Like you welcome caregivers to your business with the expectation of trustworthiness and honesty, your clients welcome caregivers into their home with an expectation of the same.
Unfortunately, claims of theft occur frequently. Whether caregivers actually commit the theft or clients make allegations without certainty, claims of theft are some of the most common claims against home care businesses. Consider these real claim examples:
- A client alleged that a caregiver stole their credit card and several pieces of jewelry worth nearly $11,000.
- A client alleged that a caregiver stole their credit card and checkbook and forged more than $60,000.
- A client alleged that $800 and 50 opioid pills were stolen.
- A client alleged that a caregiver stole their vehicle resulting in a $25,000 claim.
Preventing Caregiver Theft and Allegations
While impossible to prevent all allegations and claims of theft, you can implement some procedures to reduce the number of claims made against your business and your employees.
- Screen prospective employees. Develop a screening and hiring system to weed out unsuitable job applicants on paper first. Plan ahead for candidate interviews and use the interview to evaluate potential hires, explain details about the opportunity and answer questions. Consider adding a nationwide criminal search, drug screening and credit checks for new hires.
- Vet clients. Like screening prospective employees, it can be beneficial to screen prospective clients, as well. Ask if they’ve worked with a home care provider or caregiver before, why the partnership ended and so on.
- Establish a theft policy. Put a theft policy in writing and have new hires sign showing their awareness.
- Establish cash handling procedures. Encourage clients to think twice before allowing caregivers to handle cash or financial accounts. A prepaid gift card is often an acceptable alternative. If caregivers must handle cash or credit cards, encourage family members to monitor accounts regularly.
If a caregiver is accused of theft, stay calm and neutral. Assure the client you will investigate and reiterate your internal theft policy to them. Contact the authorities and work closely with them and your client. Report the incident to your insurance provider whether it was resolved or not. It is often best to err on the side of caution and report every incident.
Preparing for Caregiver Theft Claims
At any time, your caregivers can be accused of theft. Whether or not the allegation is valid, Lockton Affinity Home Care offers Theft coverage to cover the costs of allegations of burglary, robbery and other employee theft.
Contact one of Lockton Affinity Home Care’s dedicated insurance representatives at (800) 723-9624 or HomeCare@LocktonAffinity.com to discuss your business’s risks and how Theft coverage can help protect your business and employees.