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    • MBdriver
    • By MBdriver 20th Mar 17, 7:11 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 1Thanks
    MBdriver
    Household unsurance with live-in carer
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 17, 7:11 PM
    Household unsurance with live-in carer 20th Mar 17 at 7:11 PM
    I am trying to arrange household insurance for an 88yo relative living on her own in her own house. Completely bog-standard cover, building & contents, both incl accidental damage, a single item of high value (vision assisting reading magnifier). Detached, brick/tile, no flat roof, no woodburner, no kids, no pets, no smokers, no car, no trees, no water nearby, not listed, no claims of any sort for past 50 years etc etc - should be a text-book case. BUT: when it comes to the question "how many people are living at the property?" the answer is unclear. Obviously my relative is, it's her main and only home, owned outright. But what about her carers? Owing to her sight-impairment she has a live-in carer who sleeps there and is on duty 22 hours/24, for three weeks. A relief carer comes in for the other 2 hours. Then after 3 weeks the main carer is off for a week, and a different lady comes in for 1 week, also doing 22/24 cover, before the first lady returns for the next 3 weeks. In a country with a rapidly growing dependent elderly population I'd have thought this situation was unremarkable, but it seems it has the insurance companies stumped - because of that one week break. They say the carer is not a "permanent resident" at the house in the same way that, say, a sibling might be, even a sibling who took a week's holiday away every month. It also seems to cause a problem because the one-week relief carer is not the same person as the 3-weeks carer (well, there's a surprise!!). People like Age UK warn to inform your insurer about circumstances like these as failure to do so could invalidate 'normal' household insurance. (Why? the carer carries liability insurance from her agency, so why should my relative pay twice over for the same cover?). But when I have informed insurance firms of this, they run a mile and say they won't offer cover because of the house being open to people who are not permanent residents. This is nonsense. Casual visitors to her property don't have any of the training the carers have, and don't carry any liability insurance like the carers do, yet normal insurance doesn't exclude casual visitors. Sure it doesn't cover negligence by those uncovered visitors, but that isn't a problem with a carer as the carer *does* have insurance for that. So why refuse cover when a trained professional is present, but accept it when any Joe Average can walk in? How do others get around this? Or are you all not really as properly insured as you thought you were?
    Last edited by MBdriver; 20-03-2017 at 7:24 PM. Reason: correct spelling
Page 1
    • huckster
    • By huckster 20th Mar 17, 10:30 PM
    • 3,007 Posts
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    huckster
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 10:30 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 10:30 PM
    What has been said by Insurers is correct. A live in carer is not treated in the same way as family. They are a domestic employee.

    Just needs to be declared on the Insurance. Suggest contacting a local brokers,
    • MBdriver
    • By MBdriver 20th Mar 17, 11:20 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MBdriver
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:20 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:20 PM
    Thanks for your reply, but if that's the case then what about the gardener - isn't he too 'just a domestic employee'? He's paid to come to the property on a regular basis to provide a specific service to my relative, and he carries his own professional liability insurance, how is that different to a carer? Should he also be declared to the insurance company? Would the household insurance be invalidated by *not* declaring a gardener, or 'Molly Maid' or any other regular domestic service provider? I guess it depends on what is meant by "living at the property". Yes, planning to speak with a local broker very soon.
    • huckster
    • By huckster 21st Mar 17, 7:26 AM
    • 3,007 Posts
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    huckster
    • #4
    • 21st Mar 17, 7:26 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Mar 17, 7:26 AM
    If you are speaking to several Insurers and they are all saying similar, then that is just the way Insurers see things.

    A live in carer with access to keys, will be treated differently to an occasional visitor to the house. The carer will be treated as a domestic employee, who is lodging at the house. The Insurers will note their details. It is then a question of what cover is provided and what the exclusions are.

    Normally Insurers would restrict the theft cover to forcible/violent entry, which is standard where any non family resident has access. So this would apply to a live in carer, as well as an casual tradesman with similar access.

    It is then a question of what other restrictions in cover e.g accidental damage, normal household liability as an occupier. The carer should have Insurance for their own possessions they bring with them and liability cover related to their work.

    Reading your first post again, the problem seems to be the care provider having to change the carer for some periods, so it is not one person for the whole time. The only way around this might be for there to be a record keeping requirement, where the name of care providing company/name of carer is listed down. You might want to do this anyway, so you have a record of who is helping your relative.

    I know someone who has done this type of work and these care providers are not a diligent as you think they should be. They get about 2 weeks training and then they are assigned to live in someones house as a carer. They have no qualifications and the only experience is what they learnt during the course they attended.
    • MBdriver
    • By MBdriver 25th Mar 17, 11:49 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MBdriver
    • #5
    • 25th Mar 17, 11:49 AM
    • #5
    • 25th Mar 17, 11:49 AM
    Thanks, Huckster. Local broker had no problem getting policy with Axa at £270 compared to the nearly £500 the old insurer was asking, even before considering the issue of the live-in carer. Adrian Flux also came in at a similar level, £268, but the Axa cover was even better than my minimum required so I went with that.
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