Starting and operating a business, such as a daycare center, involves a degree of risk. It is important to have adequate insurance protection for this, or any type of business. Day care insurance coverage varies from state to state, but there are several types of insurance available for child care providers. Liability and accident insurance are primarily considered essential.Liability A day care provider is liable and can be sued in court for any accident occurring because of alleged negligence or failure to exercise reasonable care. The owner of the business, their employee(s), or their home or property can be found negligent.Liability insurance for a childcare program generally covers most injuries that may occur. Under such a policy, the insurance company will handle any claims if a suit is filed. If the court decides that liability falls on the owner of the business (meaning negligence was the cause of the child’s injury and, therefore, the daycare owner should pay compensation), the company will pay the cost of the judgment up to the limits of the policy.
Several states require that providers carry liability insurance, at least in most situations, and many others strongly advise it. To find out about state regulations, contact the local office that licenses or registers family day care or call a providers’ organization.Types of coverageMost general liability policies cover four basic types of costs:
Bodily or personal injury
Damage to others’ property
Immediate medical relief at the time of an accident
The legal costs to defend in the event of a lawsuitOther areas for possible coverage are:
Accidents in which no one is at fault
Defense costs in the event of physical/sexual abuse
Damage to propertyLiability coverage is offered on one of two basis; claims made and occurrence. With claims-made policies, the business owner is covered only for incidents that are “reported” during the time their policy is in force, while occurrence insurance covers for incidents that “occur” during the time the policy is in force.Policies to help with safety issuesLiability insurance can be expensive, but there are several precautions that can be taken to reduce the chance of accidents occurring.1. Child-proof every room where the children will be, and imagine any possible accident and attempt to prevent it.2. Take first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) courses (call the local Red Cross for information).
3. Learn to keep an eye on all the children.4. Keep walkways, stairs and sidewalks clean and unobstructed.5. Avoid fire hazards.6. Choose responsible assistants and substitutes.7. Develop clear health and safety policies.8. Encourage parents to visit any time and give them the written policies.These types of policies will make the center safer. Find out what type of day care insurance is best for the area being served. Discuss coverage and rates with several insurance agents before making a final decision.