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I have been an estate caretaker in the past for friends of friends and in only through word of mouth locally. I want to now branch out and look for jobs out of state with people I don’t know. If hired by someone, one of the possibilities is that I would become hired as an independent contractor. So my question is who does the liability insurance fall on when I am residing on their property. Would I be covered under their home owners insurance? Should I buy insurance to protect myself from being accused or sued for stealing/breaking something or anything else?

2 Thoughts on Who’s responsibility is it to have the liability insurance in this situation?
  1. Reply
    Casey Y
    May 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    You are a professional caretaker and would be required to have insurance. If you are residing in the home instead of the home owner, then a homeowner’s policy would not apply. They would need to change their coverage to essentially a rental property policy (known as “combination dwelling” or “dwelling fire.” Their insurance agent can help.

    You need liability insurance on your business (as a sole proprietor I assume), contact a local agent for more information.

    You can be bonded so that home owners would feel protected in the event that you took anything. You could still be accused of the theft and sued, this would be a set dollar amount which would pay out if/when the third party feels wronged. This feels like overkill to me though, I would only buy this if the homeowner required it.

    Be careful when jumping between states, there are all sorts of additional tax, business licensing and insurance considerations. I would build up the business by word of mouth and branch out from there.

  2. Reply
    May 15, 2013 at 12:15 am

    It’s always YOUR responsibility to make sure YOU have coverage.

    The only time it’s someone else’s, would be if you are employed.

    The liability for damage you cause to their property, falls on you. You do NOT have “first party” protection through their homeowners insurance. Some states, their homeowners will cover THEM if someone else – a third party – trips on your rake, for example.

    But it won’t cover YOU.

    NOTHING will cover your illegal acts except a bond – you’d need to buy a bond for each job.

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