If child minding is your profession, you hardly need prompting about the enormous responsibilities you face each and every second that you have someone else’s pride and joy in your care.
You know what they say about working with children or animals! You might be the most diligent, committed professional in your sector, but you simply never know what their next moves are going to be or how they might innocently and unwittingly endanger themselves or others.
In your trade, unlike some others, liability insurance is a legal necessity. This is hardly surprising given the fact that you are responsible for young lives rather than the provision of goods or other services. This legal obligation is applicable to you whether you look after one child or you run a crèche or nursery for many children.
The core function of your liability cover remains the same as for any other business – accidents, damages and illnesses are accounted for, should a client, a member of the public or supplier have cause to bring a claim against your business. Dealing with little ones as you do, your primary concern is naturally the safety and well being of the child or children in your care. The gravitas of this responsibility alone is immense. You shoulder the almighty responsibility of dependant and helpless young lives in your hands.
You should also consider the working environments in which you conduct your business and the materials you use to fulfill your remits. You might carry out your childcare duties at a family home or your own home, besides having occasions to take young children out in the public domain. If you run a crèche or a nursery, you have children coming to your business premises on a daily basis. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that every possible health and safety measure is considered and addressed.
The list of potential accidents, damages and illnesses that can be caused by Child Minders or to Child Minders is infinite. You need to be prepared for the slightest incidents to utter disasters. Public liability policies for Child Minders offer indemnity levels of £2million to £10million, dependent upon your business size.
What Should Child Minders Look for in Suitable Insurance Policies?
Your risk potential has already been acknowledged as complex and voluminous. The key element of your public liability cover is a natural inclusion at the very heart of liability insurance for Child Minders – accidents, injuries, illnesses, even fatalities to minors in your care.
Children are unpredictable! Youngsters are accident prone and can suffer a variety of broken bones, bruises, cuts and grazes as part of the growing up process. More serious injuries can befall them if you take your eyes off them for one unintentional second. They might pour a kettle of boiling water over themselves or decide to play house with a plugged in iron. At the more horrific end of the scale, you might lose an exuberant child who slips your grasp and runs away from you during a shopping trip.
A child in your care might require regular or irregular medication and it is your responsibility, in the absence of the parents, to ensure that it is administered in a correct and timely manner. The same applies if you have to carry out any first aid on a little one who falls prey to a childhood accident.
If you look after a child or children at their family home, you might cause accidental damage to property or possessions as you carry out your child care duties. Circumstances dependent, the family might consequently decide to hold you financially responsible for damages, as they equally might with accidents and injuries to their offspring.
Alternatively, parents may bring their children to your crèche, home or nursery to be looked after. If so, you might be well advised to think of your premises in risk assessment terms, just like an office, shop or restaurant does. As a Child Minder, it is not suggested that you lack common sense or are not an expert in your field. Any injury caused to a child on your premises is likely to result in very unhappy parents, who may do more than lack faith in your child minding abilities and remove their child from your care. They may well also have a genuine grievance against you for negligence.
That said, Child Minders’ liability cover with regards to property and possessions cuts both ways. Your own property and possessions are not included, should an inquisitive and boisterous young charge cause damages or losses at your own premises or to your belongings – such risks on your part are considered as going with the territory. However, if children cause any public damage or loss, as they sometimes frustratingly do, your public liability policy will cover you against successful claims filed against you by other businesses or members of the public.
So Much to Consider –Is That All?
Depending upon the specific nature of your business, Child Minders public liability might not be all you need to consider. Whilst do you do not operate in a traditional office based or retail business, you run a business nonetheless and carry the same responsibilities as other business owners.
If you employ staff or helpers who are not your immediate family members, even on a ‘needs must’ basis or temporarily, you are legally obliged to have Employers Liability cover for £10million worth of indemnity. This affords you financial coverage against any accidents staff working on your behalf might encounter whilst working for you.
Many Child Minders use their own cars to take children on excursions, shopping or to and from nurseries or schools. If you are one of these, you might also consider Commercial Vehicle Insurance. Should you be involved in a road accident, a relevant insurance premium could prove vital to you as financial cover for damages to your vehicle whilst carrying out your business and also for your ‘goods in transit’.
Learn more about the importance of liability insurance when dealing with children.