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If you operate one of these services:
- Home Based Care
- Mothercraft Nurse
- Mother’s Helper
the following information answers some frequently asked questions and gives you an insight into how important it is to have the protection of a Public Liability Insurance policy.
Why do I need Public Liability Insurance?
As a nanny or home based carer, babysitter, mothercraft nurse, mother’s helper or house keeper/ nanny you could be held liable for personal injury or property damage. With Public Liability Insurance you have the peace of mind of knowing that you are protected in the event that you are held legally liable for the injury or property damage.
Imagine if a child was injured whilst in your care and became a paraplegic. The amount of this claim could be millions of dollars as the child would need to be compensated for the permanent effect such an injury will have on the rest of their lives. Without Public Liability Insurance, the carer is left to pay the claim out of their own pocket and is likely to be in debt for the rest of their life.
Even with the best of intentions and the most diligent care, accidents can happen. Here are some more examples of very human situations that could easily occur.
The carer places the baby on the change table. While she turns around to check on the other child, the baby rolls off the change table and falls on the floor. The parents take the baby to the hospital and x-rays reveal that the baby’s scull is fractured. A claim is made against the carer for medical expenses and compensation for the lifetime effect the personal injury has caused to the child (eg scarring and brain damage). If the court determines that the reason the incident occurred was due to the negligence of the babysitter ie the supervision was not adequate because the carer was attending to the other child in care at the time, then the carer would be held liable and would have to pay the claim out of their own pocket unless they had a Public Liability Insurance policy to protect them.
The carer is cooking and hears the children arguing in the loungeroom. She goes to check on the children, but by the time she returns to the kitchen, the kitchen is on fire. If the family doesn’t have home and contents insurance or their home and contents insurer wont cover the claim because the carer was negligent, then the family would claim against the carer to pay for the costs to repair the damage. The carer would have to pay the costs out of their own pocket unless they had a Public Liability Insurance policy to protect them.
Would the Home and Contents legal liability cover you?
The Home and Contents Legal Liability Insurance will usually cover the part-time temporary care of children. However, the intent of this cover is for the occasional time that you/daughter/son etc might earn a bit of pocket money doing some babysitting from time to time. The policy is not designed to cover someone earning a regular living out of providing a nanny, babysitter or other childcare service.
The most important thing to remember is that as the carer it is your Insurance that must provide the cover ie your Home and Contents Legal Liability that must cover your service activities. If a child is injured in your care as result of your negligence, the claim will not be covered under the family’s Home and Contents Legal Liability insurance because it is you, not the family that is negligent and the family’s insurance does not cover your negligence. It is uncertain if the family’s Home and Contents policy would cover property damage caused by you either.
We recommend that you contact your Home and Contents insurer and advise them about the activities you will be doing. If they choose to insure you then you need written confirmation from your insurer that they have extended the policy to cover your activities. If they wont cover you, you would need to arrange your own Public Liability Insurance.
I don’t have home and contents insurance?
If you don’t have home and contents insurance then you will need to arrange your own Public Liability Insurance cover.
I am employed by the family?
Regardless of whether you are an employee, contractor or sole business you can be held liable for personal injury and property damage. The only way to protect yourself is to be covered by a Public Liability or Legal Liability Insurance policy. If your Home and Contents Legal Liability wont cover your activities, then you will need to arrange your own Public Liability Insurance.
I usually live at home with my parents?
If you usually live at home with your own parents then your parents need to contact their Home and Contents insurer to find out if they will cover their daughter/son providing a childcare service. If they wont cover you, you will need to arrange your own Public Liability Insurance cover.
Experience that counts
As with all insurance policies, conditions apply and we recommend that you read the full details contained in the policy wording prior to purchasing a policy.
Altiora Childcare has more than 20 years experience in providing insurance support and advice for the childcare sector. We offer limits ranging from $5 million to $20 million in cover. The higher the limit, the more protection you have, now and in the future. For more information or to arrange a quote, please contact our childcare insurance team on: