In times of home office, having your own study is a real godsend: a room just for a desk and some office equipment, which does not have a treadmill or summer clothes, and for which the costs can even be deducted from tax.
But: If damage occurs, the benefit could turn into a problem with the insurance company. If the laptop is stolen in the event of a break-in or if a short circuit sets the computer on fire, the home contents policy may not pay for it. A commercial space is not included in every tariff. This also applies to a pure study.
“According to the conditions, rooms that are used exclusively for professional or commercial purposes do not belong to the apartment,” explains a spokesman for the Provinzial Rheinland. “That means: There is no insurance cover for furnishings and professional utensils that are housed in offices that are used exclusively for professional or commercial purposes.”
This is also what the model terms and conditions of the General Association of the German Insurance Industry provide. However, the problem affects only a few customers in practice, says the Provincial spokesman: Most policyholders use such a room at least in part for private purposes. It is enough if the sofa bed is there for guests.
For the other cases, Provinzial offers an additional component for household insurance. Many insurers have also insured workrooms in their household contents policies. “In the current home contents insurance Privatschutz 2.0, a commercially used office in the apartment is insured in all tariff lines,” explains Allianz. There are exclusions in older tariffs or basic variants. Even at Gothaer in Cologne, pure work rooms are always included in the insurance, provided they are in the apartment.
If you are unsure what the contract covers, you should ask your insurance broker or the provider directly, advises the Düsseldorf broker Jörg Brück – but rather by e-mail than by phone. “Get the answer in writing.”
If customers do their work at home at the dining table or in the small work corner in the bedroom, laptops & Co. are included in the household contents insurance without the insurer having to be informed. When it comes to particularly high-quality devices, however, employees should check whether their sum insured is sufficient. Broker Brück also advises with household contents policies to pay attention to an underinsurance waiver clause. Only then does the insurer refrain from reducing the reimbursement in the event of damage, even if it turns out that the value of the household effects is higher than originally stated.
If the employee in the home office trips over the computer cable and pulls it off the table, or if the offspring pours a glass of lemonade over their parents’ laptop, this is not a case for household insurance. In such cases, your own liability insurance could step in – or the employer has to buy a new device. Because basically he is responsible for the insurance of his devices, explains the broker.