No matter your subject area, taking on one-on-one tutoring or online teaching jobs can be a wonderfully rewarding and creative profession. With the rise of online tutoring, tutoring jobs can provide fantastic flexibility, plus you can help with exams or homework in subjects you are passionate about. You also have the option of tutoring within a learning center or passing on academic skills privately through individualized tutoring. However, when becoming a tutor, it's in your best interest to consider your options for insurance, to protect yourself from any liability in case of accident or injury. This is especially true if you are providing academic support services through your own tutoring business.

Accidents are an unavoidable part of life, so it's up to you to make sure that you personally, and your tutoring business are totally covered in case someone makes a claim against you. The best way to protect your business as a tutor is to take out insurance that covers self-employed people who work with the public.

Insurance is definitely not a legal obligation when working as a private tutor in Australia, but many tutors feel safer if they take out a policy as a precautionary measure, to protect their business and themselves.

An insurance policy covers you in all sorts of cases. For example:

  • Property damage
  • Accidental injury
  • Any erroneous advice the tutor may provide
  • Customer dissatisfaction with your tutoring service

We'll list here for you a few important kinds of insurance that all tutors should think about. These include professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, business insurance, insurance for any portable equipment and, if you employ people directly, employer's liability insurance. 

There are even policies on offer specifically tailored for tutors - this is usually known as private tutor insurance.

Even a small accident could have big consequences for your business

Here we aim to alert you to the many different kinds of insurance out there for tutors, to help you choose the right policy for your business. 

If you've already got insurance for your tutoring business, follow these links to learn how to promote your business with our advertising tips and tricks or how to motivate your tutee reach their full potential.

Public Liability Insurance for your Tutoring Jobs

Because tutoring involves working with the public, whether in your own home or at an outside location, it is critical that you get coverage against any claims of personal injury or damage to property.

That's where public liability insurance comes in, covering you (and your business!) against any third-party injury claims, or claims of damage to a third party's property, because of alleged negligence by you.

Keep in mind that running your tutoring services from home does expose you to a certain level of risk, so you need to decide where you plan to work, and who you want to work with.

It's ultimately up to you whether or not to purchase insurance, but we strongly recommend undertaking a simple risk assessment within your home to prevent any hazards that could become liability issues.

Common hazards in private homes include loose cables, frayed carpets, uneven surfaces or cluttered workspaces. At first glance, these may seem pretty harmless, but they can pose significant risks when you are bringing a third party into your home.

Smaller details like this can expose you to a variety of risks - for example, if one of your students tripped on a cable, fell, and got hurt.

Public liability insurance is meant for workers like you - people who are working directly with members of the public. It protects you against any claims of injury to a third party, or of claims alleging property damage from your business activities.

The smallest accident can risk making you vulnerable to legal action. Some other examples might be if you accidentally knock a student's phone off the desk while tutoring or spill your water glass on their laptop. In cases like these, public liability insurance covers the cost of repair or replacement.

If a case is made against you, just the legal fees can be prohibitively expensive. If legal action is taken, public liability insurance makes sure you won't need to pay any court costs or legal fees, as well as covering the claim for the accident.

There are a huge variety of policies on offer, and many insurance companies vying for your business. It's important to read their offers closely and ensure that the policy you decide on covers all of your business. This will include any staff you employ to teach from your tutoring program.

What insurance do private tutors need?
Student success isn't your only consideration... ensure you take out the right insurance policy for your tutoring business. Source: Visualhunt

Public liability insurance allows you to take on tutor jobs with confidence, at ease in the knowledge that you are fully covered if any damage or injury comes your way.

If you want to find out more about public liability insurance to cover you and your tutoring business, head over to Compare The Market

Looking for Jobs in Education? You may need Professional Indemnity Insurance 

Some tutors may wish to get professional indemnity insurance, which protects you against legal liability in the case of misconduct or professional malpractice.

Since tutoring is a profession where you are providing professional advice, your business risks legal claims of negligent service. For this reason, professional indemnity insurance is highly recommended for tutors.

You may take great pride in your work, but things can always go wrong.

Claims of negligence or professional malpractice do come up where jobs in education are concerned. These claims can also happen against newbies or seasoned teachers, so whether you are taking on your first tutoring jobs Melbourne, or have been teaching for some time, it's important to be aware of the risks and options for insurance coverage. 

Home tutors face a variety of risks. Bad grades, lack of progress or incorrect teaching could result in unhappy parents and potentially, legal action. 

Even if the issue raised is not your fault, tutors may be confronted by legal action from dissatisfied parents alleging inadequate teaching services. This could mean significant legal costs for you to defend yourself against such claims.

Because of these risks, tutoring working both privately or for larger tutoring companies often take out professional indemnity insurance

There is no legal obligation to hold professional indemnity insurance, but it is common among skilled workers who offer their knowledge and advice within their jobs, ie. qualified tutors.

Someone came to make a claim against you up to six years after the instance of alleged negligence, but you are only covered during the term period of your insurance policy. If you take out professional indemnity insurance, ensure that your run-off policy covers you for the entirety of the relevant time period. 

If a claim does come up against you for professional misconduct or malpractice, this can plunge you into a stressful, drawn-out (and very expensive!) process. Professional indemnity insurance will protect your business, including any employees or professional partners, against damages and the cost of a legal defense.

Taking out professional indemnity insurance gives you peace of mind, secure in the knowledge that you are covered if claims of malpractice or professional negligence come up.

You can check out Compare The Market to find out more about the different policies available.

Get Covered for your Tutoring Jobs: Business Insurance and Portable Equipment Insurance

All jobs in education require reliance on certain pieces of equipment. If you tutor privately, you almost certainly rely on certain teaching tools to carry out your job. This includes phones, laptops or academic texts and resources.

No matter where you teach, be it in your student's place, in your own home, in a rental space or in public, the equipment for your business could be damaged.

Say your personal laptop with all your tutoring resources and software is damaged or stolen, the burden of replacing these key pieces of equipment is taken off your shoulders by your business and portable equipment insurance policy.

It is definitely worth investigating the business and portable equipment insurance if you rely on certain important equipment for your tutoring business.

Expanding your business? Why you need Workers Compensation Insurance if you offer Jobs for Teachers

You do not need employer's liability insurance if you are a self-employed tutor who works alone or takes on online teaching jobs from your home. If you are a home tutor working alone or employed by an agency, you do not employ people and this type of insurance isn't for you. 

However, if you are at the stage of growing your business, teaming up with a business partner and starting to employ other people for tutoring jobs Sydney, you must, by law, have workers compensation insurance. 

If your private tutoring business employs other people, you will need to look at worker's compensation insurance in the event of an accident befalling your staff.

You need to take out coverage from an authorised insurer, and you can find out more at the Understand Insurance website.

This makes sure that any workers you employ are covered in the event of an injury they sustain whilst on the job. As an example, if one of your employees trips or falls and gets hurt at your business premises or whilst working for you, workers' compensation insurance will take care of any potential claims they could make against you.

Do you need a Working With Children's Check to take on Tutoring Jobs? 

Working With Children's Checks are not necessarily a legal requirement for people taking on tutoring jobs in private homes, and do not count as a type of professional insurance, they definitely give peace of mind to students, parents and tutors. Whether you are tutoring online or in person, it's important to remember than when potential clients go to find a tutor, they want to know you are committed not only to student success, but also to student safety.

A Working With Children's Check (WWCC) is a card you can apply for that proves there is no record of why you are barred from working with children. WWCC cards are very common among tutors, and whilst they are not legally required if you work privately, they are good to show parents and carers. If you work for an agency tutoring minors, they will almost certainly require a copy of your WWCC.

The WWCC is issued by your state government and varies in name and price across different states of Australia, so make sure you check which type of check is available to you. You can check out the National Crime Check website to find out which one you should apply for and how to apply.

There are a huge variety of insurance policies to consider when working as a home tutor, whether you are employing other people or working alone. It is ultimately your responsibility to analyse the risks associated with your tutoring jobs, and choose the insurance that best suits your needs.

protection for private tutors
Protect yourself, and your business!
Source: Visualhunt

Now you have more information on the hows and whys of insurance for private tuition, delve deeper into the legal aspects of one-on-one tuition and check out how you can report your home tutoring income.

Whether you help with writing skills, math, ESL, or general study skills, you'll soon be well on your way to assist students in achieving academic success!

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Erin is an Australian musician, writer and francophile living in France.