Many people hire others to help them around the house or for personal assistance. It might be a nanny, gardener, landscaper, cook, physical therapist, housekeeper, nurse, or others.
While this is all well and good, hiring others can affect your Rhode Island home insurance needs. In some cases, if someone’s injured on your property you may be held liable. Let’s look at the factors that affect insurance needs.
Hired Through An Outside Company
Often times a person hires a professional through an outside company. For instance, you might contract a physical therapist, housekeeper, or cook through a business or agency with skilled personnel.
Typically, this means the person performing the service is an employee of the business and the company should have proper insurance coverage. However, it is up to you to ensure they do, otherwise you could be held liable for injuries, medical bills, and court costs if they sue.
Always ask for a copy of the company’s Workers’ Compensation certificate of insurance; which proves the company protects their workers.
You might hire a worker for temporary jobs such as occasional babysitting, cutting your grass, or cleaning your home’s gutters. In this case, it is very important you review your insurance coverage with your agent.
No-fault medical coverage and a sufficient liability limit are two considerations, but there may be others too. Your insurance agent can advise you so you’re not putting yourself at risk.
If you hire a person to come to your home at regular, scheduled times, even if it just for a few hours, you may want to consider workers’ compensation insurance.
Typically, a homeowner or renters insurance policy does not cover those coming to your home to work. Policies only cover “guests.” In this case, you are a household employer, and they are your employee. They’re not a guest.
Consequently, you may have no protection against lawsuits or medical bills if a worker injures themselves on your property unless you buy workers’ compensation coverage. It provides for medical care, physical rehabilitation, lost wages, and death benefits. Additionally, workers forfeit their right to sue.
Household employers in Rhode Island are not required to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy. However, not buying coverage can put your assets and future earnings at risk since your other insurance policies will not pay penalties, fines, court fees, or court settlements from a lawsuit.
Auto Insurance Considerations
If your employee will use your car to run errands or to take you to appointments, your insurer needs to know so they can adjust your coverage accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll pick up the tab if they’re in accident while driving your car.
We strongly recommend you discuss your situation with a local independent insurance agency like ours. As independent agents, we work for you, not the insurance companies. Wed provide unbiased, expert advice and we do all of the legwork for you.
We can review your insurance coverage, recommend appropriate products, and close any insurance gaps. Your local independent insurance agent is your best choice if you want the best coverage at the most affordable rates.