Car insurance is one of the many ‘other’ costs that host parents incur when they have an au pair.
Host parents who need the au pair to drive a car as part of his or her work duties obviously pay for the car insurance, just as they pay for the gas and for the tuition at the Music & Me class.
Host parents who offer access to a car as part of the perks of being with the host family (and, frankly, as a way to let an au pair maintain an independent social life) also pay for car insurance.
Offering an au pair the use of a car without her or him being insured to drive it is like offering the au pair a car with only three wheels.
Your au pair can’t drive legally in a car with three wheels and your au pair can’t drive legally in your family car without insurance.
If the Au Pair’s Driving Record Increases Your Costs
The only time it’s appropriate for an au pair to pay for part of the car insurance is if that au pair has had an accident that has caused the insurance premium to rise during that au pair’s year with you. Then, it seems fair that the au pair would pay the incremental additional cost.
For example, if the insurance for the au pair had been $300 and rose to $500 after a fender-bender, it would be fair to have the au pair pay the additional $200.
Because the car insurance premium is one of those ‘other’ costs, it’s usually only something the host parents are aware of. That’s too bad, because the ability to drive a car that is insured is a real perk, and a privilege, that most host parents want their au pairs to appreciate.
Discuss the full costs of your au pair’s driving privileges with your au pair.
When you sit down with your au pair to talk over car rules, driving expectations, and family car managment, this can be a good time to share with your au pair a breakout of the ‘other’ costs involved in having him or her use the car. You might mention the costs of additional insurance, additional wear and tear (which can often be shared in a cost per mile figure), and depreciation in value as the mileage is racked up by late night drives from one Starbucks to another.
You can also use this time to discuss some of the other ‘other’ costs of providing a car for your au pair, including the extra effort it might take to corordinate the schedules of several drivers, what a drag it is when the car is parked in the wrong place, and your general worries about your au pair’s saftey in the car.
The point is not to make the au pair feel guilty about being a burden or costing you money — so don’t lay it on too think. And, be sure that if you *do* harbor any resentment about these extra costs, you deal with that resentment before you talk with your au pair.
Driving is a privilege. That’s certainly true. But it’s only a privilege when you provide your au pair with a safe, legal, and insured car to drive.
Insuring my au pair on my car insurance increases my premium by ~$300/year. Does the au pair pay or the host family? She will be driving the children as part of her work week but will also have access to use the car for pleasure. What do you think? ~ MGMom
Auto Insurance: Is your AP on your policy?
Using Your Car is a Privilege, not an Entitlement: Best practices
When your Au Pair has a Fender-Bender — Who pays, and what, and how?
After the Car Accident: Advice on what to talk about with your Au Pair
Want Safe Driving? Forbid your Au Pair to use the cellphone in the car. Period.
Image: What’s The Deductible? ??? Some rights reserved by 1f2frfbf on Flickr