
For commercial crime, look into the specifics listed under “other insurance.” On occasion, your commercial and cyber policies may both cover the same case. So, make sure you know which one is listed as the primary depending on how much money you put into it.
For employers’ liability insurance, look into the definition for workers covered under the policy. Then, ensure it covers all workers who fall under the umbrella of your company, including independent contractors. This is extremely important because this category also provides “pass-through coverage” if a worker uses a partner. However, if a suit is filed by someone who was not covered as a worker then complications can arise.
For property insurance, you’ll want the terms to specify devices owned and the data on them as property. However, this is only possible if it expressly lists ‘data’ and ‘software’ as covered property. Without a direct statement, your provider will argue that it does not fall under the category. Observe the terms of property insurance in tandem with cyber insurance to see if there is overlap.
Top insurance providers for remote teams
There are numerous quality insurance providers for businesses but those covering a distributed team is rarer, however, they do exist. One firm that has built services around remote insurance is Safety Wing which offers a remote health insurance. Global insurance plans are also available, such as the Allianz Care International, and World Nomads insurance. Check out the insurance category in our remote products section.
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