Optometrist Insurance Policy Information
Optometrist Insurance. Optometrists are doctors of optometry who specialize in diagnosing problems with vision. They prescribe corrective items such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, but generally do not make the glasses or lenses. Because they are not medical doctors, in most states they cannot perform surgery or prescribe medications so will refer patients who need these services to an ophthalmologist.
Some states have expanded the licensing of optometrists to include the administration of pharmaceuticals for examination purposes (DPA), treatment of eye diseases with pharmaceuticals (TPA), perform lacrimal irrigation and dilation procedures (TPL), treat glaucoma (TPG), and perform lacrimal irrigation and dilation procedures and treat glaucoma (TLG). While most optometrists work from their own private offices, some are employed by retail stores or clinics.
Following is everything you need to know about optometrist insurance as you go about the process of defining your professional needs.
Optometrist insurance protects your practice from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked optometrist insurance questions:
- What Is Optometrist Insurance?
- How Much Does Optometrist Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Optometrists Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Optometrists Need?
- What Are Optometrists Risks & Exposures?
- What Does Optometrist Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Optometrist Insurance?
Optometrist insurance is a type of insurance coverage specifically designed for optometrists and other eye care professionals.
This insurance typically includes protection against financial losses due to malpractice claims, liability lawsuits, and other types of legal and financial risks that optometrists may face in their practice. The coverage may include protection for professional indemnity, general liability, product liability, property damage, and cyber liability, among others.
The insurance may also provide coverage for medical expenses, legal defense costs, and damages or settlements in the event of a lawsuit or other legal dispute.
How Much Does Optometrist Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small optometrists ranges from $37 to $59 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Optometrists Need Insurance?
Once you graduate and enter your field, you're responsible for binding professional liability insurance. This is also known as malpractice insurance and all professionals who are licensed to practice should have this protection. More importantly, however, optometrist insurance coverage can protect your financial health and give you peace of mind.
Over the course of designing and implementing patient treatments, a lot can go wrong. Problems can occur as the result of human error or oversight, or you may find yourself facing various forms of frivolous litigation. All optometrists must consider the liability associated with any wrongful practices that cause increased medical expenses, property damage, bodily injury and death.
For doctors in this niche who want to practice medicine confidently, optometrist insurance is absolutely essential. This coverage will help you protect your personal assets in the event of lawsuits. This coverage is also an essential part of getting credentialed to accept various vision and medical plans.
Even a single lawsuit can be an incredibly costly and time-consuming experience. For practices without proper optometrist insurance, these events can be downright debilitating. When damaged are awarded in these cases, medical malpractice will cover the costs of these awards and your own legal fees.
Given the increased rate of frivolous lawsuits, and the complexities of providing medical care, the risk of facing litigation is extremely high among medical professionals. While there are countless insurance companies that doctors can choose from, every medical professional should do his or her own due diligence in order to properly vet these carriers.
When conducting your research, bear in mind that insurers do not automatically customize malpractice policies to ensure that these cover the entire scope of state-allowed procedures in the policyholder's area. Keep in mind that there is nothing worse than finding out that you're only partially covered right when you have to rely on your plan.
What Type Of Insurance Do Optometrists Need?
General Liability - is an essential part of your optometrist insurance plan. This is especially true if your practice spends a lot of time physically interacting with patients and if you sell any tangible products out of your office space.
Practices with binding contracts such as property leases or property loans may be required to have this coverage, along with specific limits.
Commercial Property Insurance - commercial property insurance will protect the physical assets that your practice acquires over time, whether your commercial space is leased or owned outright. This can include the building and/or contents.
You should note that commercial property insurance only provides protection for covered events. Additional optometrist insurance coverage is necessary for optometrists who operate in earthquake or flood-prone areas.
Workers' Compensation - This optometrist insurance coverage will pay the costs of medical care for employees in the event of injuries that are sustained while on the job. Workers' comp will additionally cover lost wages and other expenses and services that could be essential for helping an injured worker recover and get back on the job.
More often than not, workers' compensation insurance is legally required by the state for all businesses that have two or more non-partner or owner employees.
Commercial Auto Insurance - Whether your practice has a paid employee who runs errands for the office staff or a third-party company that's paid to shuttle your clients around, you will need to have non-owned or hired auto insurance at the minimum.
This will make sure if your employee injures someone while doing company business - your insurance will kick in above his or her policy limits if the claim is big.
What Are Optometrists Risks & Exposures?
Premises liability exposure is moderate due to public access to the premises. 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. 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 promptly. Overhead equipment should be moved before patients exit examination chairs. The patients' area must be designed for patients who are visually impaired following administration of eye drops. Escort procedures must be clear for all personnel.
Maintaining a patient's privacy is critical. Examination 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.
Products liability exposure is from the glasses or contact lenses that are prescribed and fitted. While the optometrist generally does not make the glasses or lenses, they will write the prescription and often sell frames as a service to patients.
Professional exposures are extensive. The exposure increases if the provider fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing. The more procedures performed the more chance of professional loss. A patient's medical history must be checked prior to prescribing medications.
The optometrist must stay within the O.D. license and not attempt to prescribe medicine or treat diseases of the eye outside of their licensure and training. Glaucoma screening is a must for every patient and should be performed by a trained individual because early detection is vital to treatment and preservation of vision.
Workers compensation exposure is due to the possible transmission of disease from a patient. Gloves and masks should be worn at all times when working around any bodily fluids. Unruly or unpredictable patients can cause harm including strains, back injuries, and contusions. Since 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 exposure is moderate due to the use of expensive diagnostic equipment. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems, and overheating of equipment. All electrical wiring must be up to code and equipment properly maintained. A small fire which produces smoke can cause considerable damage when sterile equipment and environments are compromised.
Most property items are better covered on inland marine forms such as a computer form or a physicians and surgeons floater. The business income and extra expense exposure can be minimized if the optometrist has arranged for temporary facilities with another optometrist.
Equipment breakdown exposures are high as operations are dependent on diagnostic equipment being available. All equipment should be maintained on an ongoing basis.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. The potential for 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 exposure includes accounts receivable if the optometrist bills for services, computers, physicians and surgeons floater (which can include all office furnishings), and valuable papers and records for patients' and suppliers' information. Computers are used for patients' records and other office purposes, but some diagnostic equipment is now also computerized. Physicians and surgeons equipment includes items that the optometrist may take off site to visit nursing homes or schools or to handle emergencies. Duplicates of all records and programs should be kept off site.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned liability for employees running 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.
What Does Optometrist Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Optometrists may be sued for various reasons, such as misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, prescribing incorrect eyeglasses or contact lenses, performing incorrect procedures, and other types of negligence. Here are some examples of how insurance can help protect optometrists in these situations:
Misdiagnosis: If an optometrist misdiagnoses a patient's condition, such as failing to detect a serious eye disease, the patient may sue the optometrist for medical malpractice. Professional liability insurance, also known as malpractice insurance, can help protect the optometrist by covering the costs of legal defense and any damages awarded to the patient.
Prescribing incorrect eyeglasses or contact lenses: If an optometrist prescribes the wrong type of eyeglasses or contact lenses, the patient may suffer from eye strain, headaches, and other complications. The patient may sue the optometrist for negligence. Again, professional liability insurance can help cover the costs of legal defense and damages.
Incorrect procedures: If an optometrist performs the wrong procedure or makes a mistake during a procedure, such as laser eye surgery, the patient may suffer from vision loss, infection, or other serious complications. The patient may sue the optometrist for medical malpractice. Professional liability insurance can help cover the costs of legal defense and damages.
Overall, insurance is an important tool for optometrists to protect themselves from potential lawsuits and financial losses. By having the right insurance coverage, optometrists can focus on providing quality care to their patients without worrying about the financial implications of a lawsuit.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 8042 Offices and Clinics of Optometrists
- NAICS CODE: 621320 Offices of Optometrists
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8832 Physician & Clerical
8042: Offices and Clinics of Optometrists
Description for 8042: Offices and Clinics of Optometrists | Division I: Services | Major Group 80: Health Services
8042 Offices and Clinics of Optometrists: Establishments of licensed practitioners having the degree of O.D. and engaged in the practice of optometry. Establishments operating as clinics of optometrists are included in this industry.
- Optometrists, offices and clinics of
Optometrist Insurance - The Bottom Line
When binding any optometrist insurance, it's important to carefully define your needs, the required limits and any extra protections that reflect your practice's specific circumstances.
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
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The medical industry is a crucial sector that plays a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of individuals. It is a complex and highly regulated industry that requires specialized knowledge and expertise. As a result, the medical industry is exposed to a variety of risks, including legal and financial liabilities.
One of the main reasons why the medical industry needs commercial insurance is to protect against medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the standard of care and causes harm to a patient. It can lead to costly lawsuits and significant financial losses for the healthcare provider. Business insurance helps to cover these costs and protect the financial stability of the medical facility.
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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.