If you employ a housekeeper, nanny, home health nurse or a gardener, you could be facing a huge gap in your insurance coverage.
Maryland requires employers to pay workers compensation insurance. If an employee is injured on the job, whether they are at fault or not, they can file for workers comp and it is the employer’s responsibility to pay.
What’s more, those employees are not covered under your homeowner’s policy or any other umbrella policy you might have.
The law in Maryland
In Maryland, you must provide workers compensation for any person employed as a domestic worker who earns more than $1,000 per quarter, or $77 per week.
Workers compensation premiums can cost as little at $800 per year and protect you from medical bills that could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or disability payments that could continue through the life of the worker.
The definition of what constitutes an employee is broad: In Maryland, the work relationship is determined by the “economic reality” of the situation. If you have an employer-employee relationship, then you can be liable for workers compensation.
Other kinds of insurance
If you are a renter, you can be as liable as any homeowner if you employ a domestic employee. You, too, need to pay workers compensation.
If your employee drives your vehicle, you need to make sure your policy covers the employee as a driver. Similarly, if your employee drives your children in his or her vehicle, you need to make sure the employee’s insurance is sufficient to handle any accident – both because you want to make sure your children’s care is covered in case of an accident, and also because if your employee gets into an accident while working for you, you could be held liable.