A Service Provider’s Dilemma with Insurance
I am having
difficulty obtaining insurance because of the population I work with. I
have a day care in my home, for neurotypical children-- even
separation between my living space and working space--without its
home insurance policy. But as soon as I say "special needs"
children or "special needs adults", my broker tells me that my home
insurance policy (general liability) will be canceled. This
though I have obtained professional (malpractice) insurance, usually
errors and omissions, from CARP (Canadian Association of Rehabilitation
Professionals). "Someone who is known as special needs might
slip and fall on my driveway and sue the insurance company".... I
have applied to a high risk insurance company in
That one of my other friends might come to visit my residence and slip and fall and sue has no bearing on the issue. I had asked what if I have a special needs friend visiting who is not a client and there was no response. There is a great hesitation to express what is being said on the phone in writing....I document and send over faxes to say “this is what we have talked about" etc... But they do not reciprocate although my written material does go to the underwriter, I am told...The real irony of this is that my broker has two children with ASD. Her opinion is that the government should be running such a venture and that the solution is to rent space from the government.
that I have organized to work in is a three-bedroom apartment
feet) that had been rented out over the last 18
years. My home policy
covered anyone who rented and in my experience many a tenant could be
with one character disorder or another.
I love what I am creating as possibilities for the few people I see. At present I serve one woman of 28 with ASD (5 days a week) and one man about 40 with Down Syndrome male (once a week).. The man was referred to me because since his father's death he began hitting others at his day program. Although he had previously actively sought out pleasure in art and music, he stopped, and wouldn't participate in group activities. So with some sensory suggestion to the day program which were implemented, and a day with me just doing art and clay work, adding music, and now this week starting rug hooking, he is no longer non-compliant with his program (4 days a week) is calmer at home, and participated (limited role) in a play with his peers...
bylaws here do allow what I pursuing, but limit the number of
people to four individuals at a time. I can occasionally exceed
when I invite another day program to visit my clients for social skills
to use the sensory rooms. There may be two visitors plus a staff
stay for an hour or two and then leave. So I OK with the legally
that, as I looked into it before I decided to create a stationary space
keep moving "my trade" in pullmans going to clients’ homes) I
had also investigated this through my broker and initially she thought
wouldn't be a problem.
Has anyone else experienced issues with insurance in servicing from a residence...and if so how was it solved. I was told by my agent that everyone who is doing therapeutic work from a home office is at risk, and consequently could receive notice of cancellation of their home insurance coverage. But having a clinic out of a residence, or beside a residence, means we can keep the fee reasonable. How will small services providing therapeutic support to adults with ASD have an opportunity to develop critical theory and provide alternative treatments to the 6:1 ratio in day programs?