There is little in the way of insurance offered to sitters by TrustedHousesitters beyond an owner’s pet causing damage. I have no problem with that, but I am surprised at the paucity of sound advice. I might, in an accidental, or negligent, moment, burn down an owner’s house with a badly placed candle, for example. The liability for all that damage falls on the sitter. Business insurances cover it, but housesitting here is not a business, just an occasional activity. Does anyone know of a source for liability insurance that might cover such a circumstance?
As we are only guests in a home, and not running a business, would it not fall onto the HO insurance should anything happen whilst you are there?
Hi @keith , as a HO I understood that is what the Trusted Housesitters HO insurances was for…
I think you’re right, but that would not stop the insurance company pursuing the sitter for recompense if they can prove culpability.
Hi Keith, Welcome to our community Forum, thank you for joining and for creating a topic which is often discussed I will connect you Membership Services who can elaborate on your question regarding THS insurance and there will be other members who can help you with your question.
I hope you enjoy connecting with other members and will join in the wide and varied conversations. Thank you again, we look forward to getting to know you and sharing in your TrustedHousesitters journey.
Angela & the Team
Thank you, Angela. How will the team be in touch with me to follow up as you indicate? And perhaps I haven’t investigated sufficiently, but I could not find any other posts related to this issue. Perhaps you can guide me with a relevant link or two.
Hi @keith I will ask one of the Membership Services team to connect with you via the forum or they can DM you if you would prefer. Here are links to insurance questions on the forum, you can search these using the eye glass icon in the top right hand corner and type in TrustedHousesitters Insurance.
This page from the site has information about the insurance products.
I hope you find this helpful.
Thanks Angela, but I already know you offer owners protection. However, according to your T&C “IV. How we settle claims”, you say: "Owners must ask the Sitter(s) whether they admit to causing any Accidental damage during the Sit, and ask for a contribution for, or towards, the damage. Any contribution to the damage will be paid to Owners directly.
Are you saying sitters are obliged only to make a contribution, and that THS will not be seeking the full amount of reparation for damage from the sitter?
While it’s obvious that sitters might break a glass or two and be expected to pay for the damage, if sitters burn a house down accidentally, or break the priceless Ming vase, will THS be asking sitters for full reparation?
This is why I was asking fellow members whether sitters should obtain a separate insurance policy to cover high-value mishaps. But if you are saying THS will not pursue sitters in these circumstances, and will fully compensate owners without further reference to the sitter, then a separate sitter policy would be unnecessary.
Grateful for any clarity on this issue.
Hi @keith thank you for your clarification on the detail you are asking, I will ask take this up with product and feedback to you.
Hi @Keith … This just hot off the press from the team
When accidental damage has been caused by a sitter we will, where possible ask the sitter to contribute towards the loss. However, we are aware that this isn’t always possible, especially if the cost is high. This is exactly the reason we have this policy. To ensure that in cases where a reasonable agreement can’t be reached, the owner has protection. If damage were found to be caused deliberately, the above still applies. However in these cases we (TrustedHousesitters) reserve the right to pursue reimbursement from the sitter. Obviously with all claims there are certain limitations and rules that must be met before a claim can be made… These are all outlined in the policy terms.
Great clarification, Angela, thanks. For the information of others, insurance for sitters who are not actually doing it as a business, appears to be unobtainable. But I’m still investigating…
Keith, after reading your initial question and your comment: “I might, in an accidental, or negligent, moment, burn down an owner’s house with a badly placed candle…” I never forgot what happened to a friend of mine who was traveling, while her 27 year old daughter was home. The daughter was removing her nail polish by candlelight and burned down the house! Acetone and open flames do not mix! After 125 house sits, I never, NEVER, light up candles in any house. I learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t play with fire!
@Maryse , that’s a warning tale I’ll remember! Better to take a flashlight or headlamp with you on sits. I keep one in my car but will now put it on my packing list for all sits. @keith , on reading the owner’s insurance terms, it states that you must have your own homeowner’s insurance and file the claim with them first before you can collect from THS Ins. So in most cases you probably won’t even use the THS owner’s insurance. As for me, something would have to be very serious and costly before I would ever file a claim for homeowner’s Ins coverage, as that makes you an assigned risk which either jacks up your premium substantially or gets you thrown out of the company.
Hi everyone, I am not sure if this is the right place to post this message? I am about to do my first sit and am a bit worried about the insurance side of things. As mentioned by Keith there is a degree of ambiguity surrounding this subject. From what I understand the terms of the THS insurance is for the home owner and does not provide separate cover for the sitter. It is also dependent on the home owner having their own house insurance and if they do …telling them that they have a house sitter looking after their home. It would be very difficult to know that this has been done and as the name of this site suggests it is based on trust. Unfortunately trust does not pay out if a claim has to be made… just a bit concerned that this makes a sitter a bit vulnerable… is there a requirement for a sitter to have their own insurance and if so where could I find such product? Hoping one of the more experienced sitters in here will be able to put my mind at rest
I am super excited about my first sit, just a bit nervous about the legal stuff! Thank you in advance.
@Jade Hello Jade and welcome to the forum. Big congrats on getting your first sit… where will you be in the world for this sit?
There is no legal requirement for a sitter to have insurance and it’s a very personal choice, which is why TrustedHousesitters have recently added different insurance options to some of their new membership tiers. Some sitters particularly requested liability insurance in case the pet in their care causes damage or harm to a property or person and so the option is available on the standard and premium memberships.
As sitters, we’ve done over 120 sits now and never had insurance, and never had anything more than an occasional broken glass to worry about. But I understand your concern and so you might want to take a look at the information here about our liability insurance option:
T&C’s do apply so do have a read of those also.
Others may be able to help with alternative liability insurance options, but if you have BASIC membership you could consider the upgrade cost with TrustedHousesitters to benefit from the liability cover. If you have any other specific questions about insurance, Membership Services will be able to help and advise. Do let us know how your first sit goes, and we hope you very much enjoying connecting with other members here in the community! All the best, Vanessa
I am looking at my own homeowner insurance and it includes Liability Insurance and says:
"We will pay all sums which you become legally liable to pay as compensatory damages because of unintentional bodily injury or property damage arising out of:
- your personal actions anywhere in the world."
So as far as Personal Liability is concerned, it looks like my own homeowner’s policy covers that right?
Thank you for getting back to me and for your kind words, I have dreamed of a house sitting life style for a long time, finally decided to take the plunge, bad timing with the pandemic I know. I have looked at my membership and there does not seem an option to add insurance as a sitter? I do not own my own house at the moment or have pets of my own any more (new chapter in my life!) and so there was not really a need for me to pay the extra £50 as an owner. Is there another option for just sitters that you are aware of that maybe is not showing on my account?
I am a very responsible and careful person so hopefully things should be ok, but just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything as I am still a bit green with house sitting for people other than friends or family. Thank you for your advice, I value your experience, and have enjoyed reading about your life sitting lifestyle.
Hi again Jade and wonderful to hear that you are finally realizing your dream. The pandemic has certainly provided challenges for us all, but you are now on your way!! So happy for you… it is a wonderful lifestyle. It sounds like you’ve built up some good experience and it’s always good to check anything you’re unsure about. Although it’s still quite new the forum is proving a valuable space for this with lots of helpful members on hand!
Back to insurance … For clarity, until very recently there used to only be insurance for home owners, but now a more specific option exists for sitters.
If I go to “pricing” in the footer of the website (while logged in to my dashboard), I get the following options (mine’s in £ sterling but if you are outside UK it should reflect your currency):
You’ll notice under “Standard Sitter” an option for “Accident and third party liability protection”. You can upgrade just the remaining term of your annual membership by selecting “upgrade now”.
I do know a few members had problems upgrading and I’m not sure if that’s been resolved now, but if you do decide to go this route, and experience any problems at all, hold off and let me know - I’ll then pass your details to MS for help on monday morning.
Similarly if you have more specific questions about the insurance MS will be best to help you as I haven’t opted for this yet (although most likely will) so can’t talk from experience. Take care and I’ll check in tomorrow morning to see how you’re doing
@Kelownagurl Insurance policies are so different all around the world and even vary by company… So yes, it’s very possible that your insurance covers you. I’ve been surprised to find in France that my home insurance legally has to include liability insurance. In the UK it wasn’t ever included. It’s just occured to me though as to whether that home insurance would cover damage or harm from an animal in my care not owned by me. Will have to ask that question.
I’ve never given insurance much thought at all before this tiered thing came up. I knew there was some sort of insurance thru THS, assumed home owners would have insurance that covered big problems, and knew I had some kind of liability insurance that covers me wherever I go. But I’ve never looked into it specifically. I guess I need to look at each aspect - what the home owners have with THS, what I could get thru THS, details on what covers me from my liability insurance, and try to figure out what is best to do,.