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Support Worker Insurance - Everything You Need To Know

Support Worker Insurance - Everything You Need To Know

Tiare L.
12 Jul 2022 •
7 min read
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Like a beach swim needs a big towel, if you’re a Disability Support Worker, you will need insurance. And with some rigorous coverage, too. 

Like all insurance, it might feel like an annoying financial drain. But if the time comes that you need to make a claim, you’ll be grateful you had the wisdom to sign up! 

So what should your insurance cover as a Disability Support Worker? And why do you need it? We'll cover this and more in this article!

Important – this article offers general advice only. Be sure to do your own research and make a decision that’s guided by your own circumstances.

Why Do I Need Insurance When I’m A Support Worker? 

Much like driving a car or dashing overseas for a holiday, being a Support Worker carries the possibility of risk.

You’re the person in charge of another’s well-being, which is no small commitment. 

Sometimes you’ll face days that are stressful or complex, and as human beings, we all make mistakes. 

With Support Worker insurance, you’ll know that if a problem arises or if you make a mistake, your liability in financial terms isn’t at stake. 

If you’re working without protection, you could find yourself in a situation that changes your life forever—and we don’t mean for the better.

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What Should My Disability Support Worker Insurance Include? 

The best kind of Support Worker insurance is typically a combination of PL (Public Liability) insurance and PI (Professional Indemnity) insurance. 

Public Liability Insurance 

Public Liability insurance is for anyone who deals with customers or members of the public. Which might make you wonder if a guy serving burgers at Maccas needs coverage, too?

The short answer is no! 

When you have an employer, they cop the burden of the risk for you. But as an independent or self-employed Support Worker, the onus falls on you. 

If you don’t think you need Public Liability insurance, consider this scenario:

You have taken your client to a Devonshire tea at a local town hall. You order a cup of tea and take a seat with your client, leaning their crutches against a wall. A stranger walks past and trips on the crutches, knocking your tea all over themselves on the way to the floor.

An honest mistake, but you may still be deemed responsible for any damages or injuries to them. 

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional Indemnity insurance brings up big topics like negligence and breaches to a professional duty of care. Concepts we all hope we never have to deal with. 

The fact is, being a Support Worker is very important and prone to legal ramifications when things go wrong. PI will protect you—even in the unfortunate instance that you make a mistake or something goes wrong.

Your insurance as a Support Worker could also include Personal Accident coverage, if you injure yourself whilst offering Support Worker services. 

If you don’t think you need Professional Indemnity insurance, consider this scenario:

Your client needs hourly medication so you have an alarm set on your phone to remind you. On the way home from an outing your phone slips out of your bag onto the floor of your car. You return inside and don’t hear the alarm going off, missing the required medication, which causes your client to have a sudden medical episode.

Though it was an innocent error, it’s possible you could be deemed negligent and financially responsible for their injuries. 

What Are My Support Worker Insurance Options? 

Now it’s time to weigh up your Support Worker insurance options.

A great option is finding Public Liability insurance and Professional Indemnity insurance conveniently grouped together, much like the insurance Kynd offers its members.

Alternatively, you can seek out the various components of insurance you want and need independently. 

Additional Insurance

Beyond PI and PL, you may want to acquire even more coverage like car insurance or personal accident insurance. Personal accident insurance isn’t compulsory as a contractor, but many disability Support Workers like to take it out for added protection. 

These can be applied for by an insurer of your choice, as they aren’t typically covered in a Support Worker insurance policy. 

Tip - No matter how you acquire your insurance, be sure to read the fine print with a magnifying glass. Ensure your policy actually covers the activities you need it to cover.

What Other Insurance Policies Can I Get?

Life insurance, total and permanent disability (TPD), car insurance and personal accident insurance are also some common insurance policies for Disability Support Workers.

Tip - Before you take out TPD or life insurance, check that they are not already covered by your superannuation fund. 

You may also wish to consider any specialised activities you are partaking in. For example, if you need to take an overseas trip as a Disability Support Worker, you should take out coverage in the form of Travel Insurance if it isn’t covered by your other policies.

Remember that some activities might be covered by the insurance of a third party.

For example, if you find yourself taking your client skydiving or snorkelling, these might be covered directly by the experience provider. 

What Do I Need To Be Eligible For Disability Support Worker Insurance? 

The eligibility requirements of Disability Support Worker insurance depend on which company you've chosen to take out your coverage with. 

Some insurers may require proof you are qualified to work in the industry. Other companies may just request a few easy details to be completed in a form. 

Once you’re covered, you may find this insurance enables you to do other things that are unrelated to your work as a Disability Support Worker.

For example, maybe you’ll host a stall at your local markets or do some odd jobs for your neighbours without risk or concern. Oftentimes your insurance will offer protection for more than just your work in the disability sector. 

What Do I Need To Look Out For?

There are a lot of heartbreaking stories rolling around our NDIS community about sneaky fine print and ambiguous insurance descriptions. Be sure to do your homework and take the time to read every sentence of your policy to make sure it suits.

Once you’ve read the inclusions, take some time to consider what hasn’t been excluded. A specialist policy focused on Disability Support Workers is often the best way to go. 

How can we help?

Kynd is an NDIS platform to help people find the right support and work, all with smart safeguards. Learn about Kynd for NDIS Participants and Support Workers >

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