March 26, 2018
What is nanny insurance?
While “nanny insurance” isn’t exactly a technical term, we assume the folks who search for info on Google are wondering about workers’ comp for nannies. Workers’ comp is a type of insurance that compensates injured workers for their medical expenses and/or wage replacement while they are unable to work. It can also protect employers from costly lawsuits. In Massachusetts, if you employ a nanny or babysitter in your home for 16 hours or more per week, you are required to purchase workers’ comp (nanny insurance) for your caregiver.
Do all household employees require workers’ comp?
Under Massachusetts workers’ compensation law, if an employee works in your home for 16 hours or more per week, then yes, he or she requires coverage. This includes senior citizen caregivers, housekeepers, personal chefs, etc.
How much does insurance for nannies cost?
Different variables affect the cost, but the premium is usually just a few hundred dollars per year—well worth it when you consider all the things that could go wrong and the high cost of today’s medical bills. Call our team at 508.339.2951 for a quick quote.
Does “nanny insurance” cover events that happen outside the home?
In most cases, yes. When you purchase a policy you will be required to list your home as the primary place of employment, but coverage typically follows your caregiver and family members to other places—including sports fields, parks, or in the car.
Does this nanny insurance prevent my nanny from suing me?
Workers’ comp may help you avoid injury or illness-related lawsuits, but it isn’t a “catch-all” type of insurance for nannies or other domestic employees. Lawsuits related to wrongful termination, discriminatory hiring, or sexual harassment would not be covered by a workers’ comp policy. For these risks, you may want to ask your agent about employment practices liability insurance, or EPLI coverage. Here’s more information on employee lawsuits.
Do I need to buy insurance if my neighbors and I have a “nanny share” arrangement?
It’s tough to say definitively without knowing your exact situation, but in most cases, yes—both families involved in the nanny share would be considered separate employers, and both would need to purchase their own workers’ compensation policy for the caregiver.
What if my nanny (or personal caregiver) works less than 16 hours per week?
If you hire babysitters infrequently or for less than 16 hours/week on average, your homeowner’s policy would likely cover the medical expenses of an injured sitter (up to a few thousand dollars, depending on your policy terms). If the employee wanted to claim greater damages, he or she could potentially sue you, but would have to prove you were legally liable for the injury. Here again, an umbrella insurance policy might come in handy. Find out how surprisingly affordable umbrella coverage is by dropping us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) or filling out the quote form to the right.
What happens if I don’t have workers’ comp insurance for my nanny?
If you don’t purchase workers’ comp insurance for a qualifying domestic worker, you could be slapped with serious fines or even criminal penalties. In the event of an injury, you could also be be held liable for all related medical bills and lost wages.
(Attention nannies: if you are arriving at this post after an injury or illness has already occurred, and your employer did not have workers’ comp in place, contact the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. You may be eligible for medical care/lost wages compensation.)
What else do I need to know about employment law for nannies or other domestic workers?
Take some time to review the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which covers topics like minimum wage, meal breaks, sick time, cause for termination, and other state-mandated employment provisions. You can find another good primer here.
Also, don’t forget to create an employment agreement, so important terms are in writing and understood before you bring an employee into your home. Finding the right person to care for your loved ones can be a stressful process. Eliminate some of the worry by making sure you and your employee are protected. Call us any time for more nanny insurance information: 508.339.2951.