Auto Insurance for Home Care Workers

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Things to remember...

  • Depending on the circumstances, a home care worker may need to choose from commercial, non-commercial, and hired and non-owned insurance
  • No one should speculate about what type of policy should be purchased
  • The maximum amount of liability coverage might be worth investing in

Home care workers help families out in tremendous ways. Adults who worry about the daily care of their senior parents rely on home care workers to handle the following tasks:

  • shopping
  • laundry
  • light cleaning
  • other duties

Depending upon the skills of the home care worker, those duties could involve making sure a senior-aged parent takes his or her medicine on time.

Home care workers do need to travel to their clients’ residences. Sometimes, a worker could be required to travel on short notice.

Having the right auto insurance policy in place helps support financial protections to those who worry about accidents and other disasters that might arise while driving.

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Commercial vs. Noncommercial Work

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Questions do arise about whether or not a car is being used for commercial or non-commercial use when acting as a home health care worker.

The state of Washington suggests that anyone who works as in home health care or acts as a volunteer should double-check with an insurance provider rather than make assumptions about coverage.

Home care workers do not always work at the home of the person they are charged with assisting.

Taking an elderly person to the doctor’s office or shopping may be what is requested by the client. Since the home health worker is being paid to drive the elderly person somewhere, this activity would surely fall under the delineation of commercial use.

A non-commercial policy might not provide the necessary protections if an accident occurs. In fact, a strictly non-commercial policy may be completely inappropriate when transporting clients somewhere.

Contacting and speaking with a representative from an insurance company is strongly recommended when driving a car in any type of commercial situation.

Those who are worried about increases in premiums should simply take part in comparison shopping for quotes from reputable insurance providers.

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Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance

Hired and non-owned auto insurance is a unique aspect of commercial auto insurance that is intended to help small businesses whose employees, the home care workers, drive a personal car for business purposes.

Is a self-employed home care worker paid with a 1099 someone who should purchase commercial insurance? Or would this person need to take out hired and non-owned auto insurance as would be the case with an employee paid with a W-2?

Never speculate on the answers. Discuss the particulars with an insurance company’s representative. He/she can advise accordingly based on the situation of the driver and the state’s laws and regulations.

Commercial Auto Insurance Benefits

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It is helpful to look at a number of different quotes for a commercial auto insurance policy. The liability risks are greater for someone who is driving a car or other vehicle for business and professional purposes.

Therefore, the driver needs a higher threshold of liability coverage. Being under-insured in an accident can be devastating. Home health care workers should not place themselves at such a risk.

Driving an elderly or infirmed person in a car could be a very risky endeavor. If an accident occurs, the resulting legal issues could be enormous. As much as home health care workers do not like to think of these things, they must.

Mitigating risk management has to be a responsibility of any and all professionals.

Reviewing car insurance policies to make sure coverage is reliable and comprehensive is part of such responsibilities.

The Right Coverage Threshold

Not every home care worker needs commercial insurance, but it still may be wise to procure the maximum amount of liability coverage available. Just because the local insurance minimums are low does not mean the figures offer the best amount of coverage.

In Washington, D.C., third party liability minimum non-commercial coverage covers $25,000 per person and only $50,000 per accident. For the average driver, these minimums are still a bit low. For someone involved in commerce, such minimums are likely very inadequate.

A discussion about the proper amounts of coverage with a representative from an insurance company might help a driver acquire the proper amount necessary for maximum protection.

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