The medical profession is one of the largest career industries in New York today. These professionals range from doctors to nurses to aides to midwives. When you give so much of your life to help and serve others, you may not realize just how important it is to ensure that you are covered on both a professional and personal level. Unfortunately, in today’s society, when something goes wrong, the medical professional is almost immediately to blame in the eyes of the patient (and the ‘ambulance chaser’ egging them on). Even if you are the utmost professional, safety conscience, and responsible person, you can still leave yourself open to potential harm without the proper coverage.
There are several key forms of insurance that every medical office/owner or professional should maintain. We have a complete list of all the policies that will cover you from A to Z.
Do you own your building?
Business Property Insurance
In the event of an incident such as a fire, windstorm, hail or other unseen event, you would like to repair or rebuild your office premises as quickly as possible. Property insurance will protect the building itself from damages, as well as business contents inside, such as records, equipment, or papers. By purchasing an insurance policy from a reputable A-rated company, you can guarantee that in the event of a claim your business will be rebuilt or replaced rapidly so that you may continue your business practices.
Do you rent your office space?
Business Personal Property Insurance
If you were to lose your property or inventory this will certainly affect your bottom line. Could you afford to lose hundreds or thousands on medications, supplies, and office equipment in the event of a loss? Your insurance policy should help restore these items or afford you the monies to purchase more. You would also like your business income to be replaced so that you aren’t out the money you would normally be producing in a given day.
Business Liability Insurance
This insurance will cover accidents, mistakes, and injuries that occur on premises. For example, a slip and fall or someone slips on a patch of ice. Whether an accident is due to an employee’s negligence or whether the incident was no fault of your own at all, you are still vulnerable to a lawsuit. Nowadays lawsuits include, but are not limited to physical, psychological, and financial injuries. There are endless possibilities to the amount of claims that could arise on a daily basis. Think about it this way: every person you have business dealings with, employ, come in contact with, or who come onto your property could potentially sue you for damages. That’s quite a lot of people. Liability insurance will help cover your business during these challenging situations. The policy will cover the costs associated with your legal and defense fees and any monies awarded to the ‘victim’ of the claim up to the maximum amount stated within your policy.
Premises and Operations: Example – Bobby, an elderly gentleman, walks into your clinic and doesn’t see the slight upgrade towards the receptionist desk because the sign fell down last week and you neglected to put it back up, so he trips and falls. As a result he breaks several bones and has to go the hospital for treatment. Your liability coverage will cover you for his medical bills and other payments as a result of your negligence.
Cyber liability and data breach: When you own a professional practice that stores valuable personal information, including social security numbers, medical records, names, addresses, and more you need to demonstrate that you have adequate protection of that data. Every business is vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves. (Keep in mind, it’s easier to hack into a small business security system than a million-dollar national business.) Not only do you want to protect your client’s information, but you also want to protect yourself from being sued by customers who had their information stolen or misused without their permission.
Business Crime: This is essentially what it sounds like. You can perform a thorough interview and examination of new employees, but let’s face it sometimes a bad egg slips through the cracks. In the event you have an employee who steals money, business property/equipment, or customers personal information you will need coverage. Theft shouldn’t be your only concern either. You can also obtain coverage for the following: embezzlement, employee dishonesty, money and securities – inside and outside, money orders and counterfeit paper currency, as well as forgery and alteration.
Employment Practices Liability: A traditional medical office environment that has been in business for more than a few years has likely had a decent turnover rate with employees coming and going. Any employee – whether past, present or potential/future can bring legal action against you at any time. This insurance will cover the business itself, its directors and officers, and employees who are accused of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other employment-related offenses.
Professional liability: It is a legal obligation between an insurance company and a health care professional that states the insurance company will be responsible to compensate patients injured or suffering as a result of the covered health professionals actions or omissions. The health care professional (“insured”) will pay a specified amount of premium and the insurance company (“insurer”) will agree to pay out on a claim up to the designated maximum policy amount. By obtaining a professional liability, you can protect yourself from legitimate as well as frivolous lawsuits from patients. It is absolutely imperative to cover yourself on a professional level in order to protect your personal assets as well. Medical Professionals are often easy targets because they are often thought of as being wealthy or of elite status. Many scheming ‘patients’ will target medical professionals in the hopes of a quick and easy insurance settlement. Although this is partially true, an insurance claim will pay out; but only in the event that it is a legitimate claim. More importantly, you will be covered in the event of frivolous lawsuits, which often have the most expensive defense costs.
In the State of New York, if you have at least one employee you must carry worker’s comp insurance or you can be fined a costly amount of money, far exceeding what a regular policy would normally cost. Not only should you adhere to proper OSHA procedures, but you should also safeguard yourself, your business and your employees from work-related incidents. Even if you have a perfect workplace environment, an accident is bound to happen. Medical needs will need to be addressed and you absolutely need and want coverage for them.
Protect yourself and your office today! Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable commercial insurance experts and let us build your medical practice a custom tailored policy package that will suit your individual needs. We care about your business as much as you do and we strive to help protect your interests as if they were our own.