Whether you have the occasional household cleaning, or live-in home help, it is important to ensure that your hired household help is as protected as you are. The type of coverage depends on the nature of the employee.
Types of Home Help
There are several different types of household help that you may choose to hire, or may currently have working in your home. If you need nursing care, you have a registered nurse come to your home daily for home healthcare.
If you are recovering from a recent surgery or accident, you may have regular visits from a physical therapist. In addition, you may have a nanny who watches your children during the day, a landscaper who comes on the weekends, and housecleaners who arrive on a weekly or monthly basis to take care of basic household duties.
Regardless of the type of home help you employ, they generally fall into three main categories: Contractors, occasional workers, and full-time employees. The easiest way to determine what type of worker you employ is by how they are paid, and how often they work.
|Type of Help||What They Do||How They Are Paid||How Often|
|Contractors||Any type of home help can be hired through a contractor.||You pay an organization, like a maid service company, and the company pays the individual.||May be occasional, or on a regularly scheduled basis.|
|Occasional||The occasional babysitter, or lawn mower.||You pay them directly after their work is completed each time.||Occasionally.|
|Permanent||Permanent employees of your household often provide a variety of duties.||You pay the individual on an hourly or salary basis generally paid monthly, or bi-weekly.||They are an everyday, permanent fixture in your home.|
Once you've evaluated what type of household help you employ, you can determine what type of insurance coverage will keep you (and your help) protected.
Ask the contracting company for a copy of its certificates of insurance. Ensure that each employee is covered by workers compensation. If they offer benefits like health and disability insurance, you can feel comfortable that any worker injured on your property will be taken care of through the contracting company and no additional coverage is required by you.
Since these workers are in your home only occasionally, consider getting more liability insurance and/or increasing no-fault medical coverage which covers injuries on someone other than an immediate family member.
If you hire a permanent employee, consider purchasing a worker’s compensation policy for this person. This is the best way to ensure they are covered if they are injured on the job at your home. It also provides death benefits.
Some states may require this coverage for any domestic employees. If you're required under state laws to buy workers compensation insurance and you fail to do so, your homeowner’s insurance policy will not pay for any fines, court awards or any other penalties against you.