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Does my home insurance cover babysitting?

For many teenagers babysitting is their first ever job. For parents it’s a great way to get affordable childcare for a few hours while they take a well-deserved break. But what happens if something goes wrong? It’s a situation a young Albertan girl found herself in when the house she was babysitting in caught fire and burned to the ground.

Thankfully the children under her care were unharmed but the pre-teen babysitter was sued. She was taken to court for the damages with claims that she was too young and inexperienced for the job.

While no one wants to squash a teenager’s desire to be responsible and earn their own money there are certain risks with babysitting. What happens if there’s a fire or someone get’s hurt?

“It’s the responsibility of the people hiring the babysitter to make sure the home and environment are safe?” says Samantha Wilson a former police officer and founder of Kidproof which provides babysitting courses. But that doesn’t mean the babysitter won’t be considered responsible should something happen.

But little thought is spared for the risks and liabilities of babysitting. Teenagers aren’t thinking of them and adults may dismiss them as improbabilities. But babysitting can expose your teenager to being held liable for injury and damage. Because they’re earning money your home insurance may not cover you if something happens – or it may not be enough.

Home Insurance Personal Liability Coverage

Most home insurance policies include personal liability coverage. If someone is hurt or has their stuff damaged while at your home or due to your unintentional actions personal liability coverage will help protect you financially. It can cover legal expenses and damages if you’re sued.

However this protection has it’s limits. For example if you have $1 000 000 of liability protection but someone sues you and is awarded $1 250 000 you would need to pay the difference out of pocket.

Home insurance personal liability coverage often does not extend to business-related activities. If your teenager babysits you should check with your broker to see if they’re covered.

Is babysitting covered under home insurance?

Home insurance may not cover babysitting as income-generating or business-related activities are usually excluded. However you should talk to your broker to see if you’re covered as it can depend on the insurance company and your individual policy.

What kind of insurance does a babysitter need?

A babysitter may need additional liability insurance. You may be able to get a home-based business extension on your home insurance or you may need to purchase a separate insurance policy if you’re not covered.

Talk to your broker about your teenager’s babysitting to see if you need additional protection.