New Membership Plans for Sitters

Can someone please explain why the home owner’s insurance would not be sufficient? Is there any difference between having a THS sitter cause harm than say someone who comes for dinner and causes harm? Should not the existing insurance not be sufficient? What am I missing?

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Hi @PetSitterBug It will depend on the HO’s insurance policy.
To be honest I have never given this a thought in the past but when @Provence raised this on a different thread, I contacted my own Home and Contents Insurance Co and asked if the accidental damage part covered me if I stayed in another home. The answer was No. I asked could I take out an additional policy to cover it, The answer was No.
I wasn’t concerned as the HO can rely on THS Home and Contents Insurance.
The problem is, a new HO with the Basic Package will not have this cover.
I must add that I am not an expert on Insurance!!

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What a can of worms. I’ve asked Paul in Admin twice now to tell me when sitters were polled bout these proposed changes, but I have had no answer.
I think that when I apply for sits, the issue of insurance is one that I am going to have to ask HOs as a standard question.
Going forward, for the sits I’ve arranged over the next few weeks here in UK, I think I will ask the HOs, in their feedback on my performance, to write a sentence along the lines of ’ XXXXX looked after my home with care and consideration and no damage was caused to my property or pets in any way shape or form’.
Paying a whopping £199 pa for premium membership as an occasional sitter in my school holidays, is a no-go for me.
@Itchyfeet Will HOs be able to eliminate ( ‘screen out’ or ‘filter out’ ) those sitters who are only Basic or Standard members? In which case, that DOES put basic or standard sitters at a disadvantage.
I am actually wondering whether, in practice, sitters will pay THS this huge increase? I think this might be the time for many to walk …

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In my case, will this then make me a Basic, a Standard, or a Premium sitter?
Or none of the above?

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As a retired ex Home insurance underwriter (UK insurer) I would just add that under most domestic insurance policies, Contents are not covered for “Accidental Damage” whilst the home is lent or let.

If the homeowner has AD cover, the exclusions normally state that specific exclusion.

This means that a sitter could be held responsible for Accidental damage to the HO property, in the case of a broken teapot that’s probably not an issue but in the case of a torn original Renoir hanging above the fireplace it could be!

As a sitter, under your own domestic insurance for Contents, you should find a section for Personal Liability, this covers you if you are deemed to be legally negligent. A copy of my own insurance wording for this is below.

Please do not take this as professional advice as each country and or insurer will have different approaches and you should refer to your policy document.

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If you are taking into consideration whether or not a HO will or will not have THS Home and Contents Insurance it’s worth remembering and noting that:

  1. Prior to May 2019 insurance was not included in the HO membership benefits and when introduced was available to UK owners only, known as the Insurance Backed Guarantee.
  2. The insurance benefit has always been dependent on the HO having their OWN Home and Contents Insurance the THS benefit has never been the primary cover

Also as Martin has pointed out insurance varies widely not just from country to country but across products and providers. The advice is to always consult your own provider

We have answered or addressed all questions and concerns regarding the Member Tiers, should anyone need further information please consult the FAQ’s and website blogs and thanks to everyone who has contributed to the conversation.

Is the price increase only for house sitters? Why are the house sitters bearing the brunt of responsibility, cost, and liability when they are the ones with such little control?

Does anyone know of a site that’s more equal in treatment/cost? Thanks!

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Hi @Sun42

The New Membership Tiered Plans are available to both sitters and owners, you can find all the information on the website blog and on the Help page.

Any member can stay on their existing membership plan incurring no additional costs and still enjoying the same sitter/owner opportunities as they always have.

https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/blog/

LTD - Agree that the question regarding insurance will definitely be in my top 10 list of questions. I’m guessing more HOs don’t give it a second thought when going through the process of finding a sitter. For us, the question of insurance has only ever come up when be lent the HOs vehicle.

Martin - As there is no money being exchanged, is the home still considered “lent or let”? As a sitter, the HOs are inviting us to stay.

I suspect that as the HO will leave the property in the sitters care and sole use as part of a quid pro quo arrangement, it would probably be considered by most underwriters as a “lending” rather than just a visit and therefore under the HO policy the “Accidental damage” exclusion would apply, however, as mentioned its always best to check with your insurers to get their stance and request an endorsement to the policy to include the cover back in. Of course they have the right to refuse an extension or maybe apply additional terms/premium to cover it.

For my new sit in France i suggested to send the proof i had a liability insurance. The british owner was pleased with that. I sent her 2 days before arriving.So she could see my name and personal adress (which is known by THS but not by owners If they don’t ask what they never did so far…)
My liability covers the accidental damages i could make on trains, planes, public or private , free or rented properties.
Also If i sit a dog and the dog while he is on the leash, or free, makes fall somebody. Even If the dog’s owner has an insurance, the dog would be under MY responsability . French law…
Even before doing sits i always had a liability insurance. It is included un home insurance.

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How do the referral codes now work?

If we refer someone and they sign up to basic do they/we still get the same rewards as if they sign up to the premium membership?

Hi @ChrisAndSuzeGoWalkies happy Monday and we hope that you had a great weekend on your latest sit with Albie and Teddy and two tortoises … who all looks adorable love the pics on Instagram

To answer your question, the RAF rewards remain the same, thank you for asking.

@Paul-Admin It’s now nearly 10 days since you wrote “I acknowledge the sentiment about the premium badge and have raised this internally. Although I can’t make any guarantees on what decision will be made, I can assure you that it is being discussed at some length.” Has all this lengthy discussion come to any conclusion and really reflected the concerns of the members on this forum? I have just seen a ‘Premium home and pet owner badge’ and if the ‘Premium sitter badge’ is the same, it will definitely imply that they are exactly that!

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HI @temba I can pick this up for Paul and apologies for any delay in responding … we did address this, acknowledging the concerns of members and reporting that the Product team have taken the feedback on board and are looking at the wording of the badges, this is currently still in discussion and we will update members just as soon as we can.