More than four million British adults have seen their property damaged or a member of their household injured by the work of a self-employed person like a cleaner, decorator or babysitter, new research reveals.
The extent of the threat posed by uninsured household workers is revealed in YouGov research for Zego the insurance technology business.
Their polling also shows that the great majority of adults say that personal liability insurance is important for workers in their home, but most fail to check if their workers have insurance to pay out when things go wrong.
Without insurance, in the event of an accident like a babysitter accidentally flooding the bathroom, causing damage to the home and a neighbouring property, the homeowner can be left facing huge bills and the babysitter liable to damage claims of several hundred thousand pounds.
Almost one in ten people (9%) say that that they have experienced accidental damage to their household or personal injury to someone in their property because of the work of a self-employed home service worker.
81% of GB adults say that a self-employed home service worker having public liability insurance would be an important factor in deciding who to book for a job at their home, but only 4% always make sure that public liability insurance is in place when they hire someone new.
This leaves homes at risk and workers that do not have insurance, exposed to costly damage claims in the event of an accident.
Harry Franks, Chief Executive of Zego, said, “We know that even with professional home workers like full time tradespeople, nearly a fifth are working without insurance. It’s obvious that the number is far higher for less risky occupations like babysitting or cleaning, because most people won’t have thought about the risk until it’s much too late.
“This is a problem that’s only growing with the rise of the gig-economy and part-time work, and it’s one the insurance industry hasn’t kept up with until now. No worker wants to buy an annual policy if they’re only planning a couple of hours work in a year. Both homeowners and workers are at risk. Insurance must evolve to fit the modern world.
“We know from our experience with customers in the driving and delivery gig-economy that over a third are already doing more than just one type of job. So, we’re applying our experience with flexible cover to a much bigger market, everything from builders to accountants to cleaners. This is about providing the protection people need, exactly and only when they need it.”