Foster Parents’ Insurance Coverage Frequently Asked Questions
Too few foster parents are aware of the benefits of foster parents’ insurance, otherwise known as an extended property damage rider insurance program. They may assume their home or tenant insurance policy provides all the coverage they need. While you absolutely need tenant insurance and home insurance, since the fosters parents’ insurance coverage acts as an extension, it alone may not be enough. It can be confusing. As such, Megson FitzPatrick has compiled a list of some of our frequently asked questions regarding foster parents’ insurance coverage and answered them here.
When might a foster parent insurance claim be refused by the insurer?
If the damage to property is not caused by a foster child, a claim can be refused. In a situation like this, the foster parent will be directed to make a claim through their primary insurance provider instead. Claims can be refused if coverage is explicitly excluded from your primary homeowner/tenant insurance policy or if you do not have a homeowner or tenant policy.
Is there an insurer that offers coverage based on cumulative effect for repeated damages?
Say, for example, you had a foster child who caused repeated damage to your walls. Each damage that was caused ended up being less than the deductible. Unfortunately, no insurance is available to cover ongoing damages either through this Rider or through your primary policy. Instead, you should seek restitution through your foster child’s social worker or a social worker through the foster institution.
If a foster child left significant damages in a home and has since left the home, can you still make a claim?
Every incident should be treated as an individual claim, which may or may not exceed the deductible listed on your policy. (I.e., cumulative or ongoing damages are not covered.) You’ll only have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim, so if the foster child left three or more years ago, your claim will likely be denied. You should make individual claims on a case-by-case basis for each claim over the amount of your deductible. Talk with your social worker about damages under the deductible amount.
Does this foster parents’ insurance rider cover theft of jewelry or money?
This Rider should cover the foster caregiver to the extent that they have covered their own property through their primary insurer. As such, the Rider mirrors your existing primary policy, so you will need added jewelry insurance with your home insurance policy. In the event of theft, your foster child must be charged with theft by the police and/or alternative proof of an admission that theft was committed by the foster child.
Are damages caused by respite children covered as well?
So long as the respite caregiver is considered an approved foster parent who has a valid respite contract in place, the Rider can cover damages that are done by children in respite care.
What if a foster child caused major damage to someone else’s house?
The owner of the home where the damages were caused by your foster child may have to discuss the situation with you and the child’s social worker or potentially launch a lawsuit that will be covered by your liability coverage. Foster parents with signed contracts automatically have liability coverage through the Caregivers Group Liability Program. Society or agency homes should reach out to their organization for more appropriate answers in this situation.