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What constitutes household services?

If you sustain an injury in an accident that renders you unable to engage in your daily household chores, you may wonder if you can receive some type of compensation for the cost of services. Generally speaking, you can.

Loss of household services — which some experts refer to as “household production,” “home services,” “non-market work” and “non-market production” — represent significant value to many households. For this reason, the courts recognize them as a compensable loss. Physician Life Care Planning clarifies what constitutes household services.

The average value of household services

Per one article on non-market production, adults typically use their time productively in both market and non-market settings. In market settings, they exchange their time for money. In non-market settings, they divide their time into “leisure” and “non-market work.” Non-market work includes activities they could pay others to do but choose to do on their own for the sake of saving money. The average American adult saves $14,000 per year by completing non-market work on their own.

Household activities that constitute “non-market work”

Out-of-work activities fall into one of two categories: “leisure” and “non-market work.” Injured parties may only recover compensation for non-market work or activities they could pay others to do but choose not to. The seven more common types of activities for which the courts compensate injured individuals are as follows:

  • Food prep, cooking and cleanup
  • Inside work
  • Obtaining services
  • Household management
  • Travel for household activities
  • Shopping
  • Pets, vehicles and home

How professionals categorize household services makes it easy for insurers and courts to determine when compensation for non-market production is necessary. However, valuing said services is another story, and it is best if accident victims partner with a knowledgeable professional before filing a claim.