Private tutoring, either at home or online, can be a really creative and rewarding profession. When becoming a tutor, it is a good idea to think about what insurance you might want before you start working, however, to protect you from any incidents that may arise.
Accidents happen, so it's your responsibility to ensure that you and your business are safe and covered if a claim should be made against you. You can protect your tutoring business by having insurance which is specifically tailored to people who are self-employed and work with members of the public.
It is not a legal obligation to have insurance to work as a private tutor in the UK, but some people prefer to have it as a precaution or security measure to keep themselves and their business safe.
Having an insurance policy in place can protect you from all sorts of incidents, such as:
- Damage to property
- Injury to others
- Errors in advice or knowledge provided by the tutor
- Failure to provide an adequate tuition service
There are a few mains types of insurance that home tutors should consider. These include public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, business and portable equipment Insurance, and sometimes employer’s liability insurance.
Some insurance brokers offer a tailor-made insurance policy specifically designed for tutors, often called private tutor insurance.
The smallest accidents can have all sorts of repercussions to your business.
This guide will show you the different types of insurance available to tutors to give you an idea of what might suit you and your business.
Public Liability Insurance for Tutor Jobs
When working with other members of the public in your own home, or if you work somewhere that other members of the public attend, it is important to protect yourself against claims of damage or injury.
Public liability insurance covers you and your business against claims of injury or to a third party, or damage to third party property, as a result of alleged negligence on your part.
Running a business from your own home can open you up to various risks, so it is up to you to decide who you work with and where you work.
Whether or not you decide to buy insurance as a private tutor, it is worth doing a simple risk assessment in your home in order to prevent any potential health and safety hazards.
Things like cluttered work space, uneven surfaces, frayed carpets or loose cables are common hazards in homes, but can be serious risks.
These small details can open you up to a wide range of risks - for example, if a student tripped or fell over and hurt themselves.
Public liability insurance is specifically designed for people working with members of the public. It can protect you against claims of injury to others or of third party property damage as a result of your business activity.
The smallest of accidents could put you at risk of legal action. For example, if you knock a student’s phone off a table, or spill a glass of water on their laptop, public liability insurance will cover the cost of the damage.
The legal fees alone in a claim made against you can be very expensive. In the event of legal action being taken against you, public liability insurance ensures that you won’t have to pay legal or court fees, and it will cover the claim for the incident.
There are various companies and policies available. You need to make sure that your policy suits the entire scope of your business, including any extra staff you may employ.
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Having public liability insurance means you can go about your work with confidence and ease, knowing you are covered if any injury or damage should occur, and your business is protected.
For more information about public liability insurance or to help you decide if you might wish to have it, more information can be found on the Association of British Insurers website.
Professional Indemnity Insurance for Tutors
Some people may also choose to purchase professional indemnity insurance, which is a form of protection against any legal liability as a result of professional malpractice or misconduct.
As a profession that provides advice, tutoring businesses can be at risk of legal claims of negligent service or advice offered as a professional service. Professional indemnity insurance is therefore considered an essential for private tutors.
Although you take pride in your work, things don’t always go to plan.
Claims of professional malpractice and negligence are not uncommon in the teaching and tutoring jobs industry, and they can sometimes arise unexpectedly and after some time. Whether you're new to education, or are entering tutoring jobs after teaching, there is a wealth of information to be aware of.
There are many risks that home tutors can face. Things such as incorrect teaching, lack of progress, bad grades, exam failure and resultant unhappy parents are all potential claims that could be made against you as a private tutor.
Tutors can find themselves being sued by dissatisfied parents for alleged inadequate services, even if the issue is not your fault. These claims can lead to large legal fees even just to defend yourself against the allegation.
For this reason, tutors working for a company or individually often have professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves against potential legal proceedings.
You are not legally obliged to have professional indemnity insurance, but it is usually held by people who offer knowledge, skills or advice as part of their work, such as qualified tutors.
Claims can be made against you for up to six years after an alleged negligent act, and you are only covered for claims made against you during the term of your policy. It is important, therefore, to make sure your run-off policy covers you for the appropriate time frame.
Claims of malpractice and professional misconduct can be long and stressful processes – and not to mention expensive. Professional indemnity insurance protects your business, including any professional partners or employees, against legal defense cost and any ensuing damages.
Having professional indemnity insurance means you can run your business with confidence, with the security of knowing that you are covered if any claims of professional negligence or malpractice should be made against you.
You can also find more information on professional indemnity insurance on the Association of British Insurers website.
Business and Portable Equipment Insurance
As a private tutor, you may rely on certain equipment for your services. This could include, for example, laptops, phones or academic resources.
Wherever you teach or tutor, such as in your own home, in your student’s home, or in a public or rented space, your business equipment could be at risk of damage.
If, for example, your laptop with all your software and resources on it was stolen or damaged, the cost of replacing it would be covered by your business and portable equipment insurance.
If you reply on certain equipment to conduct your business and tutoring sessions, then business and portable equipment insurance is worth considering to protect yourself for any loss or damage of vital equipment.
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Employer’s Liability Insurance for Tutors
Employer’s liability insurance isn’t usually necessary for private tutors and E-tutors that work alone. Most home tutors work alone, or for an agency, and do not employ people to work for them.
If you do have employees in your business as a home tutor, however, you are legally required to have Employer’s liability insurance.
Some tutors might have growing businesses, for which they might employ staff or have a business partner. If you are an employer in your private tutoring business, you might want to consider employer's liability insurance in case and accident occurs with a member of staff.
Your business must be covered by a policy from an authorized insurer, and must cover you for at least £5 million.
This ensures that your employees are covered should they be injured as a result of their employment with your business. For example, if someone you employ or work with falls or trips and injures themselves on your business premises, then you will be covered in a potential claim made against you.
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Are DBS Checks needed to Become a Tutor?
Although Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are not a legal requirement for home tutors, and are not a form of professional insurance, they can nonetheless ensure peace of mind for parents, students and tutors.
A DBS certificate is an official document proving that there is no known reason why an individual may not work with children or vulnerable adults. DBS certificates are commonly held by tutors, particularly to show to parents and carers, although they are not a legal requirement.
There are different types of DBS check available, ranging from £26 to £44. They are often considered a peace of mind insurance, a measure of protection for all partied involved in your private tutoring services.
To obtain a DBS check, or for more help deciding if you might want one, visit the government website.
As you can see, there is a wide range of insurance policies available for home tutors, whether you work alone or with other people. It’s up to you to analyse the risks of your own service, and decide which kinds of insurance you need to suit you.
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