Psychology Insurance Policy Information
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 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.
Psychology insurance protects your practice from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
How Much Does Psychology Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small psychology practicess ranges from $27 to $39 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
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 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 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?
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 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 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.
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.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 8049 Offices and Clinics of Health Practitioners, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 621330 Offices of Mental Health Practitioners (except Physicians)
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 66561
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8832
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.
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Commercial insurance steps in to help you manage these risks, avoiding a situation which requires you to pay exorbitant costs out-of-pocket.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
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.