If you love kids and decide to open a home daycare, there is a lot to consider. You need to think about the business side of things, of course, and work out all the details — hours, clients, activities, and so on. But one important thing not to forget is your home insurance. You might think that you’re covered as long as the house is covered, but that’s not the case when you bring an in-home daycare into the mix. We caught up with Craig Meier, managing agent for New England Insurance Services, to answer some important questions.
Having the right insurance coverage for an in-home daycare.
The first thing that Meier made clear was that most home insurers do NOT allow daycares to be run out of the home. The truth is that although the property might be acceptable by the State licensing board, certain things like pets, pools, playgrounds – and yes, daycares – might make the home uninsurable. The consequences could be severe. “This could potentially cause your policy to be non-renewed, or worse yet, claims to be denied,” Meier said. “Could you imagine if you had something like a fire and your insurance company denied the claim just because you opened a daycare?”
Along with understanding that home insurance companies often do not approve of in-home daycares, it is also important to know that you have the right coverages to protect yourself against the risks of running an in-home daycare business — including those that may not have crossed your mind. “One of the biggest overlooked coverages when it comes to daycare insurance is Abuse and Molestation coverage,” Meier explained. “The simple fact of having to defend yourself against baseless accusations of impropriety could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. We live in a very litigious society and that is one of the biggest coverage gaps out there.”
Working with an insurance agency experienced with in-home daycares.
Avoiding coverage gaps is a big reason why it’s essential to have open communication with an insurance agent who is experienced with this kind of in-home daycare business. “Your agent should have experience in dealing with these types of situations and be able to provide you with a quality Insurance company that will accept your in-home daycare,” Meier stressed. “If your agent does not know that you are opening a daycare, then they cannot help you to protect it, and your assets.” If you are upfront with the agent and discuss exactly what sort of business you are envisioning, they can help you make sure that you’re protected from all of the risks you face. You do not want to leave yourself vulnerable to a lawsuit for something that you aren’t covered for; it goes without saying that lawsuits are expensive and exhausting, and without the right coverage to help you, potentially devastating.
Meier explained that there are a few reasons why homeowners should work with an agency that has real know-how when it comes to in-home daycares:
The first is, quite simply, managing costs. “You need to work with an agent that has secured relationships with top-rated insurance carriers that embrace their unique situation and are prepared to provide the comprehensive coverage at the best prices available,” he said. An agent who has experience in the field of in-home daycares can likely help with getting the proper coverage at the best possible rate.
Another reason that Meier advises working with an agency that specializes in covering in-home daycares is that there are only a few companies that will write the home with a daycare business and only a few that will write in-home daycare liability insurance. “We have access to all of them,” he said. “This is our specialty.” Having access to the right home insurance carriers can make a big difference, and working with an agency that specializes in in-home daycare insurance can provide you with that access.
Get insurance for an in-home daycare.
In short, working with an agency that specializes in in-home daycares is crucial. Most home insurance companies will not even allow a daycare to be run out of the house, which is why being upfront with your agent is so important. This could help you avoid unpleasant scenarios in which your policy gets nonrenewed or a claim gets denied. Not only that, having the right agent lets you breathe easier knowing you have the coverages you need to protect yourself against all the risks that come along with running a daycare out of the home. It also lets you manage the costs of your insurance. And who doesn’t like managing costs?
Interview with Craig Meier, Managing Agent
Craig Meier started his insurance career as a claims professional for 6 years, and has been an award winning licensed insurance agent for over 23 years. He has seen a variety of complicated claims cases and coverage issues along the way. Mr. Meier is currently a managing agent for New England Insurance Services, which is a member of the SIG insurance agencies. New England Insurance services specializes in providing comprehensive insurance packages for people involved in the daycare industry.