Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Workers On Your Property

Many injured workers are harmed at commercial job sites or businesses, while others face injuries in private homes.

Apart from domestic workers, there are also numerous construction workers, including those providing “off the books” services like home repairs, roofing, and painting.

Homeowners insurance
Does homeowners insurance cover workers on your property: Photo courtesy (rimedia.com)

When injured on the job, workers’ compensation benefits usually cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, if the injury occurs in someone’s home, options for compensation may be limited.

Here, we explore the coverage of domestic workers by homeowner’s insurance and ways for workers to seek compensation for injuries at someone’s home.

When Homeowners Insurance Covers Workers

Most property owners have homeowners insurance, covering damage and offering financial protection for lawsuits by injured individuals on their property.

Invitees (e.g., domestic workers, babysitters, contractors, etc.) and licensees (e.g., family, friends, social visitors) are owed a duty of care for a safe environment while on the property, as per premises liability laws in every state.

Homeowners Insurance Injury Coverage

Most homeowner’s policies have two kinds of coverage for injuries:

  1. Medical Payment (Med-pay) coverage will only pay medical expenses for covered injuries. The injured person usually doesn’t have to prove the homeowner was negligent to make a med-pay claim. Med-pay coverage limits often range from $1,000 to $5,000 and won’t pay for pain and suffering.
  2. Personal Injury Liability coverage is meant to protect the homeowner from lawsuits filed by persons who are not members of the household. The insurance company will not pay liability claims unless there is proof that homeowner negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries. Liability coverage limits typically range from $100,000 to $300,000.

Injury Claim Exclusions

The homeowner is not automatically responsible for every injury that occurs on their property.

Most homeowners insurance won’t pay for injuries caused by:
  • Intentional acts, such as assault
  • Injuries caused by automobile accidents
  • Injuries to persons engaged in criminal acts
  • Injuries to members of the household

As a nanny driving the kids to soccer practice in the homeowner’s car, if the car is rear-ended, your neck and back injuries should be covered by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance or the uninsured motorist coverage on the car you were driving.

The homeowner’s insurance policy would not cover your injuries from the car accident.

Employment Status Makes a Difference

Eligible workers have workers’ comp for medical bills and lost wages while recovering from workplace injury.

Homeowners insurance
Does homeowners insurance cover workers on your property: Photo courtesy (rismedia.com)

Not all employers must provide worker’s comp. Some states exempt certain worker classes from eligibility.

Classes of workers exempt from workers’ comp often include:
  • Domestic employees
  • Temporary workers
  • Freelance or independent contractors
  • Undocumented immigrant workers
Even though you’re working in a private home, you may still be eligible for workers’ comp when your wages are paid by:
  • A company, such as a residential cleaning service
  • A general contractor or subcontractor, usually for building repair or construction jobs
  • An agency, like a pet sitting or home health care service

Laws vary from state to state. Find your State Workers Compensation Office here.

Proving The Homeowner’s Negligence

If you’re not eligible for workers’ comp benefits, you will have to file a personal injury claim against the homeowner.

Even if you were invited onto the property to work, you still have to prove the homeowner is at fault for the circumstances that led to your injury.

You’ll have to prove the homeowner was negligent by showing:
  1. The homeowner knew a dangerous condition existed or could exist.
  2. The homeowner had time to repair the danger but failed to do it.
  3. The dangerous condition was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries.
  4. You didn’t know the condition existed or couldn’t avoid it.
  5. You didn’t contribute to the circumstances that caused your injury.
  6. You didn’t agree to assume the risk of injury.

Evidence Is Crucial To Your Claim

Medical Care

Medical records are crucial for any injury claim.

Tell the homeowner and seek immediate medical care if you’re hurt.

Call 911 for serious injuries like electric shocks, falls from heights, head injuries, or scalding accidents.

Shock can hide severe injury symptoms, so get medical evaluation soon.

Insurance Information

Refusing or delaying medical treatment weakens your claim.

Ask the homeowner for their insurance company’s contact information.

File a lawsuit if they don’t provide insurance details.

Witness Statements

Collect contact information of cooperative witnesses.

Ask witnesses to write down what they saw, sign, and date it.

Photographs

Take photos or videos of the accident location and the cause of injury.

Capture pictures of your injuries immediately and during recovery.

When To Hire An Attorney

Recovering from minor injuries? Handle Med-pay claim directly with insurance.

No pain and suffering compensation, but get medical bill coverage and lost wages.

For severe injuries, hire experienced attorney for full claim value.

Attorney can check for additional liability insurance coverage.

Consult attorney confidentially for compensation options, no cost or obligation.

Below is a video clip discussing what homeowners insurance cover;

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