The Adult Family Home (AFH) providers and caregivers we insure have huge hearts and provide such an important service for our aging population, as well as for those with disabilities and mental health illnesses. Our goal is to make sure our clients understand the coverages available, and how to protect them and their assets.
Adult Family Home (AFH) owners in Washington State operate residential homes licensed to care for up to six non-related individuals. AFHs are licensed, regulated, and inspected by the Aging and Adult Services function of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
While the range of services provided is broad, depending on the care needed by each resident in the home, most AFHs provide room and board, necessary supervision, assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (eating, bathing, getting dressed, toileting, transferring, ambulating, etc.). Memory care and social services to engage residents in their local community are often part of the care plan as well. Some Adult Family Homes specialize in caring for individuals with Developmental Disabilities (DD), and some provide nursing services.
We are proud Affiliate Business Partner members of the Adult Family Home Council of Washington State and attend local meetings and annual conferences to stay informed of the issues of importance to our AFH business owners.
Insurance coverages relevant to AFHs
Here are just a couple business insurance policies to consider as they pertain to Adult Family Homes:
General Liability Coverage
Liability insurance is protection for the insured against lawsuits alleging bodily injury and/or property damage. The coverage is designed to pay for the defense of lawsuits and/or to pay for that which the insured is deemed as legally liable. This provides protection should a visitor to your home trip and fall. This would also cover you should a resident hurt a visitor.
Professional Liability Coverage
Professional liability insurance provides coverage for the defense of the insured against lawsuits alleging errors or omissions by the insured while carrying out their professional duties. Such allegations might include allegations of errors in medication administration, neglect, sexual abuse and molestation.
Commercial Property (Home) Insurance
While your standard homeowner’s insurance policy was sufficient coverage prior to opening your Adult Family Home business, most personal homeowner’s insurance policies have a business use exclusion, meaning operating an Adult Family Home inside could potentially void the entire policy. We recommend you review the policy language with your agent, and in most cases, purchase a Commercial Property Insurance policy to ensure you are protected with the correct type of policy.
If you want to use your own car to drive your residents to their doctors’ appointments, or to take them on outings in the community, you should have a business auto insurance policy. Most personal car insurance policies have a livery exclusion, which essentially means they exclude any “for hire” type of activity. Since you are paid to care for these residents, these outings are considered “for hire” and you could find yourself without coverage if you got into an accident and you or your resident passenger was injured.
Kristie English, M.Ed.
Principal / Agent
Is my Personal Homeowners Insurance policy providing me adequate coverage while I am operating an Adult Family Home business?
A typical homeowners policy is a package policy offering comprehensive coverage for both property and liability losses to the homeowner while using the home for personal use. The requirement for a homeowner policy is that it is the primary place of residence of the homeowner and used only for personal use.
Business use of the home is only covered if the business use is incidental to the primary use, which is considered a private residence. An example of incidental business use of a private residence might be the presence of a home office. If the property and premises is used as a business, coverage needs to be written under a commercial insurance policy form.
We are glad to help you understand the regulatory requirements and best options for protecting your Adult Family Home.
Call us at (833) BIG-TREE / (425) 673-7948, or use our online form to request a quote.