You have a nanny to care for your kids. But you don’t necessarily want them home all day. You’d like her to take them to the park or library, which may require the nanny driving. Or, your children are involved in activities like sports or music and they need to be transported to practices and lessons.
If your nanny will be driving your children, here are some steps to take to:
- make sure your children stay safe
- you or your nanny have adequate insurance in case of an accident
- properly handle gas and other expenses
Determine if She is a Good Driver
Ask your nanny to provide her driving record, which she can obtain from your state’s department of motor vehicles. This will show all traffic violations, convictions, accidents, suspensions, and license expirations for a least the last three years. There may be a small fee involved depending on where you live.
You could also ask your nanny for a copy of her driver’s license and ask your insurance company to run a motor vehicle report. It may not be a certified copy but you’ll at least get the basics like traffic violations, conviction dates, and accidents. There would likely be no charge.
If you know that driving your children is a requirement before hiring your nanny, you can ask driving-related questions of her references.
You may also want to take a test drive with her and check out her driving skills first hand. If you determine she’s a safe driver, ride with her around your neighborhood and on the common routes she’ll take with your children to help her become familiar and comfortable on those roads.
Establish Nanny Driving Rules
Nanny driving rules should be spelled out in her work agreement or contract. Detail exactly how she’s expected to drive with children in the car. Some rules could be obeying all speed limits, no texting while driving, only talking on the phone when it’s hands-free (or not at all), and no other passengers when the children are in the car. You could indicate that only approved trips such as to scheduled activities, park, and library are allowed. Or she must get permission first before taking the children elsewhere.
Adding these specifics to the work agreement and reviewing them with your nanny will help avoid confusion and miscommunication.
Nanny Driving a Family Car
It’s ideal if the nanny can drive a family car. That way the safety and maintenance of the car are in your hands. She should be added to your auto insurance policy. To do that, you’ll need a copy of her driver’s license. Even if she’s only driving your car periodically, it’s a good idea to review your coverage options with your insurance company. You could see a slight increase in your auto insurance premium if your nanny is young or has a poor driving record.
Nanny Driving Her Own Car
Make sure your nanny’s car has passed inspection. You may also want to have your nanny’s car inspected by a certified mechanic to ensure it’s safe.
The safety of your children is the top concern. Will their car seats fit comfortably and be securely fastened in your nanny’s car? Does your nanny know how to install their car seats? Will they remain installed in her car even when she is “off the clock?” Is the car clean and free of debris that can become dislodged and airborne in an accident and possibly injure your children?
Ensure Adequate Insurance Coverage
If there is an accident with your nanny driving her car, your children’s injuries would be covered under the nanny’s medical payments coverage and then through the bodily Injury limit on her policy. The minimum coverage for bodily injury varies by state and could be as low as $10,000 per person or $20,000 per accident. That may not cover the cost of a serious accident. Make certain the nanny has adequate liability insurance coverage to pay for any injury your children could sustain in an accident.
Also, before she goes anywhere with your children, ask for a copy of her insurance card. Make sure she keeps it valid and coverage doesn’t lapse.
Nanny Gets Hurt in an Accident
If there is an accident while your nanny is driving on the job, the incident would be reported to both the auto insurer (either hers or yours depending on the car she is driving) and to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Remember workers’ comp may be required for household employers in your state. Since your nanny was in the course of employment when the accident occurred, your workers’ comp policy would cover her injuries and any lost wages if she misses work. Even if workers’ compensation is voluntary in your state, you may want to consider coverage for situations like car accidents.
Reimbursement for Gas and Mileage
When your nanny is driving a family car, reimburse her if she buys gas or has to pay for parking or tolls.
If she is driving her own car, any type of reimbursement for gas, mileage, and wear and tear on the car, should be detailed in the work agreement. Again, this will help clear up any confusion or miscommunication.
You could reimburse her at the standard mileage rate issued by the IRS. This calculates the cost of gas, maintenance, and depreciation. Your nanny would need to log her miles while on the job.
If your nanny drives a consistent number of miles each week, you could consider flat-rate compensation. She would get the same amount each week to cover her expenses. Just make sure that if anything changes – she’s driving more miles or the cost of gas increases – that you adjust her compensation.
Gas and mileage is not taxable compensation so your nanny won’t have to pay taxes on it (or you for that matter).
GTM Payroll Services can make gas and mileage reimbursements easy for you by adding the compensation to your employee’s time card. That’s one less hassle for you. Call us at (800) 929-9213 to learn how we make nanny payroll and taxes easy for families that hire household help.