January 6, 2023
6 minutes

Details of telecommuting insurance coverage

Clear up the ambiguities of telecommuting insurance and find out more about insurance coverage for remote employees.

Details of telecommuting insurance coverage

The rise of telecommuting has given rise to many ambiguous situations in terms of insurance coverage. Here are some details on the coverage of employees working remotely. Yohanna Weizmann, a lawyer specializing in labor law, explains.

What is a telecommuting injury?

Insurance and telecommuting

Coverage for telecommuting employees is virtually the same as for employees working in the office or on business trips. 

According to the Labor Code,"an accident occurring at the place of telework during the performance of the teleworker's professional activity is presumed to be an accident at work".

Declaration of the place of work

In order to be considered as an accident at work, it is necessary to declare in advance to the employer the place of work chosen, one's home, one's secondary residence, or a third place. 

"Notification is also required in the event of a change in work location for certain telecommuting periods. The employer is supposed to know about the employees' travel and authorize it."

according to Yohanna Weizmann, an employment law attorney.

How are employees insured when telecommuting?

Not only through comprehensive home insurance

The telecommuting employee is covered by the group insurance and the health insurance, as if he/she was working on site. For the insurance of the company's equipment, the employer's multi-risk professional insurance is used. As far as the teleworker's space is concerned, for example his home, it is covered by the employee's comprehensive home insurance.

Attention to guarantees

Be careful, the multi-risk home insurance does not systematically cover telecommuting. Some contracts provide for this practice in the guarantees (notably Maaf, Maif, Caisse d'épargne or Allianz). But others do not cover this situation, it may be necessary to subscribe to extensions of guarantees to insure oneself while teleworking. This extension may be paid for by the company. Note also that some organizations may refuse such a request.

How is the equipment used while teleworking insured?

Personal equipment: several cases

When working with personal equipment, employees should ensure that they are covered in case of problems. Personal equipment used for work purposes may be covered by the employee's home insurance

However, as mentioned above, not all home insurance policies include telecommuting coverage:

  • Some policies do not protect personal property against specific types of losses, for example, they cover fire and theft but not breakage.
  • In a rarer case, the company can also take out a multi-risk professional insurance policy that will cover the teleworker's equipment, if the employer asks the employee to use his or her personal equipment. 

Also, if the employee teleworks outside his home, from a third place for example, the home insurance will not protect his equipment. He will then have to subscribe to a specific insurance.

Professional equipment: multi-risk professional insurance

Professional equipment provided by the company and used for telecommuting must be covered by the company's comprehensive business insurance.

What happens if an employee has an accident while telecommuting?

Accident outside of telecommuting hours

If an employee suffers an accident at home during working hours that is unrelated to his or her job, it will not be considered an accident at work. For example, if an office manager is gardening at home during working hours and is injured, since gardening is not part of his duties, it will not be considered an accident at work.

Accident during telecommuting hours

However, if the employee spills coffee during telecommuting hours and gets burned, it will be considered an accident at work. This is because the damage is related to the work activity.

Accident to others while teleworking

What happens if the employee injures someone else during work hours? 

According to Le Monde, the situation is comparable to that of employees on the move. As long as the accident is caused during working hours, except in certain exceptional cases, "it is the employer's professional liability insurance that compensates for damage caused by employees during their teleworking hours".

What about coverage during lunch or commute time?

Lunch Break Insurance Coverage

An accident occurring during a lunch break taken at the workplace, including in the company restaurant, is considered an accident at work. 

"In telecommuting, an accident at the lunch break at the place of work telecommuting - the home, for example - will therefore also be qualified as an accident at work accident at work"Yohanna Weizmann.

Business travel insurance coverage

Although travel is rarer in telecommuting, the commuting accident covers the same situations for an employee whether he is in the office or in telecommuting. 

"The route should be as direct as possible, but may include brief stops related to the necessities of daily life (regular carpooling, children to be dropped off at school, etc.)" according to the ameli.fr website. 

According to the law, a commuting accident can occur on the way between home and the workplace, and between the workplace and the place of lunch - restaurant, company canteen or other place where the employee takes his meal. 

"In telecommuting, an employee who has an accident on the way between his place of work (home for example) and the lunch place will be compensated according to the qualification of the commuting accident" according to the lawyer.

Insurance coverage outside the company

If an accident occurs outside the company during the employee's lunch break (for example, at a restaurant), it will not be considered an accident at work, whether the employee is teleworking or working in person.

Workplace or commuting accident

Note that the qualification of work accident versus commuting accident is fundamental, and does not offer the same protection to the employee. 

"The accident at work offers a very protective regime for the employee who cannot be dismissed except for serious misconduct during the period of sick leave. The qualification of commuting accident is more advantageous for the employer, it does not imply a prohibition of dismissal of the employee, and cannot lead to an increase of contributions for the employer" concludes the lawyer.

Offishall Care is the first insurance that prevents AND covers the risks associated with telecommuting.

Charles Helliet

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