Counsellors have huge responsibilities. As a counsellor, you help individuals, couples, and families overcome some of the biggest and most difficult physical, emotional, and mental hurdles in their lives. Being a counsellor is rewarding but also has its risks and challenges. Counsellors need to pay close attention to their patients, accurately provide advice and consultations, recognize the signs of danger in their patients, and help their patients work through their challenges.
Types of counsellors that should think about counselling insurance include:
- Mental health counsellors
- Social workers
- Occupational therapists
- Marriage and family counselors
- Speech & language pathologists
Regardless of the type of counselling you provide and whether you are an independent counsellor or work in a clinic, institution, or hospital setting, one wrong move can cost you a lot. Your patients can file lawsuits and claims stating financial losses, damages, mental anguish and/or bodily injuries.
Counselling insurance will help protect you and your business from these risks.
Why is Counselling Insurance Important?
Anytime you advise a patient, there are risks associated with the advice. Everyone is different and can react differently to the advice you give. Here are some risks that a counsellor might encounter:
- A patient is dissatisfied with your advice because it doesn’t improve their condition.
- A patient’s condition worsens after seeing you for counselling.
- You suspect a dangerous situation in the personal life of your patient but fail to make a report causing the patient to get harmed.
- A patient follows your advice and suffers a significant financial loss related to the advice given.
There are other risks in the counselling business that you might not even be aware of. But when the unexpected happens, counselling insurance will ensure your business is protected.
What Does Counselling Insurance Include?
Commercial General Liability Insurance – Also known as CGL insurance, commercial general liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that could be incurred as a result of running your practice.
Professional Liability Insurance – Even years of training and practice can result in occasional mistakes. But if your mistakes cause patients to not get the results you promised, there could be lawsuits. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors & omissions insurance, covers situations where your mistakes or advice cause losses and damages.
Commercial Property Insurance – If a fire or theft results in losses and damages to your assets, commercial property insurance can provide compensation for repairs and replacements.
Cyber Liability Insurance – This is important if you provide online counselling services because the information your patients share is often highly confidential and there are significant implications and costs if others access that information or your system is locked and a ransom is requested.
Why do Counsellors Need Public Liability Insurance?
Public Liability Insurance is also called Commercial General Liability Insurance. It protects your business against financial losses from any risks arising during the day-to-day operations of your services, business operations, and employees.
Public Liability Insurance is important for counsellors because counsellors may rely on various equipment and office space to provide services. Depending on the type of counselling you provide to clients, you might also incorporate exercises and activities that could result in bodily injuries or third-party property damage.
For example, an occupational therapist might develop a treatment plan for a patient that just had a stroke. The treatment plan can consist of stretching and strengthening exercises that help the patient regain the functionality of their body. It can also consist of equipment like wheelchairs. Any of these activities or equipment can cause property damage or bodily injuries to the client.
Purchasing Public Liability Insurance can help counsellors stay protected and covered against the medical fees, legal costs, monetary judgment, and settlements that result from any third-party claims or lawsuits alleging third-party bodily injuries and property damage.
Consider the following scenarios:
Example 1: Your client visits your clinic, and your employee recently mopped the floors. They accidentally slip on the wet floor in your office space and sprain their wrist. Your client proceeds to sue your business for causing bodily injury, and you have to pay legal expenses and medical fees that are very costly.
Example 2: Your client requires specific leg strengthening activities to treat their chronic pain and arthritis. You help them with their exercises, but they accidentally injure themselves during the process. Your client sues you for causing bodily injury, and you have to pay medical and legal settlements.
Example 3: Your client requires a treadmill or elliptical machine to build stamina, coordination, and strength. However, the exercise machine falls over and damages the floor and walls of your client’s property. The client proceeds to sue you for property damages.
In all scenarios, Public Liability Insurance covers the costs of medical and legal fees and settlements incurred.
Can I Buy Counsellors Professional Liability Insurance Without Registering a Business?
Yes, it’s possible to purchase counsellors Professional Liability Insurance without registering a business.
For example, a counsellor can operate as a sole proprietor under their given name. However, they still want to purchase Professional Liability Insurance to protect themselves against liability and lawsuits stemming from the advice and services they provide.
In this case, the individual would purchase Professional Liability Insurance as a sole proprietor without registering a business. They receive the protection that Professional Liability Insurance provides for companies based on the amount of coverage chosen.
Find the Right Counselling Insurance
ALIGNED works with Canada’s top insurance companies to provide custom insurance packages at affordable prices. Contact an ALIGNED commercial insurance specialist for a free quote, or use our free online tool.
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