Whether you work from your kitchen table or your parents’ basement, work-from-anywhere jobs have plenty of perks, from skipping the commute to wearing slippers to the office. And since the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve also become increasingly popular.
As of 2023, 13% of full-time employees work from home and another 28% work both at home and in the office, according to Forbes Advisor. By 2025, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely, or about 22% of the workforce.
Remote jobs make it easy to work from anywhere, but if you’re a remote employee and a renter, how can you protect your tech at home? Would renters insurance cover it? How does renters insurance work anyway? And do you need home business insurance or electronics insurance too? We’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Here at Asurion, we teach millions of people about their tech—from what renters want from smart home tech to how to automate your rental property. Here’s how remote workers, who are also renters, can protect their home office equipment.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance (also called HO4 insurance) usually protects your personal items in a rental home or apartment. While it doesn’t extend to the building’s physical structure—that’s up to your landlord—it’s there to safeguard your belongings inside from certain risks, like damage, theft, or loss. It may also protect you if someone is injured in your home, and it can even help cover extra expenses if you’re displaced from your apartment.
Think of renters insurance as a personal security blanket for the things that make your space uniquely yours.
What’s covered by renters insurance?
Renters insurance typically protects your appliances, electronics, furniture, jewelry, clothes, and other belongings from certain mishaps, including fires, theft, or burst pipes. (These events are what insurance companies call “covered perils.”) Let’s say someone breaks into your home and swipes everything off your desk. Renters insurance may step in to help with the costs, provided they exceed your deductible.
What else is renters insurance good for?
Renters insurance can also serve as your work from home insurance. If you meet clients or colleagues in your apartment or home for business purposes and one of them is injured on your property, rental insurance may help cover legal and medical fees. And if your unit becomes unlivable, say after a fire, your policy may help pay for living expenses while your home is fixed up. This can include everything from meals and hotels to pet boarding and storage costs. It can even cover lost rent if you have a tenant who can’t stay during repairs.
To get the specifics of your policy and the complete rundown of covered items, check with your renters insurance company or renters insurance agent.
Does renters insurance cover technology?
It all depends on the situation. If your employer provides you with a work laptop, monitor, and phone for your home office space, renters insurance won’t cover that equipment, but your company’s insurance plan may. So if you damage your work tech, contact your employer about next steps.
Depending on their policy, they (or their insurance) may cover the cost of fixing or replacing their devices. If you’re responsible for the damage—like your toddler dropped your work phone in the bath—you’ll likely have to cover those costs.
If you use your own tech and you’re a remote employee, your job likely won’t cover the cost of fixing or replacing a broken or stolen device. But renters insurance might. Again, it depends on the situation. Let’s take a look at some common scenarios in which your electronics are covered by a typical rental home insurance policy.
Fire and smoke damage
If a fire breaks out in your rental and damages your devices, renters insurance may help cover the cost of replacing that tech, assuming they’re covered by your policy.
Vandalism and theft
Whether your tech is damaged or stolen during a break-in at your rental or elsewhere, the personal property coverage of your renters insurance may cover the cost of replacing the device. So if your laptop is taken from your car or your tablet disappears while you're on the bus, your renters insurance may help pay for a replacement. But contact your insurance agent to understand your coverage limits and how your policy works.
When are my electronics not covered by renters insurance?
Renters insurance usually has your back in situations like fire, smoke damage, vandalism, and theft. But when it comes to negligence, maintenance mishaps, accidental damage from handling, natural disasters (earthquakes, floods), and damage from unwelcome critters (rodents, bugs) those situations typically fall outside standard renters insurance coverage. Being aware of these exceptions helps you understand the protection your policy offers so you can plan accordingly.
Who needs renters insurance?
“Do I need renters insurance?” If you live in a rental, work remotely, and use tech to do your job, renters insurance is a good idea. It will give you peace of mind, letting you focus on more important things like setting your personal best on your Peloton® bike or boosting your remote work productivity.
Other policies to consider in addition to renters insurance
Here are a few other options if you’re a remote worker and want extra peace of mind.
Home-based business insurance
For photographers, web designers, accountants, and anyone running a small business out of their home, home business insurance coverage may be the right choice to protect your tech and other things. It can pay for property damage, employee injuries and lawsuits, and business-related injuries, like a client breaking their ankle in your office. Check with your insurance company or broker to see if home business insurance is right for you.
Electronic protection plans
When you buy a new laptop, tablet, or other device, it usually comes with a manufacturer’s warranty offering limited coverage for a set period. If you’re looking for additional coverage, you can buy an electronic protection plan for your tech. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing your devices—usually after the manufacturer’s warranty runs out—and often covers things your rental insurance and manufacturer's warranty won't, like accidental damage from handling.
To learn more, check out our guide to whether electronics protection plans are worth it.