When you are a self-employed carer, a PA, you run a care business or you employ a carer independently, you’re in a position of trust and responsibility, and that means you need an insurance policy that can support you if something goes wrong.
Self-employed carers usually need specialist self-employed carer insurance, while businesses and individual employers need something slightly different. Both types of employers need to have employer’s liability insurance to make sure that they and their staff are protected if an accident or incident happens.
Importantly, if you directly employ a personal assistant (PA), the government regards you as an employer, and you’re legally required to have this type of insurance policy. As a carer, working in independent home employment, it’s key to make sure your client has this cover in place.
The specific details of your insurance policy can differ between companies, but they typically include three key elements:
Public liability covers you if anyone else makes a compensation claim because they’ve been injured or if their property gets damaged.
This means that if, for example, if you cause accidental damage to someone else’s property, your policy will protect you from being personally liable for these costs.
Employer’s liability covers employers if your carer or PA makes a compensation claim because they’ve been injured or fall ill as a result of their work.
This means that if, for example, an employee seriously injures themselves while performing their role and they intend to make a claim, your policy will protect you from being liable for these costs.
Legal expenses cover the potential legal costs that you might need to pay as a result of a compensation claim. Lots of insurers also offer legal support and advice, for example, through a 24-hour phone line.
This type of insurance policy covers a wide range of potential scenarios, and it’s usually the smaller things that make a big difference.
Policies can include cover for personal accidents, overseas work, and some, such as the self-employed carers policies from Surewise.com are available on a short term basis.
Arran Gray, Director at ethical underwriter, SAGIC, provided some insightful examples into how these policies help individual employers and PAs.
“A policyholder who is hard of hearing was left without their hearing aid after their PA had accidentally stepped on it. Fortunately, they had ‘accidental damage to property’ included in their policy. So the cost of £250 for a replacement was covered, with no additional charges incurred to them or their PA.
“A similar recent example is of a PA causing damage to their employer’s sink. The total cost for replacement, repair and labour was around £500, and this was all covered by their policy.”
What should you look out for?
The most critical part of these policies is the liability and legal cover. You should ensure that your policy covers you for claims and expenses up to a minimum of £1million (higher if you are an employer and need employers liability cover by law) and has some element of legal protection.
If you’re a self-employed carer, or PA, a care business or an individual employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you have the right insurance cover, and find the right provider for this. Make sure you read your policy wording carefully to ensure it meets your needs and so you understand how the cover works in the event of a claim.