Being a carer is a rewarding career. However, operating on a freelance basis means it’s important to get the right self employed carer insurance policy in place. Like any other business run as a sole trader, any dispute, allegation, or legal claim made against you is your responsibility to defend.
As a carer, you may also suffer injury or illness as a result of your job. This is why having the correct insurance policy is vital.
If you’re a carer, you will be well aware of the risks and responsibilities of the profession. When you’re caring for vulnerable or frail individuals, you are exposing yourself to risk. profession needs adequate legal protection.
Our guide takes you through all the necessary legal issues and personal risks to consider as a carer in need of adequate insurance.
What is a Self Employed or Private Carer?
A self employed carer, is a person providing care services to people who need help with day to day living. They can also be referred to as a private carer.
Clients in need of the services of a self employed carer can be elderly. However, care services are also required by people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. They may need help with things like dressing, bathing, mobility, and the administration of medication.
Care duties may be carried out in a number of different environments such as the clients own home, or within residential care facilities. Many private carers have more than one client, which can mean a number of different types of task being performed in different environments.
Offering care services comes with a great deal of responsibility, so making sure adequate insurance is in place is vital.
What Insurance Do Self Employed Carers Need?
When you work as a private carer, you become responsible for that individual the entire time you are with them.
This, of course, opens you up to a wide range of possible risks such as injuries, complaints, and other incidents. This is why you must have the proper insurance coverage which has specialist policies for private carers.
What Does a Policy Cover?
Before picking your insurance policy, be sure it is the most appropriate one for you. There are a number of different policies tailored to the needs of a self employed carer.
Before choosing carer insurance cover, you should consider the types of task you are performing for clients, and assess any risks involved. Also bear in mind the types of environment you are working in, and make sure your policy covers you for them. If it is not clear from your policy wording, call the insurer for clarity.
You should ensure your cover is tailored to the requirements of a private carer and all the scenarios they will face. Working as a carer will mean being responsible for administering medicines, cooking meals and dealing with lifting and handling.
Public Liability Insurance
Holding public liability insurance as a carer, is not a legal requirement. However, it is advisable to consider insurance. Many clients will insist upon it being in place before you begin work for them.
You are accountable for your clients care and wellbeing, so it is advisable to be covered for all eventualities.
Public Liability insurance for carers will cater to your specific role. A policy will offer cover for any accidents or injuries that may happen whilst carrying out your role. This can include accidental damage of your clients property.
Should you ever be taken to court by a client, PLI will assist with the costs of legal representation and any settlement.
Other Protections from Private Carers Insurance
There are many policies tailored to those offering private care services on a self employed basis. You need to consider carefully what your particular role will involve.
There are so many different carer positions, ranging from hourly to overnight care. You need to think about what protection you need specifically for you.
It is important not to just choose a generic public liability insurance policy. You might find yourself in financial difficulty should you realise yours doesn’t offer enough protection.
Here are a few types of cover which you may like to consider when choosing the right carers insurance policy:-
Personal Injury & Disability Insurance
Being unable to work due to a personal injury or disability can be financially crippling.
Carer insurance can ensure you have income protection in the event you cannot work. This can be due to either an injury or a disability.
Being self employed means you aren’t entitled to SSP, so having this policy cover can make good financial sense. This is especially the case if your carer business is your only source of income.
Overseas Travel With Client
You may be required, as part of your care role, to go overseas with your client.
British insurance can differ from insurance in other countries so it is essential that you are covered, wherever you are in the world.
The last thing you want is to be away from home, faced with a crisis, and have no form of cover for it.
Personal Belongings Insurance
This helps you in the event of any of your personal belongings, or business equipment getting damaged or lost.
As a private carer, you may carry expensive equipment around such as a mobile phone or a laptop. Your domestic insurance may not cover you for items lost or damaged during the course of business activities. You should enquire with your home insurer about this.
Income Protection Cover
Should the you be unable to work due to a disability or illness then this insurance cover will offer you some income.
This is a type of cover all self employed people should consider, with limited sick pay protection time off work can quickly become unsustainable.
First Aid and Medicine Administration
It is very likely as a carer you will need to administer medicine or first aid during your working day.
Specialist carers insurance will offer cover to protect you in the event of an error when giving medication, or accidents during first aid.
Allegations of Abuse Cover
One of the most serious situations a carer can be at risk of is an allegation of abuse. Proper insurance means you will be able to defend yourself against a claim.
This is, quite possibly, a life changing event. Having appropriate insurance cover in place would help protect your finances and business repuation.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
Most self employed carers will not need to obtain employer’s liability insurance if operating as a sole trader.
However, if you are employing staff to help with any aspect of your business or are offering an agency service, it’s likely you will need employers liability insurance. This will offer cover in the event any staff member has an accident whilst working for you.
Why Self Employed Carers Should Consider Insurance Options
Whilst insurance isn’t a legal requirement for self employed carers, it does provide vital financial protection.
Here’s a few reasons why insurance can be a good investment:-
- Legal fees and compensation costs can be very high if you are taken to court for personal injury or other losses suffered by clients or other third parties as a result of your business activies.
- Some clients will require insurance to be in place before hiring a carer. If a potential job involves the care of someone with a complex medical condition, it is likely they’ll require insurance to be in place.
- Proper insurance cover creates a good business image – Having a full insurance in place demonstrates a responsible and professional approach to the care of clients.
- Protect your own income in the event of illness or injury – if you have an accident during your work, or become unwell, proper income protection can allow you the time to recover without financial worries.
As a self employed carer, you need insurance. You are working alone with a client and such roles come with a degree of risk. Having insurance can protect your income if you find yourself unable to work.
If you wish to use your own car to drive your client around then you will need to take out suitable business car insurance. This offers protection in the event of a b breakdown, accident or other incidents.