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Monday, August 10, 2009

Nannies and Liability Insurance

It’s no secret that when it comes to allegations of child abuse, neglect, mistreatment or breach of confidentiality, it often comes down to a he said, she said ordeal. And in the world of nannycams, where things aren’t always what they seem due to poor quality videos or images, (and the unusually slow and delayed capturing of them), nannies often don’t have the financial means to defend themselves should legal action be taken against them.

Professional and general liability insurance coverage for nannies has always been nearly impossible to find. Since nannies have no “professional license” most insurance companies simply couldn’t or wouldn’t write liability policies that covered the financial costs resulting from legal action taken against nannies.

Until now.

After having numerous conversations with Gayle Gaston of Tustin Insurance Agency and a member of the International Nanny Association about the need for liability insurance coverage for nannies, she delivered on her promise to research liability insurance options for in-child care providers and recently announced the availability of general and professional liability insurance coverage for nannies.

The two types of coverage that are now available to nannies through Gayle include:

General Liability Limit at $1,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate

Excludes Professional Liability

Includes Physical/Sexual Abuse/Assault Coverage ($25k per occurrence/$50k aggregate)**higher limits are available

Annual Premium Starting at $750

General Liability Limit at $1,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate

Includes Professional Liability within the Policy Limits

Includes Physical/Sexual Abuse/Assault Coverage ($25k per occurrence/$50k aggregate)**higher limits are available

Annual Premium Starting at $1250

Dishonesty Bonds that cover fees, up to the bond limit, resulting from prosecution on charges of theft are also available to nannies.

While most US Citizens legally working as a nanny will be eligible for coverage, due to local ordinances, nannies who work in some geographical regions may be declined coverage.

So why is this big news for hardworking, honest nannies with good reputations? If our job is to nurture, protect and advocate for children, why would we even contemplate purchasing such coverage?

As nannies, part of our job includes providing information to parents on how they should care for their kids. Perhaps we demonstrate a swaddling technique or suggest that a child be introduced to a new food. What if a parent follows our advice and feels in doing so, injury was caused to their child, like the swaddle hurt the child’s arm or the food caused the child to have an allergic reaction? Or what if a child gets hurt in their nanny’s’ care, perhaps by falling off a play structure and breaking an arm? Or even worse, what if a family accuses their nanny of sexual or physical abuse? Perhaps a child says their nanny hit them, or a parent notices a bruise she attributes to the nanny?

Should a nanny be prosecuted for any of these allegations, the average nanny can’t afford the legal fees to properly defend herself. Now, if a nanny opts to purchase general and professional liability coverage, they can rely on the policy limits for their defense and representation.

Like any type of insurance coverage, your purchase it with the hopes that you never need to use it. Like any insurance coverage, it isn’t cheap and it’s hard to justify paying a good sum of money for something you may never need to use. However, for nannies who consider themselves a professional, I think it’s something to seriously give some thought to. A nanny who is falsely accused of harming a child in any way is likely to never secure work again. A nanny who can prove her innocence may be able to save her reputation, keep her integrity intact and continue doing what she does best, providing loving, nurturing, high quality care to the children left in her charge.

Check Out Gayle’s Blog Posts on Nanny Liability Insurance and Dishonesty Bonds:!A8B6FB658CD54775!289.entry!A8B6FB658CD54775!287.entry

Nannies can contact Gayle Gaston for more information:

(951) 735-5036

Independent Insurance Agent/BrokerLicense #0B95005

This article is not an insurance premium quotation, a binder or a policy, and may not include all the conditions, terms and exclusion of the actual policy. Obtain a customized quote for actual policy coverage and details.

Thank you to Michelle LaRowe for providing us with this valuable information.


Anonymous August 10, 2009 at 9:27 AM  

Wow! Never thought id see that. But hey its 2009. I dont think i would get it. I dont know why. Im not sure what I think about it but am glad that nannies who want it will have it available to them. Im intereste to see what other nannies think about it.

Michelle LaRowe August 10, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

I've always thought that since nannies work in an unsupervised enviornment it would be crucial. Most professionals where their work is one on one do have this type of insurance. Again, its like car insurance, you get it and hope you never have to use it. It's kind of weird though because those who are outside of the profession looking to get into the profession always seem to ask where they get this type of insurance and have been suprised they couldn't. This year, I know one lady was upset because her husband who was an attorney wouldn't let her take a nanny job unless she found and was able to purcahse liability insurance. I think nannies who work for high profile families and/or earn 75K plus a year would probably would buy it.

Alice August 10, 2009 at 9:39 PM  

This will be very interesting to see where this liability insurance policy will go. I do think that certain nannies in households need this insurance like Michelle mentioned.

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