It is necessary to carry mental health liability insurance when you work in any aspect of the health care profession. Just as a medical doctor needs to have some form of malpractice insurance, mental health care professionals need to have some kind of coverage. You may even be required by state law to have some insurance before you are allowed to practice. Some employers may also require you to have some coverage before you are hired. You can keep this and other factors in mind as you look for a suitable policy.
For instance, you can find yourself facing a lawsuit that is without base or merit. Even in this scenario, you will have to pay legal defense fees. However, if you are found liable, you will also have to pay the damages awarded to the claimant. Your insurance policy will cover only a certain amount. It will not cover costs such as punitive damages or cases in which there is obvious fraudulent activity. In addition, your policy will not cover the costs of a claim that was made before you obtained your policy for Mental Health Liability Insurance.
It is also important to understand that Mental Health Liability Insurance is not the same as general liability insurance or commercial property insurance. Professional liability coverage is meant to protect your professional reputation. A lawsuit can involve libel and slander as well as claims of negligence. A patient who claims that your services or lack or services have caused him or her some type of harm can be incredibly damaging to your reputation. Such a claim can negatively affect your ability to attract new patients and even deter some of your existing ones.
You also need to take into account that you may need coverage that extends beyond your primary work site. It is possible that you will visit patients in their homes or even provide counseling remotely. You want to make sure your policy covers you in all these types of settings. Furthermore, you want to keep any employees or independent contractors that may work in the name of your practice covered under your policy. You are liable for any mistakes they make or any claims made against them.
No one is immune from a lawsuit these days, so it is crucial that you have the best mental health liability insurance coverage available to you. A lengthy lawsuit can eat into your expenses as well as your personal assets. You do not want to lose your practice over one claim. You can find insurance companies that specialize in professional liability insurance. You may even find one that works specifically with the mental health profession. If you do not know where to begin, you can consult with a broker or agent.
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