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Are you putting your home at risk?

Are you putting your home at risk?

12th November, 2021

Did you know that fires in sheds, garages and conservatories rose by 16% last year since 2019?

An article from the *BBC states that insurer Zurich announced warnings about the risk of outbuilding fires, as conversions to home offices, gyms and ‘stay at home’ cocktail bars saw three-quarters of areas in the UK record more fires during the lockdown.

The popularity of so-called ‘shoffices’ (which is essentially a luxury shed office) has increased according to another insurer, Aviva, who said that one in 10 of those working from home back in April were working in a converted shed, garage or summer house.

In light of this, experts have warned that some people could invalidate their insurance if they don’t inform their insurer of these changes.

Whether you’ve converted your home to suit your new ‘working from home’ conditions, or you are working from home – full or part time, you must inform your insurer - otherwise your insurance could become invalidated in the event of a claim.

If you are considering making structural changes to your home to accommodate your new working arrangement or for any other reason - it’s also important that you inform your insurance provider of these changes prior to a conversion taking place, as extra risks may be posed to you and your home during the developmental process. Note: you don’t need to notify your insurance provider if your changes are cosmetic – such as painting and decorating.

While some insurance providers have allowed customers working from home and/or setting up in business at home to extend their cover at no extra cost, others may not be so generous.

As a result, some may need to take out new policies or pay larger premiums – particularly if you are handling large amounts of money or have customers visiting your home regularly.
It seems that the growing trend of outdoor offices aren’t the only risk, as electrical gear, pizza ovens, mowers and fire pits also added to the list of fire risks.

With winter on its way, no doubt many of us will be relying on items, such as storage heaters or fireplaces, to keep us warm – particularly when working from home.

If you are a One Call Insurance customer and you are unsure about what is covered on your home insurance - in terms of working at home, undergoing building works or using storage heaters, pizza ovens for example – then please contact our live chat team.

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** Please note that the above information has been gathered through secondary research. The information provided is not based on our opinion. You should seek further guidance and information before making an informed decision.

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