Insurance for Physical Therapists

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How Physical Therapists and Insurance Connect

As a physical therapist, you have committed your life to helping people recover from injuries and disabilities in order to reach their full potential. However, even despite the best intentions for the fitness and wellness of your clients, you are still at risk for lawsuits.

Physical therapists can face many liability risks in the field. Whether it’s accusations of negligence, sexual misconduct, or injury, practicing physical therapists can easily be caught in litigation. Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you do your job, the very nature of your work is risky. Even long-term, trusted clients can end up filing a claim against you if they don’t achieve the kinds of results they were hoping for.

As a Physical Therapist, encountering a lawsuit can potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars just to defend yourself; this does not include the settlement costs accrued if you end up losing. Making sure that you are covered by the right insurance is a way for you to avoid jeopardizing your finances and the future of your career.

What Risks Physical Therapists Face

Any profession that deals with other people comes with its share of risks. However, these risks are increased in the healthcare field. No matter how many years you studied or how many years you have been working, you are only human and mistakes can still occur.

The amount of Professional Liability claims brought against Physical Therapists are considerable. This is partially due to the varying methodologies from state to state which makes it hard to define sweeping standards for Physical Therapists.

As a Physical Therapist, your profession is based upon manipulating the human body. In recent years, the demand for Physical Therapy services has begun to grow as the general population grows older. In this line of work, even your best efforts and intentions could potentially result in limited or even no progress by your patients. In some cases you may even risk exacerbating existing conditions or inadvertently causing new injuries.

Malpractice allegations against physical care providers are no longer only based on errors or mistakes in treatments. Today, these lawsuits can stem merely from how a patient or client feels they were treated—or mistreated—by you or your facility.

How to Mitigate Risks

Working as a Physical Therapist means dealing with others’ safety every single day. Because of this, it is important to ensure you and your career are safeguarded by appropriate insurance coverage.

Professional Liability Insurance

Whether you are self-employed or employed by a fitness center, school, or clinic, the best way to protect yourself against allegations or claims is your own Professional Liability Insurance policy. More likely than not, your employer already offers you some insurance coverage. However, there are many instances in which these coverages will not leave you fully protected.

Business Owners Policy

A Business Owners Policy (BOP) offers small business owners protection against various mishaps, such as fire and theft, and can include third party claims from damages that occur at clients’ private homes.

Workers Compensation

Practicing Physical Therapy can put a lot of stresses on you and your employees, and a Workers Compensation policy can help pay for medical needs in the case that you’re injured while on the job. While the requirements vary by state, in some cases you’ll need to have a policy even if you don’t have employees besides yourself.

Bundling several coverages is often the best way to ensure you are safeguarded against the many potential risks inherent to your line of work. There are many options available, but finding a plan that is designed especially for Physical Therapists is the best way to ensure appropriate coverage.

Your most important responsibility as a Physical Therapist is to provide quality care to your clients. By taking the time to arrange your own personal insurance with your specific needs in mind, you can rest easy.

What type of insurance does this industry need?

Policy What is it? Why get it Popularity in your industry Want free quotes?
Professional Liability
This policy, common in the professional services industry, helps to protect your business if a client believes they've suffered a loss due to a mistake or error made in a professional capacity. Your business may have contracts with clients or partners that require Professional Liability coverage, provide a "warranty or guarantee," or have clauses that require you to "indemnify or hold harmless" your clients. If so, Professional Liability coverage is often recommended. This coverage is also commonly recommended for any businesses providing advice related to legal or financial matters.

What is it: This policy, common in the professional services industry, helps to protect your business if a client believes they've suffered a loss due to a mistake or error made in a professional capacity.

Why get it: Your business may have contracts with clients or partners that require Professional Liability coverage, provide a "warranty or guarantee," or have clauses that require you to "indemnify or hold harmless" your clients. If so, Professional Liability coverage is often recommended. This coverage is also commonly recommended for any businesses providing advice related to legal or financial matters.

Errors & Omissions (E&O)
This policy, common in the professional services industry, helps to protect your business if a client believes they've suffered a loss due to an error or omission on your part. Your business may have contracts with clients or partners that require E&O coverage, provide a "warranty or guarantee," or have clauses that require you to "indemnify or hold harmless" your clients. If so, E&O coverage is often recommended. This coverage is also commonly recommended for any businesses providing advice related to legal or financial matters.

What is it: This policy, common in the professional services industry, helps to protect your business if a client believes they've suffered a loss due to an error or omission on your part.

Why get it: Your business may have contracts with clients or partners that require E&O coverage, provide a "warranty or guarantee," or have clauses that require you to "indemnify or hold harmless" your clients. If so, E&O coverage is often recommended. This coverage is also commonly recommended for any businesses providing advice related to legal or financial matters.

Medical Malpractice
This coverage protects physicians and other licensed health care professionals (e.g., dentists, nurses) from liability associated with wrongful practices resulting in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage. The potential for a lawsuit is high in medical professions, and this coverage will help protect your business from the costs of damages and legal fees.

What is it: This coverage protects physicians and other licensed health care professionals (e.g., dentists, nurses) from liability associated with wrongful practices resulting in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage.

Why get it: The potential for a lawsuit is high in medical professions, and this coverage will help protect your business from the costs of damages and legal fees.

General Liability
This policy protects your business in case of third party claims, such as bodily injury or property damage. For example, the common "slip-and-fall" claim would be covered by your General Liability policy. General Liability insurance is often considered to be the core coverage, particularly for businesses that regularly physically interact with customers or sell physical goods. In addition, many businesses have a contract, like a loan or a lease, requiring that they have this coverage.

What is it: This policy protects your business in case of third party claims, such as bodily injury or property damage. For example, the common "slip-and-fall" claim would be covered by your General Liability policy.

Why get it: General Liability insurance is often considered to be the core coverage, particularly for businesses that regularly physically interact with customers or sell physical goods. In addition, many businesses have a contract, like a loan or a lease, requiring that they have this coverage.

Commercial Property
This policy protects the business's physical assets and is appropriate whether you own or lease your space. Keep in mind that this policy will only offer protection in the case of covered events. If you need protection for certain scenarios, such as floods or earthquakes, you may need additional coverage. If you have a mortgage or a lease, you may be required to have property insurance. Even if you are not, this is the best way to protect the building you are in and the business property you have in case of a natural disaster or some other accident.

What is it: This policy protects the business's physical assets and is appropriate whether you own or lease your space. Keep in mind that this policy will only offer protection in the case of covered events. If you need protection for certain scenarios, such as floods or earthquakes, you may need additional coverage.

Why get it: If you have a mortgage or a lease, you may be required to have property insurance. Even if you are not, this is the best way to protect the building you are in and the business property you have in case of a natural disaster or some other accident.

Workers Compensation
Workers Compensation covers an employee's lost wages and the cost of resulting medical treatment if they suffer a work-related injury or disease. It also covers services needed to help the employee recover and return to work. Workers Compensation coverage is mandatory in most states. The number of employees after which it's required differs by state, but you will generally need coverage once you have employees.

What is it: Workers Compensation covers an employee's lost wages and the cost of resulting medical treatment if they suffer a work-related injury or disease. It also covers services needed to help the employee recover and return to work.

Why get it: Workers Compensation coverage is mandatory in most states. The number of employees after which it's required differs by state, but you will generally need coverage once you have employees.

Umbrella Insurance
Umbrella insurance offers excess liability protection in the case that your General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, and/or Employer's Liability coverage is insufficient. It essentially acts as a "back-up" plan, providing additional financial protection in the case that your business faces a particularly large claim that exceeds a single policy's limits. This policy can be particularly valuable for a business that faces a variety of risks and has multiple liability policies.

What is it: Umbrella insurance offers excess liability protection in the case that your General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, and/or Employer's Liability coverage is insufficient. It essentially acts as a "back-up" plan, providing additional financial protection in the case that your business faces a particularly large claim that exceeds a single policy's limits.

Why get it: This policy can be particularly valuable for a business that faces a variety of risks and has multiple liability policies.

Hired & Non-Owned Auto
This insurance protects the business in the case of any incidents involving a vehicle that has been hired by the company to be used for business-related purposes. It also provides coverage in the case your business uses other vehicles which are not property of the business, such as having delivery drivers use their own vehicles. If your company hires vehicles or allows employees to use their own vehicles for business purposes, you will want to consider this insurance.

What is it: This insurance protects the business in the case of any incidents involving a vehicle that has been hired by the company to be used for business-related purposes. It also provides coverage in the case your business uses other vehicles which are not property of the business, such as having delivery drivers use their own vehicles.

Why get it: If your company hires vehicles or allows employees to use their own vehicles for business purposes, you will want to consider this insurance.

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