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Caregivers Traveling with Clients? Are You Covered?

By Jill Scott, Manager of Member Services

I was talking with David Dickie, the owner of The Solutions Group, last week and asked if there were any questions that he’s recently received or any burning issues in the home care insurance industry.  After our discussion, he sent me the following discussion that he thought would be important to pass along to our readers.  As many of you know David and his company are long-time Resource Partners and friends of ours.

Here’s what David had to say:

Our most common question recently (with summer upon us) is something similar to this: “Will my insurance follow my caregiver if she goes on vacation to another state?” It’s a good question, and the answer will depend on the particulars of your insurance policies. Discussion:

Almost all liability/bonding package policies contain a coverage territory of at least the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada (and often worldwide) that looks something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

So no real worries about the liability/bonding side of things. Workers compensation is more complicated, as each state has their own workers compensation rules and regulations, and each insurance company might or might not offer coverage in a particular state. Here are the basics:

If a caregiver (your employee) travels with a client, will workers compensation provide coverage?

  • If the duration of travel is temporary (thirty days at most) then coverage almost certainly extends to that employee, as long as they are NOT traveling to Ohio, North Dakota, Washington, or Wyoming (more on these states below). Or,
  • If the destination state is scheduled on the home state workers compensation policy, coverage applies in that state.

For example, if your employee works in Maryland and serves a client in Maryland, and goes on vacation with the client to North Carolina for two weeks, there is workers compensation coverage in North Carolina through the home state policy because the duration of the work is temporary.

However, if the client moves to North Carolina for half the year, and the caregiver goes with, we fail the duration test and North Carolina would need to be scheduled on the home state workers compensation policy. If the home state workers compensation policy will not schedule North Carolina (say because they are not admitted to write business in NC) then a separate policy must be taken. Here’s what to look for on your workers compensation declarations page:

 

 

 

 

So in our example above, because NC is covered under section 3.C Other States Insurance, you would not need an additional workers compensation policy for that state. BUT, if your caregiver were travelling to any of the listed states (note it says ALL STATES EXCEPT), and the travel was longer than 30 days, a workers compensation policy for that state would need to be arranged.

Please hang in with me and note one more detail. In the ‘Other States Insurance’ section of the policy wording, this gem in included:

 

 

 

So when you renew your workers comp policy, let your insurer know if you have exposure in other states. If you don’t, then ‘Other States Insurance’ will not apply past 30 days.

What about Ohio, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming? These are the monopolistic states, which use the old Soviet model for workers comp – you must buy it from the State. If your employees are travelling to any of these states, you must contact the workers compensation bureau in the respective state to make arrangements.

We hope that this information helps you navigate some less commonly talked about issues in home care.

If you are looking for insurance for your company or are interested in seeing what The Solutions Group has to offer, check out their website and give them a call at 800-866-2682.

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