We get asked about PA insurance quite a lot. This article focuses on what we found when we looked into it.
Insurance for individuals employing PAs and carers in their own home is still a relatively new area for the insurance industry, but accidents and mistakes do happen so it’s really important to be certain there is some insurance in place.
Insurance for the person who employs the PA
If someone employs a Personal Assistant/carer to support them in their own home, whether through direct payments or their own funding, they need to take out an Independent Living insurance policy.
If the Council or Health Authority provides the funding for the care package they normally include the cost of at least one year’s premium within the budget and insist the individual takes out the insurance policy as a requirement of the direct payment agreement. In fact, they can be fined by the Health and Safety Executive if they do not have the right insurance in place as an employer.
This insurance is generally offered on a variety of levels but as a minimum it would include:
- Employers liability which protects the employer if you are injured or become ill whilst working for your employer and want to seek compensation
- Public liability which protects you if you accidentally damage their property
- If your employer has more complex medical needs then they should have a higher level of cover to include Carers Liability which protects you if you accidentally harm them or their property whilst carrying out a health or social care task.
- Some also offer Personal Accident cover which provides compensation VAR either you or your employer if an accident occurs which is your fault.
It’s always worth checking your employer has the correct level of insurance in place to cover all the tasks they need you to do. It is also important to make sure you have received the correct training to carry out these tasks or there is a risk the insurance may be invalid. For example, car insurance would be worthless if someone drove a car unsupervised without having passed their test!
There are now some insurance policies which cover you as a PA/carer working in someone’s home. This costs on average around £85 a year although you may get a special deal if it is the same insurance company as your employer’s independent living insurance. For example, Fish will provide PA insurance for just £20 for a PA who works for a single employer who has Fish’s independent living insurance policy. Cover will normally include:
- Public liability
- Personal accident
- Loss or damage to yours or your employers possessions or property
Do I need to have PA insurance?
As long as the person who employs you to provide them with care and support has the appropriate Independent Living insurance in place, insurance companies tell us that it is advisory for you to take out additional PA insurance. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if you feel the cost is worth the extra ‘peace of mind ‘.
If you consider yourself to be self employed i.e. you have some control of when you work and you are not providing personal care or you are registered with CQC, then it is essential you cover yourself in case of harm or damage to the person you support, their property or yourself. If you’re not sure of your employment status, click here to visit our March 2015 newsletter covering the issue.
Further information and advice
- Active Independence PA Support Service