Insurance Plans For Nutritionists: Everything You Need to Know
Finding the right insurance can be frustrating with so many insurance policy plans out there. As a nutritionist, you might be wondering “Do Nutritionists Need Insurance?” After all, your practice is low-risk enough that you probably won’t need coverage right? Wrong, actually — this is wishful thinking, and the inherent risks of your practice (and the mistakes of being human) make nutritionist insurance necessary.
Don’t worry, disentangling the components of coverage will help make your options crystal clear.
To that end, let’s break down insurance policy plans for nutritionists and nutritionist business owners and help you decide what coverage you need, so you can focus on keeping your practice safe and successful.
Insurance Policy Plans for Nutritionists
Whether you’re a self-employed nutritionist, an employee working for a separate business, or even if you’re part of a sub-industry (maybe you’re a nutritional coach or a holistic nutritionist)—your approach to insurance will be the same as your practice. Like a diet or meal plan, each insurance coverage needs to be catered to the individual.
No two gut biomes are the same; no two businesses are the same either.
In addition to individualized coverage, business owners should also look for business owner’s policies. When it comes to insurance, even if it’s not required by law, the US Small Business Administration suggests you get it anyway to protect yourself from unexpected costs.
Insurance Policy Plans for Individual Nutritionists
Between the uncertainty of your employer’s policy limits and forgoing any coverage because it seems unlikely you’ll need it (only to find yourself fighting a lawsuit out of pocket), it’s not worth the stress. Though nutrition therapy may seem like a low-risk practice area, even counseling a patient with seemingly simple needs (such as help with weight loss, eating habits, or an eating disorder) can lead to a lawsuit. There’s no real reason to skip out on insurance, especially in today’s particularly litigious environment.
If cost is a factor, think of it from the perspective of long-term expenses: the price of insurance will cost much less than whatever legal and financial ramifications you’re dealt while uninsured. Plus, most insurance providers offer a ranging scale of price and coverage.
Here are the policies to look for when seeking coverage as an individual nutritionist:
- Professional Liability Insurance – Essentially, this policy protects you from claims of malpractice. Whenever you give a client advice or recommendations, you are at risk for potentially overlooking something. For instance, if they forgot to tell you about a pre-existing medical condition and you instructed them to try a supplement that unknowingly exacerbated their condition, you could have a claim on your hands.
If you sell dietary supplements, herbal remedies, or health-related products, you should not go without this policy. Everyone’s body reacts differently to products, and sometimes that reaction can be a negative one. This will cover your legal expenses and potential settlement, and often extends beyond the workplace, offering coverage wherever your sales take place.
Additionally, personal and advertising injury insurance oftenly falls under general liability policy and can cover your legal costs such as false arrest, malicious prosecution, unjust eviction or entry, slander via oral or written publications (also called libel), violation of privacy, false advertising, or the use of someone else’s advertising and trying to pass it off as your own.
- Cyber Liability Insurance – This will cover your practice’s digital realm, like costs associated with data breaches, software and malware attacks, and cyber extortion. It also will cover the resulting expenses like notifying clients about the aforementioned cyber attacks and offering them fraud monitoring services. If it comes to it, this will also cover your legal expenses. If you do any business online or store patient information, especially sales, this is a must. The digital world is one fraught with phishing scams and valuable information. Keep the former at bay and the latter protected with cyber liability insurance.
Insurance Policy Plans for Nutritionist Business Owners
Business insurance policies are often highly customizable, meaning that you can work with an agent from your insurance provider to tailor your plan to fit your business’s exact needs. If you own or rent a building for your practice, or if you own expensive equipment to conduct your work, having these insured can grant you peace of mind.
Oftentimes, you can get a business owner’s policy that includes elements of an individual plan. A standard business owner’s policy will include general liability insurance, business interruption insurance, and property insurance, according to TRUiC. Many general liability policies also give you personal and advertising injury insurance.
Here are some elements of the business owner’s policies that you should consider:
- Professional Liability Insurance – This type of policy, again, protects you from claims of malpractice. Also called “errors and omissions” insurance, this policy helps when your practice offers nutrition advice that leads to a client’s financial loss, injury, disability, etc. Any missed allergies or pre-existing conditions could lead to an expensive legal debacle. You need this coverage to protect your practice from professional errors. This is arguably the most standard and important business policy.
- General Liability Insurance – Sometimes called commercial general liability insurance (CGL), this protects your business from claims of bodily injury and property damage to third parties. If someone trips or falls on your property, you could be held liable if they get hurt and have medical expenses that need to be paid. Similarly, if something happens to their car or their personal property while with you, you could be held liable for property damage and any legal defense costs that arise.
- Cyber Liability Insurance – As a nutritionist, you’re holding a ton of personal information, and if there were to be a breach, you’d have to pay. Luckily with cyber liability insurance many of the damages will be covered. If your general liability insurance limit is on the lower end, you may want to consider this option so you’re not stuck with any out-of-pocket costs.
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance – Depending on your state’s regulations, you may not be required by law to have this policy, but it’s still in your business’s best interest to (if you have employees). This will help cover the costs of immediate medical attention and ongoing medical expenses that result from work-related injuries, as well as the lost wages from the employee being unable to work.
- Commercial Property Insurance – This will provide coverage to your building and to your belongings inside in the case of damages resulting from natural disasters like fires or anthropogenic causes like theft. While this policy is similar to renter’s insurance, it’s also applicable to property owners.
Influencing Factors on Insurance Costs
There are several factors that influence the cost of insurance coverage plans. For an individual, the insurance cost is largely determined by your personal involvement in the business, implying that less hours worked means less coverage needed, and therefore a less overall cost.
For business owners, on the other hand, cost of insurance is based on a rough estimation of the hazards, risks, and value of the business itself, as well as what sort of coverage, and how much, you’re expecting to need. For more detailed information on pricing factors, check out our article: How Much Does Nutritionist Insurance Cost?
Personal Involvement in a Business
Of course, an insurance policy plan as an individual nutritionist will cost less than a nutritionist who is also a business owner, and a nutritionist business owner insuring only themselves will pay less than one adding employees to their plan. That’s why it’s important to find an insurance plan that will scale with you as your business grows.
Here is an indication of how prices can change depending on the number of hours you work and your involvement in a business, from least to greatest expected cost:
- Students who are still studying in a university or trade school
- Part time employees who work less than 10 hours a week
- Professionals who work more than 10 hours per week
- Employers (pricing increases as your business grows)
Estimated Value and Needs of a Business
As a business owner, insuring your employees is a good idea, but it’s contingent on the coverage that will be offered to them under your plan and whether or not your employees will have better options by insuring themselves.
Here are the other factors that will help determine the value and price of your liability policy:
- Number of employees in the workplace
- Nutritionist services offered
- Average revenue
- Equipment and other work-related property
- Annual per-occurrence policy limits
- General aggregate limit
Use Your Knowledge to Communicate Your Needs
Inc. Magazine is one of many sources that believe when it comes to insurance, one single mistake can completely tank a business. They encourage people, and their businesses, to communicate with their insurance agents and “ask about the additions or amendments—called endorsements—that get you to the right level of coverage.”Proper communication can ensure that you have the right kind of coverage, so you can rest assured that one botched meal plan or nutrition program won’t end your career as a nutrition professional.
Decide what you need, prepare some questions, and then speak with a NOW Insurance agent about the best ways to cover your business. With the knowledge of all the insurance policy plans, you could ever need as a nutritionist talking to us will be a walk in the park.
It’s friendly service, simple and affordable coverage for nutritionists, and it’s right NOW.
- U.S. Small Business Administration. Get Business Insurance. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/get-business-insurance
- TRUiC. Business Insurance for Nutritionists. https://howtostartanllc.com/business-insurance/business-insurance-for-nutritionists
- Inc Magazine. One Insurance Mistake Can Sink Your Business. Here’s What You Need to Know. https://www.inc.com/magazine/201706/kate-rockwood/business-insurance-tips.html