by Ed Sneineh
Chicago Insurance Agent

Getting insurance for counseling centers, therapists and nurses can be a challenging process because of the nature of risk involved and the amount of potential bodily injuries and damages that can occur. Counselors, therapists (physical, occupational or social work) , and nurses may be involved in a variety of tasks and activities including: Administrative, lab, hospital ward, outpatient clinic, rehab department, emergency room, nursing home, operating room, patient home, classroom, etc.

Counselors, therapists, and registry nurses may be providing several services that require  high level of professionalism and care for customers. For that and other reasons, they need professional liability insurance to cover them in the event where  their negligent acts causes damages to others. Activities that would be covered include things like: Family planning, Drug, detoxification, S.T.D., Abortion, Drug Methadone, Alcohol Abuse, Incidental Legal Counseling Family, Adoption Screening, Marital Counseling,  Foster Care Screening, Counseling Sexual Offenders, Crisis Intervention, Domestic Abuses, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation, Narcotic Counseling, Hotline Counseling, and many other activities.

Professional Liability for Counseling Centers, Therapists and Nurses

The most important criterion that determines the acceptability and rate of this class of business is the size of operations. Annual payroll and receipts are important indications about the size of operations and, therefore, the amount of risk. Larges size operations pay higher premiums.

Scope of operations is the second most important factor that determines acceptability and rates. Non medical counselor or therapist pay less than emergency room medical staff, for instance. The more risky activities involved the more premium needed for the coverage. For an organization to be involved in multiple activities could make it harder for that organization to  acquire the needed coverage.  Several questions may be asked in connection with the details of the activities of each of these classes.

Types and limits of insurance are also important factors in determining eligibility and rates. Rates for limits of $500,000 each occurrence are lower than that $1,0000,000 each occurrence. Also, professional liability is often sold on the basis of 'claims made', meaning that insurance will cover any claims based on when it was discovered and reported, not based on when the professional incident occurred in the past.

Since sexual molestation is a crime that is not an accident, and is excluded from professional or general liability, additional coverage is needed if sexual molestation is a risk. Coverage may be obtained but at an additional premiums. If sexual molestation coverage is needed the insured must demonstrate that extreme care is exercised when hiring people who work with much mentally or physically challenged patients or children.

The experience of the business, educational and professional backgrounds and certification of the staff are all key factors, especially for newer businesses. Affiliations with professional organizations reflect higher level of professionalism. Previous claims may play detrimental role in acquiring new insurance.

Besides the professional liability that is needed by all counselors, therapists, and registry nurses, these people may need the following traditional coverages:

1. Commercial General Liability for their business and premises.
2. Business Auto Insurance to cover their business autos. Extreme care is needed here if transportation of patient is involved. Transporting patients require special insurance and is not the same as regular personal insurance.
3. Workers Compensation is necessary to cover staff, on premises and off premises.
4. Property. This include building coverage if the building is owned by the insured, and business personal property.
5. Umbrella / Excess liability insurance is recommended especially for larger operations.

An experienced independent insurance agents may be helpful in getting the best comprehensive quotes for a business. Larger size businesses require extreme care to the amount and type of coverages.
Insurance Navy is leader in providing Chicago professional liability insurance, with many years of experience. Call us for a free quote today at 708 233 4848.
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