Did You Know You Need Workers’ Compensation Coverage if You Have a Nanny or Other Domestic Working for You?

Pursuant to the New York State Workers' Compensation Law if you have a nanny who works for you for more than 40 hours a week you must have workers' compensation coverage for that person. That would include somebody who is a home attendant or a companion for an elderly parent or relative. Your homeowner's insurance policy does not cover the nanny or other domestic. You need a separate workers' compensation policy obtained from an insurance company such as the New York State Insurance Fund or other private carrier that writes workers' compensation coverage in New York.

If you obtain a nanny or a home attendant or other domestic through an Agency and pay the Agency on a regular basis for this service it is the responsibility of the Agency to have the workers' compensation coverage. This is a question you should ask when you contract with the Agency for the service.

The fact that this domestic may be working off the books does not matter and you still must have workers' compensation coverage.

If you do not have workers' compensation coverage for this person and they become injured you are responsible for the payment of the medical bills, awards for lost time and in addition fines for not having workers' compensation coverage, which could be in excess of $50,000. The cost of a workers' compensation policy for a nanny or other type of domestic is somewhere in the range of $350 to $550 a year depending upon the carrier and the amount of money you are paying the person per week. The insurance company will not ask for the person's social security number they just need to know how much the person is being paid.

If you have a situation where the person works less than 40 hours a week workers' compensation coverage is not necessary. Keep in mind, though, that during a particular week maybe you went on vacation and asked the person to stay over. They may have reached the 40 hour limit and, therefore, would need to be covered under workers' compensation.

The bottom line is that it is not worth it to take the gamble of not providing workers' compensation if someone works in your home or a relatives home that you are paying for on a regular basis. Protect your assets and protect your family.