What is Daycare Insurance?
Providing childcare is a major responsibility, and it comes with significant risk. Should a child be harmed while in someone’s care, the consequences could be devastating both for the child and financially. Daycare insurance won’t prevent something bad from happening, but it may help protect Massachusetts child care providers from the financial consequences that follow a covered incident.
Daycare insurance is a specialized commercial insurance for child care providers. In order to offer providers protection from multiple risks, these policies usually come as package policies that bundle individual coverages together.
Who in Massachusetts Need Child Care Insurance?
In general, most centers and individuals who provide child care services in Massachusetts can benefit from the protections that child care insurance affords. This usually includes both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, as the following types of businesses:
- At-home child care providers
- Small child care centers
- Large child care centers
- Public child care programs
- Religious child care programs
Additionally, businesses that are primarily in another sector but offer child care services as a perk to parents frequently also need this type of insurance. For example, ski mountains and grocery stores that have child care available might want to carry this insurance.
What Coverages Does Child Care Insurance Make Available?
There are many coverages that child care policies might come with. Depending on a policy’s terms and conditions, it could offer:
- General Liability Coverage, which may cover common accidents and defamation lawsuits
- Corporal Punishment Liability Coverage, which may cover allegations of corporal punishment by employees
- Abuse and Molestation Liability Coverage, which may cover allegations of abuse or molestation by employees
- Workers Compensation Coverage, which may cover workplace injuries and illnesses that employees suffer
- Commercial Property Coverage, which may cover owned buildings, fixtures, equipment and supplies
- Commercial Auto Coverage, which may cover owned vehicles or personal vehicles used for driving children
An insurance agent who specializes in child care policies can help providers sort through all of the available coverage options and choose those that make sense for their situation.
What Limits Should Providers Get When Purchasing a Child Care Policy?
Child care centers must ultimately choose coverage limits that they’re comfortable with, but it’s wise to keep the potential cost of a claim in mind. Should something happen that results in serious harm to or the fatality of a child, the resulting lawsuits could be extremely expensive.
For this reason, centers may want to choose primary liability coverage with high limits and supplementing it with a secondary level of protection. A knowledgeable insurance agent can help centers select the appropriate coverages and choose exactly what they want the coverage limits to be.
Do Caregivers Who Use Affidavits and Waivers Need Child Care Insurance?
Child care centers frequently have parents sign affidavits and/or waivers to lessen the center’s legal risk exposure. As helpful as these statements are, they shouldn’t be mistaken for an insurance policy. A parent might still try to sue, and either of these statements generally won’t provide the same protections as a good insurance policy.
An insurance policy will likely help pay the attorney fees, court fees and any settlement associated with a covered lawsuit. A policy might also provide property coverage for a center’s assets, which is something that parent-signed documents offer little protection for.