Auto Insurance for Home Care Workers

To obtain the best car insurance for a home health nurse, you’ll need to consider several factors. Follow the guide below to find the right home care workers auto insurance and get better rates.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 25, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • Driving for your home care job puts you at risk of accidents that may not be covered by personal auto insurance or liability insurance
  • You need to update your auto policy to include business use of the vehicle, even if your employer has commercial auto insurance
  • If you choose your coverage and deductible carefully, you can limit your risk while keeping rates affordable liability

Being a home health or personal care sometimes means driving for work. You may wonder if auto insurance for home care workers should cover more than yours currently does. If you do need more coverage, how do you know what type of auto insurance you need, and how much?

There are several things to consider when insuring your car for work, but they aren’t too hard to understand once they’re explained. Below you’ll find information on what kind of auto insurance you need and why, as well as what influences your rates and how to keep them as low as you can.

Why You Need Home Care Workers Auto Insurance

Your job as a home care worker involves driving for a number of different purposes. The biggest driving requirement for this type of work is simply getting from one client’s home to another. In addition to driving from one work location to another, as a home care worker, you might sometimes use your own car to pick up supplies from your agency.

For instance, your employer may provide you with a certain amount of basic personal hygiene or safety supplies like latex gloves or disinfecting wipes. You may also have to drive to the office once a week to pick up or drop off time sheets or logs of your work.

Finally, like many home care workers, you probably use your car to do specific tasks for your clients. These can include picking up prescriptions or grocery shopping. You might sometimes drive your client somewhere, such as to a doctor’s office or senior center.

If your client doesn’t own a car or their auto insurance restricts who can drive it, you may have to use your own vehicle. All of these examples represent a business use of your car, and you must notify your auto insurance company that you use your car this way.

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Best Car Insurance for Home Health Nurses: Considering Risks

Home care workers take on a number of risks when driving for their job. First and foremost is always the risk of personal injury if an accident occurs. Such an injury could lead to an extended absence from work. Although it can be painful to consider, there is always the potential that you may injure or even kill another motorist or passenger in an accident. Many different elements can increase these risks, but a few of the most common are the following:

  • Distraction. Driving while doing other activities is dangerous and irresponsible.
  • Fatigue. Operating a vehicle while you are too tired to react quickly makes it harder to avoid an accident.
  • Poor visibility. Driving at night or in poor weather increases the risk of a collision.
  • Speeding. This includes both breaking the posted limit and driving faster than is safe under current conditions.

Some of these risky situations could happen when you’re a very busy homecare worker. Even if you do everything right, however, you can’t guarantee that some other motorist’s behavior won’t affect you. The more your job puts you on the road, the more likely you will experience a motor vehicle accident.

If you only have personal auto insurance, your driving risks turn into financial risks. This is because your auto insurance company can refuse or limit payments for accidents that happen while you are working, especially if you didn’t tell your insurer that you use your car for work. In order to minimize the risks of driving for your job, you need to be as responsible about getting insurance as you are about driving.

Employer’s Requirements for Home Care Workers Car Insurance

Talk to your employer before you make any changes to your auto insurance. Your company might require you to have specific amounts of auto coverage on your personal car if you use it for work. The reason for such a requirement is that the company can be liable for costs associated with an accident that you cause if you don’t have enough insurance.

If your employer does have requirements for your auto insurance, they might be higher than your state’s car insurance coverage requirements. If so, you need this information before you start shopping for additional coverage.

Some home care company owners, especially those of smaller agencies, are not aware of their potential auto liability risks. When discussing this issue with your employer, you might want to advise them to talk with their insurance company about the need for non-owned auto coverage. This is a type of additional insurance coverage that protects a company when its business involves using a car that belongs to someone else. In the meantime, proceed with obtaining commercial coverage for your car to protect yourself.

What Affects Commercial Auto Insurance Rates

Several factors determine what rates you will pay when you buy commercial auto insurance. Many of these factors are the same as those that affect personal auto rates. Of course, your driving record and history of accidents will play a big role.

Insurance companies will also consider the type of vehicle and the number of miles you expect to drive. These two considerations can make commercial auto insurance more expensive because cars used for work are often more expensive types of vehicles and their drivers will likely accumulate many miles for work purposes.

The type of business that you use your vehicle for can impact your auto insurance rates. If driving is your main job activity, this would naturally incur the highest rates. Here is a look at the average rates you will pay based on the type of vehicle you drive if you choose a commercial policy.

Annual Commercial Auto Insurance Costs by Vehicle Type
Car TypeMinimum Annual Commercial Auto Insurance RatesMaximum Annual Commercial Auto Insurance Rates
Car$600$2,400
Semi$8,000$12,500
Cargo/Delivery Van$3,300$6,200
Limo$4,000$6,000
Cab$5,000$10,000
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However, a home care aide’s driving is only incidental to their job, not the main activity. That may mean that your rates for auto insurance will be lower than for other commercial auto uses. Keep in mind that your rates will still probably be higher than those for personal auto insurance.

How much coverage you need will be one of the biggest elements in determining how much you will pay for your insurance. Remember that your employer or your state may have specific requirements for this. That means you can’t skimp on coverage to trim costs, as you risk your job as well as your financial security if you are underinsured. Even at the risk of increased costs, it’s wiser to have more coverage than less. The deductible amount you select will also affect your rates, with a lower deductible meaning higher rates and vice versa.

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How Much Auto Insurance Home Care Workers Need

One of the most important choices you will make when buying auto insurance is how much coverage you choose. You probably already have personal auto insurance that meets state minimums, but you will want to make sure your state doesn’t require even higher coverage for the business use of your car. Higher state limits are uncommon for small personal vehicles that are also used for work, but it’s always good to be sure rather than making an assumption that costs you later.

While getting the minimum coverage required will allow you to stay legally covered, it might not guarantee full financial protection. Remember that your employer may be on the hook for claims that go over the amount of coverage you have.

In a worst-case scenario, any valuable property or savings you have could be put at risk if an accident leads to a big lawsuit. That is why getting the best coverage you can afford is usually smarter than settling for the minimum.

Auto Insurance for Self-Employed Home Care Workers

A small percentage of home care workers work independently instead of through a home care agency. If you are one of them, you have a few extra issues to consider. First, it is even more essential that you get adequate auto coverage if you are self-employed and using your personal vehicle for work.

You do not have an employer’s insurance coverage as a backup, which means if you cause a serious accident, you will likely face a lawsuit that could cost you dearly. If you are self-employed, you can talk to an agent about adding non-owner auto insurance coverage for yourself.

You also should make sure you understand how your commercial auto policy deals with situations where you are driving a client’s car. You may not do this very often, and the client’s auto insurance policy might cover you, depending on the circumstances.  

However, you don’t want to wait to find out whether you’re covered until it’s too late. Non-owner auto insurance can give you additional peace of mind about your liability for an accident, no matter how it happened or what vehicle you were driving.

Best Car Insurance for a Home Health Nurse

Though rates for commercial insurance are usually higher than for personal auto coverage, there are a few things that could help make your auto insurance more affordable. Review the factors that affect auto rates. Consider whether there are things you can do to reduce those rates.

For instance, if you can afford to meet a higher deductible, that might be a good opportunity to decrease your rates. Also, make sure your insurer understands that driving is not your main job and that you will only be using your car for work some of the time.

Just as with personal auto insurance, you may be eligible for special discounts to reduce your commercial auto rates. Ask your agent if you can get a break on your commercial rates for taking a defensive driving course or having advanced safety features on your car.

Another strategy that you can borrow from personal insurance shopping is bundling policies. If you can combine your auto insurance policy with other types of coverage you have, that may lower your rates. People often bundle their personal auto and homeowners insurance this way.

However, you will need to check with your agent to verify that they offer the same type of bundling for business auto insurance. Finally, don’t forget to shop around, as commercial rates will vary from company to company just as personal rates do.

Driving is one of many obligations that your care work entails, and you owe it to yourself to have the right auto insurance for home care workers. Careful planning will help you master the task of getting that protection, matching the right coverage with rates you can handle.

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