All You Need to Know About Therapist Insurance Blog | All You Need to Know About Therapist Insurance
Insurance Basics 06/09/20

All You Need to Know About Therapist Insurance

As a therapist you help people cope with the stresses of their past, present, and future life. You offer methods and techniques that allow your patients to gain insight into their own minds and develop a sense of control. In the same way that you offer safeguards to the psyche, you need to create safeguards for yourself. 

One of these is therapist insurance.

Therapist liability insurance protects mental health counselors, practicing psychologists, marriage counselors, and more from being financially hamstrung by a slip-up. Not sure if therapist insurance is right for you? Let’s break it down.

Why You Need Therapist Insurance

When clients come to you for advice and support, they hang on your every word. Have you ever left a counseling session and wondered if what you said was exactly right? While you rely on your training and years of experience to offer the correct treatment and advice, you know that each person is unique, and it can take some tweaking and modification to get it right.

Should your words lead to your client’s negative outcome, you could suddenly be held liable.

Here’s an even more anxiety-inducing situation. Do you serve coffee at your office? Do you offer a hot cup of tea to help calm your clients who are especially stressed out? Are there any loose cords in your office, anything that could cause a slip or fall? Should a client trip (even on their own untied shoelaces) in your office and require medical attention, you could again, be held liable.

While you may be confident in your practice, an insurance plan protects you from the unavoidable.

Types of Therapist Liability Insurance

There are many different types of insurance that you have probably heard of. When looking for standard psychologist insurance coverage or mental health counselor insurance (or others!), there are three primary forms to consider: general liability, professional liability, and cyber security insurance.

  • General Liability Insurance – Sometimes referred to as small business insurance, general liability insurance protects individuals and businesses from many of the errors and mishaps that can occur. That includes third-party property damage, bodily injury, and the medical and legal expenses that arise as a result. 
  • Professional Liability Insurance – Often called “Errors and Omissions” insurance, professionally liability insurance protects you from negligence, breach of contract, and any wrongful advice that led to the financial detriment of your client. This is where you’ll also find the terms around malpractice insurance for counselors
  • Cyber Security Insurance – Can your patients book their treatment sessions online? Do you take credit card payment? Do you have digital records of client health? These are all considered protected or sensitive information. If you are subject to a cybercrime (data hack, data breach, phishing scam, or something else entirely), you could be facing substantial fines. Cyber security works to help you get back on your feet and works with you to prevent these from occurring in the first place.

The average cost of a small business lawsuit can range from a low-end of $3,000 to $10,000, all the way up to the high-end of $50,000 to $150,000.

Reported by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, after a lawsuit, most small businesses have no way of recouping the financial losses. If they push their price up, they’ll lose their competitive edge.

Other Types of Insurance You May Need

If you run your own practice and hire two employees to assist you, your psychologist insurance coverage needs to grow with you. In this case, there are a few other types of insurance that are optional to consider:

  • Workers’ Compensation Policy – If you have employees, this type of coverage is required in many states. Even if it’s not required it’s still helpful to have—should any injury occur to one of your employees this can help cover the damages of medical expenses, costs to cover their position, and paid leave.
  • Commercial Property or Renters Insurance – If you own or rent your office space, you’ll want to have coverage for the natural disasters and accidental disasters that occur. 
  • Commercial Auto Insurance – If you have a vehicle that you use specifically for work and nothing else (driving to and from work, patient house calls, etc.), then you can increase your coverage with a commercial auto policy.

Costs to Not Having an Insurance Plan

Legal teams, even hiring a single lawyer, is expensive. Doctors and medical bills are also expensive. Unfortunately, these are both tied intrinsically to the costs and risks of running a small business.

Despite trying your best every day to help your clients improve their lives, if some accident occurs, all this help could be for naught. If the financial weight of a lawsuit makes your practice go under, then suddenly you can’t be there for your clients’ needs.

Sometimes you have to help yourself, before you can help others. 

With NOW Insurance, you gain the immediate coverage you need so you can continue your practice now and far into the future. Reach out if you need general liability, professional liability, or cyber security insurance for your practice.

Wondering what the average counselor malpractice cost is? Visit NOW Insurance for more information.

Sources:

  1. Rocket Lawyer. Small Business Lawsuits: What Are My Chances of Getting Sued? https://www.rocketlawyer.com/article/business-lawsuits-chances-of-getting-sued-ps.rl
  2. SBA. Impact of Litigation on Small Business. https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/rs265tot.pdf
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