Towergate's Guide to Home Care Insurance

What is home care insurance?

Domiciliary care companies have legal requirements and vital business protection considerations when getting the right insurance. Our guide talks you through some of the care specific features you should look out for and walks you through the details of home care insurance policies.

Up Arrow

Do I need home care insurance?

If your organisation is defined as any of the following*, you may benefit from the protection of a care home insurance policy:

  • Personal care
  • Nursing care
  • Night care
  • Carer respite services
  • Household and gardening duties

*Please note that this is not a complete list of organisation types that may benefit from a home care insurance policy.

Simply put, standard business insurance doesn’t include vital protection against the specific risks of the care industry which could leave patients, staff and business vulnerable. While some insurance providers could patch together various policies to cover your liability, buildings, contents etc., this will likely leave holes in your cover for things like:

Medical malpractice insurance - Towergate offers one of the widest ranges of disease covers excluding only AIDS, Avian flu, Swine Flu and SARS.

Infectious disease cover - Cover against the break out of infections is an important protection for most businesses operating in the care industry. Towergate offer cover against all known diseases, but whoever you get insurance with, make sure it offers the widest protection possible.

Flexible liability cover - While most policies will include public liability cover at £5 million as standard (our policies do this too) there are times when you may need to temporarily or permanently raise this limit to £10 million in order to tender for a public contract. Try to find a policy which offers you flexible limits meaning you can raise the amount you’re covered by. This is so you won’t miss out on quality contracts that require higher levels of liability.

Directors and liability insurance - D&O insurance is a liability cover that protects your business against compensation claims brought about through an act of one of your directors or managers. It is important because these actions may not be covered by your other liability insurances. For example, this protects the personal assets of any director or officer of the company resulting from an error or omission, breach of duty or other matter whilst acting in such capacity for the company. The claim could be against them personally, not the company. This can leave them responsible for payments and could stop them operating in their job.

Up Arrow

What does home care insurance cover?

In this section we look at some of the common business insurance protections features you will want in place for your care home. 

Buildings Insurance

The Rebuild Cost - A care home is reliant on the premises and is most likely your most expensive asset. Buildings insurance exists to cover the costs for repairing damage right through to rebuilding - should it need. You should insure yourself for the full re-build cost of your property. Make sure you factor in any outbuildings, boundary walls, pools, fitted kitchens and bathrooms etc., as well as the building itself. 

Contents insurance

  • Contents insurance covers many different things. It can cover the items in your building, belonging to the business. This means everything from office equipment to specialist care equipment you keep in stock.

  • Employee’s personal belongings can also be covered while they are on duty. The amounts can differ though between insurers and policies, something around £1,000 per person and £100 for personal cash is standard.

Public liability

This is to protect you and your customers. As the owner/manager you are responsible for making your care home as risk free as possible but accidents can still happen. Public liability insurance will cover your legal liability for accidental loss, damage or injury to a third party on your premises.

Employers' liability

This is a legal requirement for employer's liability, usually for £5million, although some policies will include limits up to 10million. Employers’ liability insurance guarantees you have access to adequate funds should you need to compensate a member of your staff for an injury or damage from a situation you, as their employer, are liable for.

Business interruption

  • Should an insured event such as fire cause the business to run at an increased cost of working, you’ll be able to claim for the extra costs. For example, if an insured event meant that some of your staff were off sick, this could cover hiring extra staff to keep your business running.

Professional liability

  • This liability cover protects you against a breach of professional duty. For example, if you or your staff were to write a care plan which didn’t give adequate care, you could be protected against a claim against you. As a guide our home care policy starts at £2million per period of insurance as standard.

Up Arrow

Tips on getting the best home care cover

Building and tenant improvements – Maintaining and modernising a care home is a full time job. As you grow, add new equipment, make repairs or add extensions make sure you re-calculate you building and contents ‘sum insured’ levels accordingly.  Without being careful you could exceed the amount you are covered for which could have a negative effect if you needed to make a claim.

Personal accident – In the care industry standard can’t be allowed to slip. But if a personal accident is keeping a member of staff off sick extra pressure is added to the rest of your work force, creating stress. Personal accident cover on your care home insurance policy can cover you for increased costs of working due to an absence of this kind, helping you to pay for replacement staff and keep your standards up.

Up Arrow

Covering your home care business with Towergate

As well as great insurance our care home customers have access to all these useful features free of charge.

CyberHR: This is an online care-specific human resources management tool.

24-hour legal advice line: giving you access to industry-specific qualified solicitors and barristers for impartial advice over the phone, at any time. You don’t need to have a claim brought against you, so even if you suspect on might be raised, contact them for advice on how to handle the situation.

Bespoke legal expenses: Protects you and your business in the event of legal disputes and provides cover for the costs of solicitors, barristers, expert witnesses and court proceedings.

24-hour stress helpline: The care industry sees a high level of stress amongst staff. Our free, confidential service offers employers the resource to provide their duty of care. This can prove a vital tool in helping your staff cope and keeping up your standards.

BCARM: Online business continuity and risk management service. Read more about BCARM here.