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Household worker insurance saves Queensland households thousands

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Queenslanders who hired casual cleaners, babysitters, nannies, gardeners, labourers and in-home carers between November 2015 and October 2017 have protected themselves against $615,000 in household worker injury claim costs simply by taking out a $50 insurance policy.

During this period, 45 claims were lodged with WorkCover Queensland against household workers’ insurance policyholders resulting in average costs of over $15,000.

Costs associated with household worker injury claims can be significant, with one injury incurring over $115,000 in rehabilitation and medical expense costs.

The greater Brisbane region accounted for the majority of household worker claims, with 30 claims lodged since November 2015 incurring average claim costs of over $12,000.

Brona O’Dowd, from the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Diamond Valley, was relieved to be covered after Alex, an experienced labourer she contracted to build a pergola in February, fell four metres from a faulty scaffold and severely fractured his heel.

On business in Mackay at the time of the accident, Brona was horrified to learn of her labourer’s fate via text message.

“The injury was that bad Alex had to crawl across the backyard to reach his phone and try and call an ambulance. It must have been horrific for him,” Brona said.

A household worker policyholder for seven years who also employs a local gardener, Brona is adamant her policy is money well spent.

“The coverage is very worthwhile for the price,” Brona said. “It has been a great comfort knowing that Alex and I are being cared for.

“It’s a horrible experience when a worker gets hurt on your property. You just want to make sure they can recover well and can continue in their line of work,” Brona said.

“Alex is an experienced labourer and has since moved back to the UK, so it has been really important that he recovers from his injury.”

WorkCover Queensland CEO, Bruce Watson said home owners and renters could be liable for compensation costs in the tens of thousands of dollars if they’re uninsured.

“Good help around the home is so hard to find and keep these days. That’s why insurance that covers homeowners, renters and their workers is so important,” Mr Watson said.

“Household worker insurance gives you peace of mind protection from potentially significant compensation costs in the event a casual worker you employ is injured on the job.

“At just $50 for up to two years, household worker insurance is excellent value for money,” Mr Watson said.  

If you’re unsure if a casual worker is a contractor or want to check if your existing insurance policies cover household workers, call WorkCover on 1300 362 128, or apply for a policy online by visiting www.worksafe.qld.gov.au.

Last updated
06 November 2017