If you have work you need done around your house, and a neighbor's kid needs money, it might sound like a perfect match. After all, kids have done yard work and other odd jobs for their neighbors for centuries.
Still, you need to consider about today's litigious society before offering the youngster a job. If the kid gets hurt, you could end up facing a lawsuit that your home insurance may or may not cover.
What's Your Responsibility for a Neighbor's Kid Getting Hurt While Working for You?
When you hire an official contractor, you generally don't have anything to worry about if you've checked to see if they're insured first. Their workers compensation coverage should handle any claims.
A kid working for you probably won't have that same insurance. If they fall off your ladder, their parents might blame you for not maintaining it properly. If they injure their eye while mowing the lawn, the parents might blame you for not providing eye protection. Some claims against you may have a chance of succeeding. Even the claims that you win might still cost you thousands of dollars in legal bills, as you work to defend yourself.
What Protection Does Home Insurance Provide?
Your home insurance policy will usually include general personal liability coverage. That protects you against lawsuits for personal injuries — such as someone slipping and falling on your sidewalk.
You need to read your policy carefully to see if it would apply to a kid you hired. Some policies will say that you can only hire licensed and insured contractors. Others might exclude contracted work. In that scenario, you wouldn't have coverage.
Other policies might allow certain tasks, such babysitting roles and light yard work. Or they might specifically exclude others, such as using power tools. You'd again need to check your policy to see if you're covered.