Today, families are feeling the pressure of caring for young children and aging parents. As a result, many are turning to others for help in their home. If you hire household help, make sure to get the appropriate insurance coverage.
Even if you only occasionally hire a baby sitter or a young person in the neighborhood to rake leaves, you can be liable for injuries they sustain while working for you.
Talk to your insurance professional to find out how much personal liability coverage is included with your homeowner’s or renter’s policy to determine if it is adequate. In general, policies start with $100,000 of coverage
Consider increasing the amount of personal liability coverage in your policy. A substantial increase can cost less than $20 per year. Or, you may want to consider an umbrella liability policy. This would provide broader coverage and a minimum of $1,000,000 of additional personal liability insurance.
Look at the amount of medical coverage included in your policy. Medical coverage on a homeowner policy will cover medical bills stemming from injury to someone other than a resident of the home that occurs on your property. The coverage amount often starts at $1,000, but it can be increased for a small additional premium.
PERMANENT FULL or PART TIME WORKERS
If you hire someone to work at your home on an ongoing or regularly-scheduled basis, you should consider purchasing workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance will provide coverage for medical care and physical rehabilitation for an employee who is injured on the job, and for lost wages if he or she is unable to work because of that injury.
Michigan’s workers compensation insurance program has specific classifications for domestic workers including categories for “inside workers” (such as maids, butlers, nannies, aids, cooks, nurses, interior maintenance, etc.) and for “outside workers” (such as gardners, lawn care workers, exterior maintenance, etc.). Each of these categories have one rate for full-time and another for occasional (part-time) which is less than 20 hours per week.
Don’t forget about auto insurance! If the person working for you will drive your car, make sure that your insurance company knows about the additional driver. If the person will be using his or her own car, obtain proof that they have proper and adequate insurance in effect.
CONTRACTING WITH AN OUTSIDE FIRM
If you contract with an outside firm to provide services at your home, always obtain a Certificate of Insurance before allowing their employees to work for you. This includes any type of company that you hire to work in or around your home - including nannies, health care, lawn services, snow removal, tree trimmers, and home improvement. The certificate should come directly from the firm’s insurance agent or company and should have your name and address filled in as the certificate holder. Be certain that it indicates that the firm carries commercial general liability, professional liability (if the firm is providing professional services), workers compensation and commercial auto liability insurance that includes owned, non-owned and hired vehicles.
We at Insurance Planning Service can help you determine what coverage can best protect you. Call us today at 800-220-5582 or contact us via the web!