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Old 01-29-2012, 02:47 PM
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Default Would You Put This In Your Policies???

I found an in-home dc site and in her policies she put:

Insurance

My home is currently insured under a standard homeowner’s policy. At this time, I do not carry Daycare Liability insurance. Any expenses for injuries/sickness/accidents/etc. occurring in the daycare home are the sole responsibility of the parent.


Would you bother to add this? Would it even stand up in court?? It's the first time I've seen this and was wondering if it was standard to do?
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:52 PM
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Knowing how hard it is to get "family" daycare insurance, I think its prudent in protecting yourself and personal assets. Sounds like she got some sound legal advice. I don't think its standard but I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot more of this until the bigger insurance companies start protecting family home businesses.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:59 PM
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Where I live, daycare liability insurance is NOT required. If you choose not to carry a liability policy, according to our licensing regulations, we must inform our parents of this choice.

We are then required to have each parent sign a statement acknowledging this information.

So, yes absolutely would I put that in my contract if I didn't carry liability insurance.

I don't understand what you mean though when you say would it stand up in court? If it is the law to inform parents that you don't carry liability insurance there is nothing to go to court over.

I carry a liability policy but not a "normal" homeowners policy (as I do not reside in my child care home). I am required to inform parents that I don't carry a "normal" home owners but do have liability insurance.

My parents all sign off on this info and are fully aware of who my insurance covers and under what circumstances.

Remember, just because something seems odd to you or the way your state does something, doesn't necessarily mean it is odd to others. The rules, laws and regulations vary so much from state to state that it is hard to keep track.

I find it odd that California does not allow infant exersaucers and I also find it odd that Catherder must put ALL children in the same room while napping and that some states require daycare providers to live in their daycares.....I could go on but you get the point.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post


I don't understand what you mean though when you say would it stand up in court? If it is the law to inform parents that you don't carry liability insurance there is nothing to go to court over.
I mean if there is an injury or accident in your home dc wouldn't you be held liable regardless if you have insurance or not? I think a good lawyer may be able to argue this and win in favor of the parents?
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mary Poppins View Post
I mean if there is an injury or accident in your home dc wouldn't you be held liable regardless if you don't have insurance or not? I think a good lawyer may be able to argue this and win in favor of the parents?
A good lawyer would also be able to fight for the provider and say the parent KNEW going in that there was no liability policy too....


I think that informing the parents and having them sign off acknowledging the fact that there is no liability insurance releases the provider of any liability, which I assume is the point of having them sign off on it.

I don't know for sure as I have never been in that situation and I do carry a liability policy. I did take contract law in my early college days and did learn alot about contracts and such and according to what I have learned, if you have a good enough lawyer, there is a way out of everything nowdays.

Oh, and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express the other night....
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post

Oh, and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express the other night....


My dd wants to be a lawyer and I keep telling her HURRY UPPPP!!

I read somewhere not to discuss insurance AT ALL with dc clients so this sorta threw me off I think. But the context of what I was reading was more so that you didn't let them know you have insurance because some people are sue happy and when they know then they may be more likely to sue.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Poppins View Post


My dd wants to be a lawyer and I keep telling her HURRY UPPPP!!

I read somewhere not to discuss insurance AT ALL with dc clients so this sorta threw me off I think. But the context of what I was reading was more so that you didn't let them know you have insurance because some people are sue happy and when they know then they may be more likely to sue.
Law is my true love (went to college for two years with that major).

Daycare is my accidental profession.

I am required by law to disclose my insurance coverage (or lack of, if I didn't carry any) to parents. I carry it because I don't want to be involved in any sue-happy situations.

I have had a few situations where a parent wanted me to turn something into insurance and I refused so I think we have some leeway there too.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Law is my true love (went to college for two years with that major).

Daycare is my accidental profession.

I am required by law to disclose my insurance coverage (or lack of, if I didn't carry any) to parents. I carry it because I don't want to be involved in any sue-happy situations.

I have had a few situations where a parent wanted me to turn something into insurance and I refused so I think we have some leeway there too.
Hmm... I already have on my policies that I am not liable for accidents or injuries occurring on my property when the parents are present - meaning I shouldn't be accountable from the driveway to the front door, basically. Now I am wondering if I should expand this since I don't have dc specific insurance (my state doesn't require it for any dc which is scary, really).

I'm just wondering if that statement would be a deal breaker for some clients. Aren't they sort of expecting me to be liable for accidents or injuries since it's my job to prevent them? As a mom, I'm honestly not sure I'd sign off on that...
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:40 PM
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In two decades of providing care, not one parent was ever really concerned about insurance. 99.9% of them haven't even asked.

I do have a clause that says I will NEVER be responsible for anyone other than the custodial parent and the enrolled child. I will never be responsible for a sibling who is not enrolled but accompanies mom to get the enrolled child and I will never be responsible for Aunt Sally who comes to pick up a child either.

I had a 5 yr old break his arm last summer....family had their own medical insurance, my policy was not even brought up.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:45 PM
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I have been told that parents cannot sign away their children's rights. In other words, no matter what the parent signs releasing you from liability, the child can still sue you and win (assuming you're found at fault).

I guess it wouldn't hurt to let them know you're not carrying extra liability insurance, but it's my opinion that the relatively low cost of the insurance is well worth the peace of mind it affords.

ETA: I'm am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV .
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post

I had a 5 yr old break his arm last summer....family had their own medical insurance, my policy was not even brought up.


Good to know! That makes me feel better.

I guess I'm getting the being financially liable for medical expenses related to injury or accident or illness muddled with the criminal liability. No matter what wording I put in my policies, if a child is gravely or fatally harmed due to my negligence, I will (and should!) be held criminally responsible. But I can protect myself against financial liability with one paragraph it seems!

Do you require the children in your care to carry medical insurance? I don't but I do have a thing on my contract that asks if they are covered and a space for them to fill in the details. Should I make it mandatory?
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MyAngels View Post
I have been told that parents cannot sign away their children's rights. In other words, no matter what the parent signs releasing you from liability, the child can still sue you and win (assuming you're found at fault).

I guess it wouldn't hurt to let them know you're not carrying extra liability insurance, but it's my opinion that the relatively low cost of the insurance is well worth the peace of mind it affords.

ETA: I'm am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV .
I've had a hard time finding separate coverage in my state and I'm afraid my homeowner's will be dropped if I ask my current provider to add a rider to mine since I've read that has happened to several family dc owners.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAngels View Post
I have been told that parents cannot sign away their children's rights. In other words, no matter what the parent signs releasing you from liability, the child can still sue you and win (assuming you're found at fault).
When a parent signs that they are aware that there is no liabilty insurance, they are only acknowledging that fact, not signing away their child's right. I guess I am not understanding what rights a child has in regard to insurance coverage...

I guess it wouldn't hurt to let them know you're not carrying extra liability insurance, but it's my opinion that the relatively low cost of the insurance is well worth the peace of mind it affords.

ETA: I'm am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV.
to the attorney comment! (I also added comments in bold too)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Poppins View Post


Good to know! That makes me feel better.

I guess I'm getting the being financially liable for medical expenses related to injury or accident or illness muddled with the criminal liability. No matter what wording I put in my policies, if a child is gravely or fatally harmed due to my negligence, I will (and should!) be held criminally responsible. But I can protect myself against financial liability with one paragraph it seems!

Do you require the children in your care to carry medical insurance? I don't but I do have a thing on my contract that asks if they are covered and a space for them to fill in the details. Should I make it mandatory?
I don't require them to carry insurance at all but my state enrollment form asks for that information.

I am also lucky enough to live in a state where obtaining medical insurance is super simple and we have very few children who do not have medical coverage.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:34 PM
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I have a regular homeowner policy which states that if anyone is injured on my property I will be covered if they sue. There is no clause which excludes people such as running a business. There is seperate business insurance but it only pertains to employees. I'm in Canada so it might be a bit different.

Did you read your regular current liability insurance policy?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:57 PM
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You could have copied that and pasted it out of my contract. It is the EXACT wording I use.

We aren't required to carry extra and while we are switching homeowners ins to a company which will carry a childcare rider, I still have that in the contract the parents sign.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:58 PM
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I have a similiar policy in my contract. I do not remember the exact wording but it clearly states that any injuries are at the cost of the parent.

I laywer frind of the family said that even with that in my poilicy a person could win a court case if they could prove that I did not act in a "resonable" way.

I am in cal. so my parents have signed a form stating that I do not have home owner insurance because I do not own the building. (I have liablity but do not mention that to parents unless they ask) the form clearly states that this in no way release me form any liability.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I have a regular homeowner policy which states that if anyone is injured on my property I will be covered if they sue. There is no clause which excludes people such as running a business. There is seperate business insurance but it only pertains to employees. I'm in Canada so it might be a bit different.

Did you read your regular current liability insurance policy?
Hmm! Mine has no specific clause which excludes for running a business either, but I assumed (I know, I know lol) that they would fight paying because I'm running one. And I am a bit nervous to call and ask them their stance on it because I don't want them to decide to drop us if they know I have a hdc.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familyschoolcare View Post
I have a similiar policy in my contract. I do not remember the exact wording but it clearly states that any injuries are at the cost of the parent.

I laywer frind of the family said that even with that in my poilicy a person could win a court case if they could prove that I did not act in a "resonable" way.

I am in cal. so my parents have signed a form stating that I do not have home owner insurance because I do not own the building. (I have liablity but do not mention that to parents unless they ask) the form clearly states that this in no way release me form any liability.
Sorry, I'm a bit confused. So you have a clause stating you are not liable for expenses incurred but you are still held to some level of liability? As in criminally?

I guess the end result is a good attorney could fight for me in court and a judge would decide whether I am financially/criminally liable regardless if I add this to my policies... but it doesn't hurt to add a clause denying financial liability as an added layer of protection?
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Poppins View Post
Sorry, I'm a bit confused. So you have a clause stating you are not liable for expenses incurred but you are still held to some level of liability? As in criminally?

I guess the end result is a good attorney could fight for me in court and a judge would decide whether I am financially/criminally liable regardless if I add this to my policies... but it doesn't hurt to add a clause denying financial liability as an added layer of protection?
You could be considerd liable if you did not act in a reasonable manner.


For example if a child fell down and cut thier leg.


If you followed all the steps you where taught to in your first aid class, and you keep your infant and child CPR and first aid curent then you would not be

held responsible. Even if the cut gets infected and cases problems. Because, you acted in a reasonable manner.


If you looked at the child and said I know you bleeding everywher but that is too bad you will have to wait for mom or dad to do something about it. Then

the cut got infected and caused problems. Then you could be held responseable. Because, you did not act in a reasonable manner.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:20 PM
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You can not sign away your childrens rights. Your homeowners can and will cancel you if they find you have a family childcare and it is not covered. It is not that hard anymore to find ins. Some of the companies will even put a rider on your homeowners. I know State Farm will. Read the article about why you need ins on the redleaf institute web site. That explains it better than anyone could.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
When a parent signs that they are aware that there is no liabilty insurance, they are only acknowledging that fact, not signing away their child's right. I guess I am not understanding what rights a child has in regard to insurance coverage...
You are right, of course, but when I see providers putting that type of language into their contract I'm reading into it that they are telling parents "I don't have liability insurance, so I am not liable for any expenses incurred as a result of accidents or injuries that happen on my watch."

Unfortunately, even if a parent acknowledges that there is no liability coverage, it doesn't release a provider from all liability under all conditions.

I'm just putting this opinion out there so that other people who come across this later will do their due diligence on insurance, rather than just opting out of coverage. I've often said that operating a business such as ours without proper insurance coverages is like playing in traffic - you might get by with it, but you might also get hit by a truck .
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:57 PM
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I carry a 2 million $ policy and it's $500 per years. Specifically for childcare. And I could pay less, but I pay a certain amount per kid and want to make sure it covers me up to my limit, although I choose to keep a smaller group most of the time. And it's not required in my state. Even if parents sign off that they won't sue, their insurance sure will if something happens. I'd rather be covered.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyAngels View Post

I'm just putting this opinion out there so that other people who come across this later will do their due diligence on insurance, rather than just opting out of coverage. I've often said that operating a business such as ours without proper insurance coverages is like playing in traffic - you might get by with it, but you might also get hit by a truck .
Thanks for the input (not just you but everyone!).

I only have a very small hdc but I do see why this is so important even though my state doesn't require it. I sent an email to my agent asking about a rider policy (I didn't say I am currently operating a dc specifically just in case). I think a rider is my only option because I'm having a really hard time finding a standalone company that lists my state and the ones I did find say specifically NO RESIDENTIAL DC'S. Ugh!

Hopefully I'll never need it, but after all the great advice here I'd rather have it than a paragraph in my handbook that *may or may not* (and probably won't it seems) cover me.

This is why I love this forum. You ladies rock.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:24 AM
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I run mine out of my home. What state are you in? I can ask my insurance broker if the company I use works in your state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Poppins View Post
Thanks for the input (not just you but everyone!).

I only have a very small hdc but I do see why this is so important even though my state doesn't require it. I sent an email to my agent asking about a rider policy (I didn't say I am currently operating a dc specifically just in case). I think a rider is my only option because I'm having a really hard time finding a standalone company that lists my state and the ones I did find say specifically NO RESIDENTIAL DC'S. Ugh!

Hopefully I'll never need it, but after all the great advice here I'd rather have it than a paragraph in my handbook that *may or may not* (and probably won't it seems) cover me.

This is why I love this forum. You ladies rock.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:36 AM
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I have seperate insurance for the daycare. I have carried it now for about 7 yrs. or more. The bad thing about this- we are looking for other home owner's and car insurances, that might be alot cheaper, but they don't carry a dayare rider that insures the daycare. We haven't been able to switch to a different insurance agency, because of it.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:43 PM
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I have a standard homeowners insurance policy with higher limits of liability. I do not have a separate policy for the daycare. I could get an umbrella but I've already been told that the added expense wouldn't cover me in terms of liability any more than my homeowners would.

Here in Iowa, (while searching for homeowners quotes), I found some companies wouldn't even cover the home because I do business out of it, because I ran more than the insurance's suggested number of kids, etc.

State Farm only allows 3 children here although the state says you can have 5 unregistered. If you are registered, you can run up to 12 depending on the catagory of your registration!

I had a child get a nice goose egg by tipping over his pack n play a couple years ago. I filled out an incident report, contacted DCM and nothing was said after that. I had another one that tripped and lost a tooth (it was just starting to get loose), DCF again completely understood.

How as providers can we dismiss any and all liability towards ourselves though? I really don't think we can...
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:53 PM
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We had a great home owners ins and my husband wanted to switch to save like 300 a year. we tried to switch but they wanted to come out to the house and our house is in all kinds of remodelling phases so he didnt want them to come, so the original found out we had a DC and said we needed ins, got it for 250 a year and never did switch! I guess its better to have it, but because he couldnt leave well enough alone, we pay more! (boy, if Id a done that.....!)
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:16 PM
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All my clients must sign a liability release form.

A few have been reluctant at first, thinking it means that I don't have to be responsible for their child at all! But that's not the case. If I were obviously negligent, my form would mean little.

It DOES stop the frivolous lawsuit types, who would sue because Princess fell over her own feet and skinned her knee in the yard.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:18 PM
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I haven't read all of the posts completely, so I hope this adds to the discussion instead of just repeating what's been said somewhere else.....

I am not a lawyer, but have had some experience with insurance for various businesses (both as a manager and as an owner).

In WI we are required to have insurance to be certified or licensed.

That said, we are to carry liability insurance, not medical. I can't imagine anyone being able to afford medical insurance for a group of daycare children!

My liability covers things that I could have prevented, I believe. For example, when we had horses, even tho they were penned, we had to carry liability in case some child came onto our property and went into their pen and got hurt.

I am thinking that the liability for the dc is similar. If someone slips on my steps, for instance, or twists their ankle and breaks it walking around the yard - that type of thing. BUT I think they have to prove negligence or neglect to win the law suit. IOW - were my steps shovelled and salted? Were there huge holes in my yard just waiting to trip someone? Were they somehow marked if it was in an area where I knew people roamed (such as the play yard)? If a child gets hurt, was I allowing them to do something dangerous or was it something that all the kids knew enough not to do (like jump off a roof). And where was I when it happened? Were the kids adequately supervised? I know this is how it works for other businesses (I have worked in management). You know those "wet floor" signs you see all over - those are out for liability purposes (were people adequately warned of a hazard).....

My dc insurance also costs about 250 - 300 a year.


I might be wrong, but I think this is how it works for dc as well. If anyone knows this isn't so, please tell me! A lawsuit is my worse nightmare.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdmmom View Post
I have a standard homeowners insurance policy with higher limits of liability. I do not have a separate policy for the daycare. I could get an umbrella but I've already been told that the added expense wouldn't cover me in terms of liability any more than my homeowners would.

Here in Iowa, (while searching for homeowners quotes), I found some companies wouldn't even cover the home because I do business out of it, because I ran more than the insurance's suggested number of kids, etc.

State Farm only allows 3 children here although the state says you can have 5 unregistered. If you are registered, you can run up to 12 depending on the catagory of your registration!

I had a child get a nice goose egg by tipping over his pack n play a couple years ago. I filled out an incident report, contacted DCM and nothing was said after that. I had another one that tripped and lost a tooth (it was just starting to get loose), DCF again completely understood.

How as providers can we dismiss any and all liability towards ourselves though? I really don't think we can...
I work for State Farm here in MN and if someone had a regular homeowners policy it would not cover any liability that occurs in conjunction with a dc business unless it is specifically noted on the policy that a dc is run out of the home.
In otherwords, you may have awesome high liability limits, but if your policy does not list that you operate a daycare out of your home State Farm could/would deny your claim if one of your daycare kids were to get hurt on your property. I know each state is different even within the same company (for example we allow more then 3 daycare kids in Minnesota) - that is just how things work here
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:50 PM
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I have Farm Bureau. They said I am covered with both house and car as long as I don't have more than 3 kids. That's all I'm allowed, so it's working out fine.

I do think that I'll call her and ask for something in writing explaining exactly what is covered, just to be sure.
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