For many homeowners a basic home insurance policy, flood insurance policy, and perhaps an umbrella policy are all the protection they need for their homes to protect against natural disasters, theft, and damage. But for high value clients who possess heirlooms, antiques, and other fine valuables, you understand that the basic insurance policies are not always enough.
Did you realize, though, that you may be missing a valuable insurance policy for the domestic workers you hire to work in your home?
If you hire domestic employees such as nannies, maids, and other staff that work in your home, you may need a workers compensation insurance policy.
WHAT IS WORKERS COMPENSATION?
Workers compensation insurance is a policy that pays the medical expenses and lost wages for employees who become ill or injured while on the job. In the rare case that an employee dies, the policy will also pay death benefits to the surviving family. Workers compensation also protects employers when an injured employee wants to sue.
In all states, workers compensation is required for most employers. Domestic workers may be excluded in some states. Because of the protection it provides, this coverage may be a good idea even if it’s not required. An employee who knows they’ll be taken care of if they’re hurt often has higher morale and more loyalty to an employer – not to mention the added layer of protection that it offers you and your family.
DO YOU NEED WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR DOMESTIC EMPLOYEES?
Simply hiring one domestic worker to complete a job for you doesn’t automatically mean that you need to purchase a workers compensation policy. Consider how you hired the worker and what they’ll do for you to determine whether you need a policy.
Hiring from an agency: If you use a specific service to send in workers as needed, they may work directly for that company. In those instances, that company may be on the hook for the workers compensation insurance. Make sure to ask the company if you’re unsure of the relationship.
Hiring a company: When you hire a company to provide workers, and those workers vary from day to day, they’re not your employees. Those workers are providing a service on behalf of the company that you hired. In these instances, you’re not responsible for workers compensation insurance.
Hiring an employee: When you hire an individual who works directly for you, and you dictate their schedule, uniform, tasks, and other details of the job, they are your employee. You may need workers compensation insurance.
Hiring an independent contractor: If the person you hire is allowed to set their own schedule, determine how they will complete their daily tasks, and use their own equipment, they may be an independent contractor. If that’s the case, you don’t need workers compensation insurance.
When you bring in a new domestic worker, it’s best to check with your insurance agent to make sure that you don’t need any additional protection or coverage, including workers compensation insurance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when someone new comes into your home.
At Charlotte Insurance, we want to help you protect your home, your family, and those you hire. If you have questions about your current domestic workers or if you’re considering hiring someone, give us a call and let’s go over your policies to make sure you have adequate coverage.
Image courtesy of Flickr user r. nial bradshaw.