While working as a nanny may seem like child’s play, there is a business side to nannying that cannot be overlooked. Like with any other job opportunity, when considering employment as a nanny it’s vital to assess job risks and liabilities.
As you contemplate the risks and liabilities that come along with being a nanny, keep these five insurance considerations in mind:
Many nannies, especially those who are new to the profession, are shocked to discover that, in general, nannies do not carry liability insurance. Since nannies work in a private home, unsupervised, the risk of being accused of abuse, neglect, mistreatment or worse is real. Unfortunately, since nannies do not have professional licenses like – for example – teachers do, securing liability insurance is hard, if not impossible. Occasionally an insurance company will crop up and advertise that they are offering liability insurance for nannies, but then, after careful assessment of the risks, the policies are discontinued or the premiums become too outrageous for a nanny to afford. Even if liability insurance was readily obtainable, the reality is that it does not protect a nanny from being sued, but it certainly could help defray the cost of litigation.
Just as nannies are surprised to learn that liability insurance isn’t a common thing in the nanny community, they’re just as surprised to learn that having employer provided health insurance is. Over 25% of full-time nannies receive partial or full contributions towards their health insurance premiums, according to the International Nanny Association’s 2012 Nanny Salary and Benefits Survey. While some nannies do not need employer provided insurance because they are still covered by their parents’ plan or are covered through a spouse, for many nannies health insurance coverage is a real need. This is especially true in states like Massachusetts, where having health insurance is mandatory and the failure to have it is punishable by a fine. Eisenberg Associates, www.eisenbergassociates.com, has specialized in helping nannies and families find appropriate health insurance coverage since the 1970s.
Many nannies fail to recognize that if they will be transporting the children in their own vehicle, they may not be covered if an accident occurs. Nannies must consult their insurance agent to determine if their policy extends coverage to using their vehicle for work related use. If it doesn’t, the nanny may have to adjust her policy and pay a higher premium. If the nanny will be using the employer’s vehicle, she should confirm that she is listed as an insured driver and that the family’s coverage extends to her.
Is some states, employers are required to carry Workman’s Compensation Insurance, but in other states carrying it is optional. Workman’s Compensation policies extend coverage to nannies who are injured or become ill while on the job. If you fell and broke your leg while at work, your employer’s homeowner’s insurance policy may not extend coverage, since you are an employee and not a guest. When conducting your job search, inquire as to if your employer will purchase Workman’s Compensation Insurance. It can be a benefit for an employer to do so because in some states employees who have coverage waive their right to sue for pain and suffering.
Say you get pregnant and are unable to work, or that you are injured while off the job. Disability Insurance extends financial benefits to employees who are unable to work due to a non work related injury or illness. In some states, having disability insurance is optional, and in others it is required. Regardless, it’s fairly inexpensive and can be purchased by either an employee or an employer. Having disability insurance can also benefit families. If a nanny is hurt, their employer may still need childcare, but may not be able to afford paying both you and a replacement. With disability insurance, your employer may be able to bring in a temporary placement because a percentage of your salary is being paid through insurance.
While insurance may not be a deciding factor in perusing a career as a nanny, it’s important to consider the risk climate of the career you are considering. While you purchase insurance with the hopes that you don’t need it, having it just in case can certainly bring peace of mind.