Professional Liability Insurance for Physiotherapists
Proper alignment and flexibility. It’s not just what you provide your clients, it’s what you require of your professional liability insurance for physiotherapists. In this post, we cover how a professional liability insurance plan for physiotherapists brokered by ALIGNED addresses liability risks when opening a new physiotherapy practice.
What are the Risks of Running a Physiotherapy Clinic?
Because of the nature of the physiotherapy act and the physical state of physiotherapy patients, physiotherapists face increased liability risks that include the possibility of exacerbating injuries during rehabilitation sessions, misdiagnosing injuries and care of patients, and accompanying family members slip-and-fall injuries on clinic property. Keep in mind that the costs to defend against these claims add up quickly whether they have merit or not.
Here are some of the highlights of professional liability insurance for physiotherapists and other key coverages necessary to manage the risks of a physiotherapy practice:
Professional Liability Insurance for Physiotherapists provides legal expense coverage including settlements and awards for damages for legal proceedings based on physiotherapy treatments.
Commercial General Liability Insurance provides legal coverage for slip-and-fall injury suits, libel/slander allegations and claims of false advertising, among others.
Property Insurance that protects buildings and contents including equipment, supplies, and assets in case of perils such as fires, floods, bad weather incidents, etc. Your physiotherapy practice guidelines may also require
- Business Interruption coverage to help you manage your operating expenses after an insured peril; and
- Extra Expense protection to help you set up a temporary location to provide your patients with seamless rehabilitation services.
Boiler & Machinery Insurance / Equipment Breakdown Insurance that protects your practice in case of losses due to equipment failure including repair or replacement costs and other costs stemming from equipment malfunction or other specified perils like electrical arching, power surges, etc.
Opening a Physiotherapist Practice? Choosing a Location & Other Considerations
If you’re opening a new private physiotherapy practice you are obviously aware of the importance of your physical location as both a convenience consideration for your patients and a visibility factor to increase foot traffic. Clinic Supplies Canada’s Clinical Solutions Blog has some great tips on choosing an office location for a physiotherapy clinic in their social media post “How to Choose a Good Location for a Physiotherapy Clinic” which includes:
- “Establish a local presence before you arrive
- Find a location with lots of traffic and good signage
- Be near referral sources
- If you can afford it – buy, don’t rent
- Know your square footage requirements
- Live near your location
- Plan for the unexpected”
Whether you are planning on opening a stand-alone physiotherapy clinic, are joining an existing facility or are considering a home-based practice, the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario provides a helpful checklist that all Canadian physiotherapists should consult that details all of the obligations of running a physiotherapy practice including information and resources on:
- Fees, billing and accounts
- Physical work environment
- Infection control and equipment maintenance
- Record keeping and privacy
- Working with Physiotherapist Assistants
- Maintaining boundaries
- Conflicts of interest
- Membership requirements (to the Ontario College)
- Links to CRA’s page “Employee or Self-Employed” and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s guidance on Independent Contractors
- Medical malpractice insurance for medical practitioners in Canada
- And other considerations include developing a business plan, consulting a lawyer and consulting an insurance broker
The last point is an important one. Every physiotherapy practice is unique and will have its own specific challenges and risks to consider including location, number of patients and staff, years of experience, and more. It’s critical that you consult with a commercial insurance expert who has access to the top insurance providers and will advocate on your behalf for comprehensive coverage at competitive rates.
What Insurance Does a Physiotherapist Need?
Professional Liability Insurance/Malpractice Insurance is important for physiotherapists because your facility provides a healthcare service. Professional Liability Insurance can protect your business against legal actions and lawsuits arising from physiotherapy treatments you provide.
Malpractice Insurance can be purchased on a per-occurrence or claims-made basis depending on the type of insurance policy you want. It’s one of the most important types of insurance to purchase for any healthcare facility. It covers your business when there are claims of negligence, error, or misconduct that cause an injury to any patient. Insurance claims and lawsuits can be especially costly in the healthcare industry, so Malpractice Insurance ensures you are protected regardless if you win the case or not.
Physiotherapists should also consider Commercial Property Insurance, especially because professional physiotherapy equipment can be very expensive to repair or replace. Commercial property insurance protects your physiotherapy clinic against damages caused by insured perils like a flood, storm, theft, fire, or act of vandalism. Your insurance policy can provide coverage for repair and replacement costs needed to get your clinic operating again.
A key part of Commercial Property Insurance is Business Interruption Insurance. If an unexpected event leaves your physiotherapy clinic inoperable, Business Interruption Insurance can provide protection for lost revenue as well as compensate for wages and other expenses while your clinic is being repaired.
How Much Does Professional Liability Insurance Cost for a Small Business?
It depends on the amount of insurance you purchase. The median cost is $59 per month for small businesses, but the rate could increase if you have more coverage limits or a more comprehensive plan. Your previous insurance claims history also has an impact on how much you pay for insurance. Most small businesses pay around $500 to $1000 each year for Professional Liability Insurance.
Your Goal is Proper ALIGNMENT. So is Ours
Our brokers are not only commercial insurance specialists, but we’re also advocates. We work with Canada’s top insurance companies to get your physiotherapy practice the coverage it needs at affordable rates. Get a quote online or contact us to discuss your professional liability insurance for physiotherapists’ coverage needs.