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What insurance do you need for hiring or working as a paid carer?

Posted on 24/11/2016

Whether you are a self-employed paid carer, care provider or someone who employs a paid carer or personal assistant, something that you need to have in place is the right insurance.

There are a number of companies in the UK which specialise in insurance for the care sector and it is not too expensive – though it is something that will need to be budgeted for.

The main types of insurance that those providing or receiving care will need to know about are: 

Individuals who employ a paid carer or personal assistant

If you employ a carer, whether through direct payments, individual budgets or personal funds, then you need to have Employer’s Liability Insurance (ELI). This protects you in case the person that you have employed is injured or ill while they are working for you and they seek compensation against you. You can be fined by the Health and Safety Executive if you do not have the right insurance in place as an employer. The price of your policy will be given for a whole year, but many companies will let you pay on a monthly basis. Have a look around at the different companies offering ELI, as some packages will have extras included in the price.

If you are using a self-employed carer, then you are not required to have ELI as the paid carer must have their own insurance in place, but it is still advisable to err on the side of caution and get yourself insured. Always ask to see the insurance certificate of a self-employed carer before allowing them to work with you.

Personal carers

If you are a self-employed carer or personal assistant, then you will need to make sure that you have Public Liability Insurance (PLI). This is because there are some risks involved in the job, especially if you have to give medicine to your client, or help them move from room to room. Having PLI in place protects you in situations that involve personal injury, errors, accidents, abuse claims and other risks within the job role. Some insurance companies will offer specific policies that are tailored for the needs of self-employed carers.

If you are employed by a service user directly, then they should have Employer’s Liability Insurance in place (see above, and make sure that you ask to see a copy of the certificate before beginning employment). However, we suggest that you also take out your own insurance policy. We hope that you never need to use your insurance, but this is definitely a case of better safe than sorry.

Companies who provide care services

Care providers need comprehensive insurance policies in place to ensure that both clients and staff are protected fully in the workplace. These policies will cover things like alleged abuse, theft of property, errors, personal injury and so on. They combine both Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, as well as extras related to running a business. If you are looking at setting up your own care agency, then make sure that you have the appropriate insurance in place before you begin delivering services. Some of the providers featured here do offer insurance for care agencies and these are tailored to meet your needs. There are plenty of other insurers that also deal with businesses, so contact your insurance broker to find out the best option for you.

Insurance providers in the UK

Now that you know what insurance you need to have in place, we take a look at some companies that offer policies designed for the care sector.

Surewise

http://www.surewise.com/carers-insurance/

Whether you are an employed carer, an employer of carers or a self employed carer, Surewise.com offer a highly covered insurance policy that will put your mind to ease, starting from just £4.92 per month with NO hidden fees.  

Carer Insurance & Personal Assistant Insurance Cover Levels:

  • Bronze:  Provides public liability cover for carers up to £1m
  • Silver: Provides public liability cover for carers up to £2m
  • Gold: Provides public liability cover for carers up to £5m

 The Packages cover 

  • Personal belongings at work up to £250
  • Legal expenses up to £10,000
  • Accidental death
  • Disability Cover
  • Hospitalisation (accident-only)
  • Administering of prescribed medicines and first aid.
  • Overseas cover up to 90 days (Gold only)
  • No excess

Cover levels vary for separate benefits, see Surewise.com for full cover details

Blue Badge

https://www.bluebadgemobilityinsurance.co.uk/Carers-Insurance

Blue Badge offers specialist insurance that is tailored to the needs of the individual, whether this be a mobility scooter user or a personal assistant working in the care sector.

The Carers and PA Insurance meets the needs of the self-employed carer. 

There are two packages available, and these cover:

  • Up to £5m Public Liability Insurance 
  • Up to 90 days cover for care provision whilst on holiday
  • Personal belongings at work up to £250
  • Legal expenses 
  • Errors and Omissions whilst providing care, including accidental death
  • Accidental injury to any Person in your care 
  • Personal Accident Insurance 

There is no excess to pay.

You can contact them on their free contact telephone number: 01730 233101

Premier Care

https://markbatesltd.com/products/independent-living/personal-care-assistant-insurance

Premier Care is a specialist disabled insurance provider that offers a range of different policies as part of Mark Bates Ltd.

Its Personal Care Assistant Insurance is designed for self-employed carers and this includes PLI, personal accident cover, legal cost and expenses, accidental bodily damage, accidental damage to property and access to a 24/7 helpline. This costs £85 for a year.

For those employing a carer or personal assistant, there is a Home Employment Insurance, which is available in three packages (Standard, Plus and Deluxe), which start from £61 for a year. All of the packages include PLI and ELI, as well as damage to property and medical emergency cover. The upgrade options include accidental death, hospitalisation, funeral expenses, redundancy and more.  There is also Home Insurance with Healthcare - for those who employ personal care assistants who undertake healthcare tasks.  

Premier Care also offers other insurances that might come in useful, such as Mobility Scooter Insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance and warranties for home aids, like riser chairs, stairlifts and mechanical beds.

Direct Care Insurance

http://www.directcareinsurance.co.uk/

This company offers specialist care insurance, and is partnered with the well-known Zurich Insurance to provide detailed cover. It has options for all of the above insurances that we have mentioned.
If you are going to be employing a carer or personal assistant, then there are three levels of cover (Bronze, Silver and Gold), which start from £62.50 a year. All of the packages include ELI and PLI, as well as protection in case your caregiver causes you injury, financial loss cover and a 24/7 helpline. You then have the option to add on legal expenses and personal accident cover. Applications can be made online, by post or over the phone. 


Self-employed carers can take out a dedicated Carers Public Liability Insurance, which covers services such as personal care, night care, administration of medicines and household tasks, among others. The policy covers errors and omissions, alleged abuse, food and drink preparation, accidental death or personal injury, accidental damage or loss of third-party property and personal accident cover. Cover starts from £84.80 for 12 months.

Finally, Home Care Combined is an insurance policy for care providers and is a comprehensive package including ELI, PLI, professional indemnity, business contents cover, business interruption cover, money cover, legal expenses and personal accident (optional).

Fish Insurance

www.fishinsurance.co.uk

Fish Insurance specialises in disability insurance and offers a wide range of policies to protect lifestyle essentials, such as Disabled Travel Insurance, Disabled Car Insurance, Mobility Scooter Insurance and Mobility Equipment Insurance.

For those employing carers and personal assistants, there is a dedicated Independent Living Insurance, with two main options: Basic Cover (from £67 a year) and Full Cover (from £135 a year). The Basic package has the essential ELI and PLI with no excess. The Full package adds in a lot more options, including identity theft, property theft, errors and omissions by employee, personal accident, legal costs and much more. It also gives access to a 24-hour helpline to access employment law specialists should you require advice and help.

Self-employed carers should take a look at the Carer & Personal Assistant Insurance (from £89 a year), which is designed to protect you from compensation claims arising from accidents, errors and omissions. It offers PLI, legal costs and ‘indemnity to principal’, which ensures that a service user, local authority, agency or other organisation through which a carer is contracted is also protected.

Fish Insurance also offers bespoke insurance packages for care providers, charities, agencies and any other organisation that works within the care sector and provides care services.

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