Alaska Psychology Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Psychology Insurance. Psychologists are licensed mental health professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness using non-medical interventions. Specialty areas include the administration and interpretation of psychological tests, behavioral analysis, and counseling, clinical research, relationship counseling, school counseling, or sports psychology. As they are not medical doctors, they may not perform surgery.
While a few states permit psychologists to prescribe medications such as antidepressants, psychotropics, or sedatives, most do not. Psychologists often work in conjunction with psychiatrists. They may work in individual or group practices, and provide treatment on an individual basis or in group settings. Some patients may be treated in institutional settings.
Liability claims are a natural risk of becoming a psychologist and helping others. There will be clients who feel as if the practitioner has wronged them in some way or failed them, even when the psychologist was not negligent in their practice or has not made a mistake.
Getting Alaska psychology insurance and maintaining it is a prudent way of combating this risk, ensuring that he practitioner is protected from these claims and potential lawsuits in the course of their career.
Alaska psychology insurance protects your practice from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Psychologists Need Business Insurance?
There are over one hundred thousand licensed psychologists in the United States of America right now. Out of this pool of one hundred thousand professionals, forty percent of psychologists will find themselves the recipient of a licensing board complaint in the course of a twenty year career. Two thousand of these practitioners will combat a malpractice lawsuit against them during this time.
Anyone who provides a service to others runs the risk of personal injury or financial loss to others; the field of psychology is not exempt. In fact, it may even be more risky for psychologists. A professional liability policy that is created specifically for an individual practice's concerns and risks is the best solution for a practice, to avoid the stress and worry that accompanies working with others who may find themselves at odds with their provider. A psychologist is there to help others, but carrying a Alaska psychology insurance policy is a smart way of protecting themselves from claims related to their noble work.
One malpractice lawsuit is enough to derail a psychologist's career and leave them destitute. When a psychologist is protected by Alaska psychology insurance for their practice, however, they are able to perform their duties every day without the stress of what may come. Malpractice can be called professional liability and errors and omissions insurance as well.
What Does Psychology Insurance Cover?
Alaska psychology insurance can cover legal fees and court costs, in the event that a lawsuit has been filed against a practitioner, some even offering replacement pay for the time a psychologist spent away from their office to attend court. If a psychologist is one of the forty percent that face a complaint from the licensing board, then insurance can also cover the cost of the mental health professional's defense court costs.
Insurance can also cover sexual misconduct claims, advertising issues, personal injury, and liability issues that occur on a practice's premises. Insurance pays for the cost of your defense in the event that you are accused of sexual misconduct, as well as any claims that are directed toward you. It covers libel, defamation, slander, copyright claims, and all other forms of advertising complaints, including false advertisement. It prevents out-of-pocket expense in the event that you are accused of slander or false arrest from your clients, as well. Right to privacy issues are something that is also covered in insurance for a psychologist's practice.
Types Of Professional Liability For Psychologists
There are two types of Alaska psychology insurance available to psychologists and they will need to decide which policy best suits their own individual needs before making a purchase. The two policy types are "claims made" and "occurrence," whose names are somewhat self-explanatory.
Claims made is similar to car insurance, in the sense that the insurance company will only cover a claim if it is made while the insurance is still in effect. The types of claims this kind of insurance will cover will include any and all claims or actions against the practitioner between the date of the policy's purchase and the date of its expiration.
An occurrence policy does not take into account the status of the policy, whether it is active or expired, but instead focuses on the date of which the events surrounding the claim occurred. For example, let's say a policy lasted from January to June. When the Alaska psychology insurance policy cancels at the start of July, you may still be covered for certain claims that are filed after the cancellation of the policy. If someone files a claim against you in August regarding something that happened in April, then your insurance will still cover the claim.
Alaska Psychologist's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are moderate due to patients' access to the premises. Client areas should be neat with no obstructions. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, all areas accessible to patients must be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Adequately lit and marked exits and egresses are mandatory. Steps should have handrails, be illuminated, marked, and in good repair. Parking lots should be maintained free of ice and snow.
Housekeeping should be excellent and spills must be cleaned up. Clients' areas must be designed to include those who are physically impaired. Escort procedures must be clear for all personnel. Maintaining a patient's privacy is critical. Consultation rooms, check-in and checkout stations must be in private areas so one patient cannot view information or overhear conversations regarding another patient's' confidential information.
Malpractice / Professional liability exposures are extensive. The exposure increases if the provider fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing. The more types of services provided, the greater the chance of a professional liability loss. A patient's medical history must be checked prior to prescribing medications in those states that permit a psychologist to order medications.
Unless ordered by a court, very serious losses may result from failure to secure patient approval before admitting to any type of institution. Finally, inappropriate touching and sexual misconduct must be considered.
Workers compensation exposures are due to the possible transmission of diseases from patients to staff members. Unruly or unpredictable clients can cause injury or harm, including bites, strains, back injuries, and contusions. Because patient information and billings are done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations.
Property exposures for fire and crime are minor. Ignition sources are generally limited to electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. Business income and extra expense exposure can be minimized if the psychologist has arranged for temporary facilities with another psychologist.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. The potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. All ordering, billing, and disbursement must be handled by separate individuals. Money and securities are a concern if payments are accepted on premises. Deposits should be made regularly and money should not be kept on premises overnight.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the psychologist bills for services, computers, and valuable papers and records for patients' records and medical research books. Duplicates of all records and programs should be made and kept off-site.
Business auto exposures are generally limited to hired and non-owned liability for employees who use their own vehicles to run errands. If there are owned vehicles, all drivers should be licensed with acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
AK Psychology Insurance
Insurance is an integral part of ensuring that a practice as well as the practitioner are protected against claims and lawsuits as they continue to do business. Without it, a psychologist's career could very well be put at serious risk. Knowing that they have the right policy in place in case of an emergency situation with a client gives the practitioner peace of mind and the confidence they need to continue to help their patients every day.
Alaska Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in Alaska, it's important to have a basic understanding of the state's overall economy before you set up shop. Regardless of how high-quality the products and services you are planning on offering may be, if the location where you open your organization doesn't offer a target market that your products and services will appeal to, chances of success are slim. Furthermore, if a workforce isn't available to support your business, you'll have a hard time staying afloat.
With that said, it's important for business-minded individuals who are thinking about starting a company in Alaska to familiarize themselves with the state's economy; it's also a good idea to have an understanding of the commercial insurance requirements.
Following is an overview of economic trends and commercial insurance policies that business owners are required to carry in The Last Frontier.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Alaska
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1% in December of 2019. While that's significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 3.4% in December, 2019, it's lower than it was one year prior, when the rate of unemployment was 6.5% in December of 2018. Though the workforce is growing slower than it is in other states, economists do predict that the rate will continue to decline in the coming years.
Despite Alaska's remoteness and cold climate, it's actually a great start to start a business. According to the Tax Foundation, Alaska is the second most tax-friendly state for business owners in the United States, as there's no individual income tax or state sales tax. Additionally, Alaska has the second highest rate of new business owners, as well as the second highest percentage of available employees (as per 2016).
As in most states, the best spots to start a business in Alaska are the state's biggest cities and the surrounding areas. This includes Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. Other key areas that are seeing a boost in business development in recent years include Homer, Sitka, Prudhoe Bay, and Ketchikan.
While there are several industries that are experiencing growth in The Last Frontier, specific sectors thrive more than others. Businesses that are related to the following industries are booming in AK:
- Fishing, which is also one of the largest contributors to the state's economy.
- Mining, which provides more than 4,500 jobs in Alaska.
- Petroleum, which is responsible for 34% of jobs in the state. In fact, Prudhoe Bay is North America's largest oil field.
- Tourism is the second largest private sector employer in the state. Each year, millions of people from around the globe travel to Alaska to marvel at the numerous natural wonders that can be found here.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Alaska
The Alaska Division of Insurance regulates insurance in AK. Alaska mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Alaska requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Alaska also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Medical Insurance
Discover small business insurance for medical and dental professionals. Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability that protects health care professionals from liability causing in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage.
- Ambulatory Surgical Center
- Art Therapy
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Dental Lab
- Dental Office
- Diagnostic Imaging Centers
- Healthcare Facilities
- Home Medical Equipment Dealers
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Medical Laboratories
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary
- Medical Practice
- Mental Health Counseling
- Occupational Therapy
- Physicians Office
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Speech Therapy
- Substance Abuse Counseling
Health care providers are the most trusted individuals in our society. Ironically, they are the same ones who can do the greatest harm. They actually have the right to invade our bodies with knives and to poison us with chemicals - all in the name of health care and with the goal of relieving our symptoms and hopefully bringing about a cure.
While the actions of these professionals normally benefit us, insurance coverage must be available for the times when mistakes happen and things go wrong. These professionals and their facilities have extensive property exposures that are becoming more and more intricate and whose values are increasing exponentially.
The 'one size fits all' approach that once could have applied to insurance for health care providers and their facilities no longer applies.
Professional liability offers protection against claims of malpractice for all sums that the medical professional becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of rendering or failing to render professional services.
Professional and medical malpractice exposures are the most expensive and difficult of all exposures for health care providers. The commercial general liability policy excludes these exposures so separate coverage is needed. Most professional liability policies are written on a claims-made basis and, as a result, tail coverage and retroactive dates are important coverage issues to be aware of when evaluating the insured’s coverage needs and comparing coverages.
The coverage provided is often called medical malpractice. For decades, many involved in the health care field and insurance companies that provide insurance coverage to providers have stated that malpractice lawsuits have created an ongoing crisis of restricting insurance availability, due to loss of insurance companies that write the coverage and significant rate increases.
As a result, state legislatures have taken the following actions to address the situation:
Imposed a dollar limitation of liability for malpractice suits.
Modified statutes of limitation to limit the number of years that a suit may be brought against a physician following a negligent act.
Modified when the statute of limitations takes effect. An example is beginning from a negligent act's occurrence rather than from its discovery.
Passed laws to modify tort law procedures and doctrines that relate to malpractice.
Because of differences in law by state it is important to know the states in which the covered health care providers are licensed and regularly practice. Some health care providers may practice in multiple states because of their particular specialty, their reputation or the demand for their services. Some hospitals may have ownership in facilities or provide services to patients that are outside of their main location state.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Physicians and Surgeons Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
Request a free Alaska Psychology insurance quote in Akutan, Alakanuk, Anchor Point, Anchorage, Badger, Barrow, Bear Creek, Bethel, Big Lake, Buffalo Soapstone, Butte, Chena Ridge, Chevak, Cohoe, College, Cordova, Craig, Delta Junction, Deltana, Denali Park, Diamond Ridge, Dillingham, Eielson AFB, Emmonak, Ester, Fairbanks, Farm Loop, Farmers Loop, Fishhook, Fritz Creek, Funny River, Gambell, Gateway, Goldstream, Haines, Healy, Homer, Hoonah, Hooper Bay, Houston, Juneau, Kalifornsky, Kasigluk, Kenai, Ketchikan, King Cove, Kipnuk, Klawock, Knik River, Knik-Fairview, Kodiak, Kodiak Station, Kotlik, Kotzebue, Kwethluk, Lakes, Lazy Mountain, Meadow Lakes, Metlakatla, Moose Creek, Mountain Village, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Nome, Noorvik, North Pole, Palmer, Petersburg, Pilot Station and Happy Valley, Point Hope, Point MacKenzie, Prudhoe Bay, Quinhagak, Ridgeway, Salamatof, Salcha, Sand Point, Savoonga, Selawik, Seward, Sitka, Skagway, Soldotna, Steele Creek, Sterling, Susitna North, Sutton-Alpine, Talkeetna, Tanaina, Togiak, Tok, Toksook Bay, Unalakleet, Unalaska, Valdez, Wasilla, Willow, Womens Bay, Wrangell, Yakutat and all other cities near me in AK - The Last Frontier.
Also learn about Alaska small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including AK business insurance costs. Call us (855) 767-7828.