What You Need to KnowWhen you care for children for a fee in your home or commercial daycare center, you are in business, even if you do not need a business license. Childcare providers face exposures to liability. To protect you and your family’s assets, you need to:
- Maintain a good safety program
- Follow applicable licensing requirements
- Purchase insurance
Reasonable CareYou have a legal duty to act with reasonable care while supervising children in your custody. When a provider fails to use reasonable care and a child is consequently injured or becomes sick, it can be said that the provider “breached the duty of care” or “acted negligently,” and that provider can be sued.
Am I required to carry liability insurance?
Does an affidavit or waiver protect me?
What are the different kinds of liability insurance?
What does Negligent Supervision mean?
Can I be sued if I am not negligent?
How does liability insurance protect me?
Is there more than one type of insuring form?
There are two types of insuring forms. An “Occurrence Form” is best because it covers claims reported after the policy expires, after you have gone out of business or changed insurance companies.
Beware of “Claims-Made” forms. Claims can be made against a provider a number of years after the injury, after the child has left the provider’s care, or after a provider goes out of business. In some states a minor can file a lawsuit up to age 21. A “Claims-Made” policy only covers claims reported during a specified time, usually during the policy term or within one or two years after the policy expires.
If you have insurance and a child is hurt while in your care, it is important to report it to your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you don’t think it is going to be a claim.
How much liability insurance should I buy?
What is a deductible?
What should be insured?
Professional Liability/Negligent Supervision and General Liability for your day care operations on and off the premises, including claims or allegations made against you because of your actions, or those of your employees, helpers, spouse, children or residents of the household.
What should I look for in a policy?
- Defense Coverage. If you are sued, the insurance company will pay for your defense even if the suit (claim) is groundless or fraudulent. For maximum defense coverage, look for policy whose defense coverage is in addition to the policy limit. This will reduce the amount of your liability coverage.
- Child Abuse. This covers liability for claims made against you, residents of your household, or your employees/helpers, whether groundless or not. Beware of policies that include defense cost in the limit. It reduces the amount of your insurance. Look for a policy that includes legal representation or defense costs for Administrative Hearings resulting from allegations of Child Abuse.
- Incidental Malpractice. This covers your liability in giving medication or following a child’s dietary needs.
- Personal Injury. This coverage protects you against libel, slander, false arrest, wrongful eviction and malicious prosecution.
- Alienation of Affection. This protects you against claims that you are “stealing the affection and control” of a child from their parent or legal guardian.
- Contractual Liability. This covers your obligations under written agreements. For example, it could cover your obligations to seek medical care in emergencies, take a child on field trips, or to take and pick-up after school.
- Field Trips/Off Premised Activities. This provides coverage when you are away from your premises: trips to the park, museum, theater or market.
- Products Liability. This includes preparing and serving of food.
- Non-owned Auto Liability. This provides protection from lawsuits resulting from children getting injured in an automobile accident caused by someone using their car on your behalf. This coverage is not part of the liability coverage and may be offered as an option.
- Transportation Coverage. This protects you from lawsuits resulting from children injured in an automobile operated by you or one of your employees. This coverage is not part of the liability coverage and may be offered at an additional cost.
- Accidental Medical Insurance. This pays medical bills resulting from an accident, even if it is not your fault. Be sure the coverage is without a deductible so you do not have to pay part of the bills.