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When you hire an individual to work in your home and they’re not affiliated with a company or agency, you need to consider home worker insurance to protect yourself and your employee. At the minimum, workers’ compensation is required.

To ensure that you have the best possible coverage, work with a local agent who is an expert on state laws and regulations and is able to understand your unique circumstances. The team at C&S has been delivering exceptional protection for homes, families, and businesses since 1959, so we understand home worker insurance from every angle.

What is a Domestic or Home Worker?

An individual hired to work in your home can be either an independent contractor or a domestic or home worker — it’s these workers who can be considered your employees under state law, so it’s important to know the difference.

Massachusetts defines independent contractors as individuals whose work is done:

  • Without the employer’s direction and control
  • Outside the usual course of the employer’s business
  • By someone who has their own, independent business or trade doing that kind of work

Landscapers, electricians, and plumbers are some of the more common independent contractors.


If you hire an individual to work only for you and direct both the work that is done and how it’s done, then that person is considered a home worker and you’re the employer. Home workers may also live in your home or in another place you provide them. Some examples of home workers include:

  • Nanny or au pair who watches your children each day
  • Personal chef who prepares all of your family’s meals
  • Housekeeper who takes care of all domestic chores
  • Fulltime caregiver who provides support for an elderly family member
Latin cook serving food to clients during private dinner

Under Massachusetts law you have several responsibilities for these employees, and if they’re “full-time” (at least 16 hours/week ) you have very specific legal obligations:

  • There must be a written agreement that specifics employee rights, responsibilities, and compensation.
  • You must keep records and timesheets that specify employee hours worked.
  • The employee’s privacy and freedom must be respected, and they cannot be discriminated against on basis of race, religion, age, or sex.
  • Employees who are injured may be eligible for workers’ compensation, even if you do not have insurance.
Records work hours in a time sheet.

The bottom line — insurance is required for any individual who is working more than 16 hours.

Even part-time home workers can get injured on the job or threaten to sue for mistreatment. It’s for these reasons that you need insurance coverage to address possible exposures to liability and a team like C&S Insurance to help you find it.

What is Employer’s Liability?

As an employer, you have a legal obligation to provide due compensation for your employees’ services and treat them fairly under the law.

Employers liability refers to the possibility that something may happen to a worker on the job. For example, if a person becomes sick during work and ultimately passes away, the family can come back and sue for something that wasn’t covered by workers’ compensation.

In Massachusetts, employer liability is part of workers’ compensation that covers both the employee and the family. You cannot go without it, but there are limits. It covers anything involving a third-party lawsuit or consortium seeking compensation of loss of the person or income.

It also covers a bodily injury lawsuit filed by a non-employee, such as a spouse, who suffers damage from the employee’s injury (such as injury or damage from helping/caring for the injured worker.)

For better or worse, employee lawsuits are on the rise — that includes claims made against homeowners who employ drivers, nannies, housekeepers, chefs, gardeners, etc. This type of coverage protects you in case you’re held liable.

What About Workers’ Compensation?

If an employee in your house is injured or becomes ill while on the job, workers’ compensation insurance would step in to cover their medical bills and lost wages. Beyond being “nice to have” financially, this coverage is required by the state. In fact, failure to secure workers’ comp could result in hefty fines, at a minimum of $100 a day, according to Mass.gov.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Home Workers?

If a home worker is not required to be covered under workers’ compensation regulations, then your homeowners’ policy MAY offer some coverage, possibly through a rider or endorsement. However, insurance for household employees is a necessity for any full-time home worker and is recommended even for those home workers who may fall under your umbrella or personal excess liability policies.

That’s because the risks you face as an employer are different from those as a private individual. Your nanny or housekeeper could sue you for damages if they’re severely injured on the job.

Need urgent help with a claim? Contact us now.

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Benefits of Insuring Home Workers with C&S Insurance

Protecting yourself from personal liability provides financial security and allows you better peace of mind. At C&S, our dedicated team understands the importance of securing the right kind of coverage for your home and finances.

We receive lots of questions about domestic and home worker insurance, including cost of coverage and if the employer needs a tax ID number (the answer is yes). Our specialized insurance agents have extensive experience with this type of coverage, and they’re always happy to assist. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with questions about your household insurance needs.

Give us a call today at 508.594.3961 or send us an email at info@candins.com.

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While your business insurance policy may cover any of your equipment that might be damaged, any employees working from their own home will be responsible for damage to their own property.

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