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.
Below are some answers to commonly asked psychologist insurance questions:
- What Is Psychology Insurance?
- How Much Does Psychology Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Psychologists Need Insurance?
- What Does Psychology Insurance Cover?
- What Types Of Professional Liability Insurance Are Available For Psychologists?
- What Are Psychologists Risks & Exposures?
- What Does Psychology Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Psychology Insurance?
Psychology business insurance is a type of insurance coverage specifically designed for businesses that offer psychological services such as counseling, therapy, or psychiatric care.
This insurance provides protection for these businesses against the financial consequences of any legal action that may arise due to malpractice, negligence, or any other claims made by clients or patients. The coverage typically includes liability for damages, legal defense costs, and settlements, protecting the psychology business from the financial impact of these events.
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 practices ranges from $27 to $39 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Psychologists Need 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.
What Types Of Professional Liability Insurance Are Available 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.
What Are Psychologists 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.
What Does Psychology Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Psychologists may face lawsuits for various reasons, including:
- Malpractice or professional negligence: This can happen if a psychologist fails to provide adequate care to a patient, or if they breach their ethical or legal obligations.
- Sexual misconduct or abuse: A psychologist may be sued if they engage in inappropriate sexual behavior with a patient.
- Breach of confidentiality: If a psychologist shares confidential information about a patient without their consent, they may be sued.
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose: If a psychologist fails to accurately diagnose a patient's condition or provides an incorrect diagnosis, they may be sued.
- Unprofessional conduct: This can include a wide range of behaviors, such as falsifying records, engaging in conflicts of interest, or engaging in discriminatory practices.
Insurance can help protect psychologists from the financial impact of a lawsuit. Psychologists can purchase professional liability insurance, also known as malpractice insurance, which can cover the costs of legal defense and damages awarded in a lawsuit.
For example, if a psychologist is sued for malpractice, their insurance may cover the costs of hiring an attorney to defend them in court. If the psychologist is found liable and ordered to pay damages, their insurance can cover those costs as well.
Similarly, if a psychologist is sued for breach of confidentiality, their insurance may cover the costs of defending the lawsuit and any damages awarded to the patient.
Overall, professional liability insurance can provide a crucial layer of protection for psychologists in case of lawsuits, ensuring that they can continue to provide high-quality care without facing financial ruin.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 8049 Offices and Clinics of Health Practitioners, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 621340 Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8832 Physician & Clerical
Description for 8049: Offices and Clinics of Health Practitioners, Not Elsewhere Classified
Division I: Services | Major Group 80: Health Services | Industry Group 804: Offices And Clinics Of Other Health Practitioners
7299 Miscellaneous Personal Services, Not Elsewhere Classified: Establishments of health practitioners engaged in the practice of health fields, not elsewhere classified. Practitioners may or may not be licensed or certified, depending on the State in which they practice. Establishments operating as clinics of health practitioners, not elsewhere classified, are included in this industry.
- Acupuncturists, except M.D.: offices of
- Audiologists, offices of
- Christian science practitioners, offices of
- Dental hygienists, offices of
- Dieticians, offices of
- Hypnotists, offices of
- Inhalation therapists, registered
- Midwives, offices of
- Naturopaths, offices of
- Nurses, registered and practical: offices of, except home health
- Nutritionists, offices of
- Occupational therapists, offices of
- Paramedics, offices of
- Physical therapists, offices of
- Physicians'assistants, offices of
- Psychiatric social workers, offices of
- Psychologists, clinical offices of
- Psychotherapists, except M.D.: offices of
- Speech clinicians, offices of
- Speech pathologists, offices of
Psychology Insurance - The Bottom Line
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.
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
- Blood Banks
- Dental Lab
- Dental Office
- Diagnostic Imaging Centers
- Health Maintenance Organizations
- Healthcare Facilities
- Home Medical Equipment Dealers
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Medical Clinics
- Medical Laboratories
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary
- Medical Practice
- Medical, Surgical & Hospital Supply Store
- Mental Health Counseling
- Nurse Registry
- Occupational Therapy
- Osteopathic Physicians
- Physicians Office
- Plastic Surgeons
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Speech Therapy
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Telemedicine Business Insurance
- Specialty Medical Centers And Clinics
- Specialty Medical Malpractice
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.
Another reason the medical industry needs business insurance is to cover the cost of regulatory fines and penalties. The medical industry is subject to strict regulations and any violations can result in significant fines and penalties. Business insurance helps to cover these costs and protect the financial stability of the medical practice or facility.
In addition, the medical industry is vulnerable to data breaches and cyber attacks. These incidents can result in significant financial losses and reputational damage for the medical facility. Business insurance helps to cover the cost of recovering from a data breach or cyber attack and helps to protect the reputation of the medical facility or practice.
Overall, business malpractice insurance is an essential component of the medical industry. It helps to protect against the financial and reputational risks associated with the medical industry and helps to ensure the financial stability and success of medical practices and facilities.
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.