Insurance Checklist for Eden Clients
La Playa’s Kellie Cawdron highlight the importance of specialist ‘high net worth’ home insurance for families with domestic staff.
If you’re one of life’s jugglers, with a busy household, domestic staff, a social life and a career to manage, the latest Portfolio Policies are great news! You can now insure homes anywhere in the world, cars, boats and rental property on a single policy – with just one renewal date and one point of contact.
That’s Step 1. But it’s important to find the right one – a “high net worth” policy is structured far more comprehensively and flexibly than a standard high-street policy, taking into account the fact that your family may be spread across several properties, may include domestic staff and own fine art or a wine cellar.
Home admin can be a headache, especially if there are domestic and live-in staff to consider, and insurance is not the most fragrant of topics – but you do have certain duties. Take a few minutes to check over your policy:
Who’s insured? High net worth policies give broader definitions of who’s covered – including live-in staff such as your nanny/house-keeper.
What levels of cover you have in place – especially for liabilities? High net worth policies typically provide £10m as opposed to the usual £5m in a standard policy
Employers’ Liability: this is a legal requirement if you have a nanny, cook, cleaner or gardener. It protects you against spiralling legal costs in disputes with employees and ex employees where they have suffered an injury and seek to hold you liable. Make sure your cover functions on a worldwide basis.
Legal Expenses cover for disputes: domestic staff, by nature, can cause complications because the relationship and bond they form with their employer is naturally closer than that of a typical employee. You never know when things could turn sour with current or former staff.
Travel Insurance: are both family and staff covered? You’ll really rely on your staff away from home, and a good policy will both look after them and provide for temporary replacements if necessary.
Public Liability: insurance for visitors to your property – if you open your home or garden, for example. All the good will in the world won’t compensate a debilitating injury from a slip or fall…
Could it happen to you?
A live-in nanny sued a family after being dismissed following the breakdown in their relationship. She claimed unfair dismissal and breach of contract relating to unpaid notice and holiday pay. Eventually the family decided to settle , without an admission of liability, for £1250.00. This and solicitor’s costs of £5594 were paid by the insurer.
A live-in housekeeper resigned, alleging she was being unfairly treated, working extra hours unpaid – and sued for constructive dismissal, race discrimination, breach of working time regulations and unlawful deduction of wages. Despite a very late insurance claim just days before the hearing (so the claim could have been repudiated), the insurer paid costs of £3600. High net worth policies are often underwritten more generously – an ‘if it’s grey, we pay’ attitude.
Employers’ Liability: a gardener slipped and fell at work, with injuries that affected his ability to work.
A family’s nanny broke her arm at their Tuscan villa. Their travel insurance provided medical assistance and helped organise replacement childcare for the remainder of the holiday. It might have been a different story with a standard home/travel insurance policy…
For insurance advice on domestic staff, contact: Kellie Cawdron
La Playa Private Client: Insurance with Intelligence
Direct tel: 01223 200671 or Mobile: 07889 756330
La Playa is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority