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Posted February 7, 2008

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Professional Caregiving: Getting Insured

Q. I am working as a professional caregiver, as an independent contractor. I do not work for any one client on a regular basis; instead I freelance and fill in as needed. I assist people as a travel companion when needed. My question is: what is the standard for a freelance caregiver with regards to liability insurance coverage to protect the caregiver? Do you know of any insurance organizations specifically focused on dealing with this need? Thank you for your assistance.

TJL, Captain Cook, Hawaii.

A. No company I know of offers liability insurance for the companion or homemaker level of caregiver, which is the level you described. Liability insurance policies are offered to "skilled" caregivers at the certified nursing assistant (CNA) level and above, but carriers and underwriters vary widely by state, so your best bet would be to check with your state insurance commission.

This answer is provided by Steve McCloskey, president of Caregiver’s Home Solutions, an in-home elder care business based in Fairfield, Connecticut. He can be reached at smccloskey@caregivershome.com.

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