Carers play an important part in the community and make a huge difference in people’s lives. From assisting someone with mobility issues getting out of bed and helping them with their personal care and medication to running everyday tasks such as shopping and preparing meals, the role of a carer is varied and unceasing. Carers insurance is not a legal requirement, so why should carers have insurance? This guide covers all your questions.
Carers are people who give – and people who give can easily forget how important it is to take care of themselves, too. However, the reality is that accidents can happen while working as a carer that could cause long-term illness or injury, or damage your property. That’s why having an insurance policy to protect you should something happen is so essential.
In this guide, we’ll highlight why carers need insurance and what carer’s employers (whether an agency or hiring a carer via direct payments) need to know.
What is carers insurance?
Carers Insurance is a policy that protects Home Carers, Personal Assistants, or the carer’s employer. It offers liability cover in case of accidental property damage, injuries or legal expenses. Each policy is different, depending on whether it covers the self-employed carer, a carer agency or the carer’s employer.
What insurance do I need to work as a paid carer?
You will need carers insurance whether you are a self-employed carer or an individual employer responsible for a team of carers. Individual employers of carers need a comprehensive insurance policy in place to ensure that your staff and your clients receiving care are fully protected within the workplace – whether that’s at a care home or while providing at-home care.
Care insurance will protect both parties in the case of incidents such as personal injury, loss or damage to property, legal expenses (for example, in a case of alleged abuse or mistreatment), public liability, and redundancy cover.
Who needs carers insurance?
Carers insurance is something that any paid carer should have to protect you, your colleagues, and the people you provide care to. Different types of carers insurance policies are available to:
Self-employed carers run their own business. If this applies to you, then you are solely responsible for organising your own insurance as well as other aspects of your business such as taxes, marketing, and perks such as setting your own hours and rates. A self-employed carer needs insurance that will cover things such as accidental injury (to yourself, your client, or another member of the public), loss or damage to your property, and allegations of negligence or abuse.
Read more about what self-employed carers insurance covers.
Carer Employment Insurance
Carer employment insurance applies to businesses that employ carers and personal assistants to provide care services to your clients. As an employer, you are legally required to provide insurance for your employees, protecting their health & safety under Employers Liability Insurance. In addition, Carer Employment Insurance covers you, your employees, and your colleagues in case of accidental loss or damage to property, accidental injury to your client or a third party, and legal expenses.
Read more about what Carer Employment Insurance covers.
Home Employment Carers Insurance
Home employment insurance is available for people with care needs who hire a carer or personal assistant themselves. If you fund your own care, or receive financial support (through Direct Payments, for example), to hire one or multiple carers, then you are considered an Employer under UK law and as such, you are legally required to provide employers liability insurance for your employees – i.e. your carers. In addition, this type of policy will also cover you and your employees against claims for public liability (accidental loss or damage to property), and legal expenses.
Find out more about Home Employment Carers Insurance.
Why do I need carers insurance?
In the case of being an employer of carers or personal assistants (whether you’re a care business owner or someone who hires care directly for your own needs), you are legally required to provide insurance for your employees under UK law.
While you could opt only to take out employers liability insurance, it is more efficient and cost-effective to take out a comprehensive carers insurance policy that also includes cover for legal expenses and public liability as these elements cover incidents that could most certainly crop up in your role as an employer – such as an accidental injury to one of your employees or to your client that you could then be sued for.
Is carers insurance a legal requirement for self-employed carers?
No, if you are a self-employed carer or personal assistant, you are not legally required to have insurance. However, it is strongly recommended that you take out an insurance policy to protect yourself and your clients in the workplace. Carers insurance starts from just £6.25 per month – which is a small investment compared to the potentially devastating legal expenses you could face were you to be taken to court for an accidental injury to your client, for example, or the financial expense
Top benefits of carers insurance
So you know who needs carers insurance, but you might still be asking yourself why the added expense is necessary. Here are some of the key elements a carers insurance policy will include:
- Public Liability
Public liability insurance protects you if a mistake is made, like administering incorrect medication or causing injury to somebody whilst caring for them. Public liability insurance covers you for:
- Accidental injury to any person
- Loss of or damage to any property
- Personal Effects/Loss of Property
This aspect of the Carers insurance policy covers loss or damage to your belongings etc while doing your job and may cover you for:
- loss of or damage to personal belongings at work
- personal or user’s belongings being stolen
- key & lock replacement
- damage to user’s property by forced access due to a medical emergency
- Personal Accident
The Personal accident side of the policy would cover you if you have an accident while working as a carer – e.g. a back injury while lifting the person you are a carer for.
This can include things such as:
- overnight hospital stay for yourself due to bodily injury
- permanent total or partial disablement
- bodily injury including accidental death
- Legal Expenses/ Legal Rights
Protects your legal rights arising out of allegations of negligence or abuse arising out of your employment as a carer.
Each policy varies depending on which company you decide to insure with, but generally, these are the things covered under this section:
- Legal defence and costs in case of allegations of negligence or abuse
- Carers legal protection & 24/7 Legal Advice Helpline
Care Home Requirements
If you are employing Carers in any capacity, then it is a legal requirement for you to provide insurance for your employees that protect their health & safety, this specific type of cover is called Employers Liability Insurance.
Employers’ liability insurance is one of few compulsory insurances. Companies that employ one or more members of staff, whether paid or volunteers, require this cover.
Employers’ liability policies cover claims made against your company in the event of an accident, injury or illness sustained by your staff at work or as a result of work.