What Type of Insurance do Acupuncturists Need?
Acupuncturists need a comprehensive insurance package tailored to their particular business model developed with the assistance of a commercial insurance specialist. It should include Commercial General Liability coverage, also called “slip-and-fall” insurance to guard against bodily injury or property damage that may occur as a result of clients interacting with your business, as well as Errors and Omissions Insurance (also called Professional Liability Insurance). This can cover any costs associated with lawsuits brought against you. It covers settlement or damages costs and can also cover legal fees.
Acupuncturists should also consider Cyber Liability and Privacy Insurance to safeguard their online assets and client information that might be stored in online servers in the event of a data breach or a malicious attack.
Property Insurance protects your physical location and contents in the event of extreme weather or other extreme circumstances. You may wish to add on Business Interruption Insurance if you are unable to operate due to such an event.
Finally, acupuncturists should consider Employment Practices Liability Insurance to guard against employees alleging discrimination or harassment against your business.
Risk-Management Recommendations for Your Acupuncture Clinic
From patients at high risk of bleeding to accusations of false advertising to infection risks, running an allied health practice such an acupuncture clinic and traditional Chinese medicine can leave you on pins and needles. Baseless allegations alone can result in mounting legal costs that can ruin your Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice. We’ve provided risk-management techniques and information on how acupuncturist insurance can help protect your acupuncture clinic.
The following are some of the risk-management practices suggested by Acupuncture Alberta for running a safe clinic that are helpful to all Canadian Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners:
- Ensure parking areas, entryways and hallways are well lit.
- Install a security system.
- Carry premises liability insurance coverage
- Check with city bylaws to ensure the area is zoned for the practice of acupuncture.
- Make sure that building code requirements are met.
- Obtain a business license if applicable.
- Seek legal advice regarding any contractual agreement with landlords.
- Confirm responsibilities such as shoveling the sidewalk or building repairs as detailed in the lease agreement.
- Accessibility for disabled patients or employees: assess building location for safe accessibility. Assess wheelchair access from the parking area to the office. Assess wheelchair access to a restroom with a transfer bar equipped toilet stall, and with a sink for seated users.
- The acupuncture clinic has to meet the requirements of the local health and fire department and regulations or standards of practice and competency.
Risk Management Guidelines
Here are some further risk-management guidelines we recommend that can help reduce the risk of injuries and legal liability claims:
- Follow your provincial college’s clinical practice guidelines
- Use and maintain patient screening questionnaires and obtain informed consent for all procedures
- Implement data and cyber security software and protocols
- Consult a lawyer and have her/him draft patient waivers
- Ensure staff and practitioners have current Standard First Aid Certificates and are trained in CPR
- Ensure your clinic has first aid kits that meet Canadian Red Cross standards (www.redcross.ca)
- Make fire exits clearly visible and have emergency evacuation measures and training in place
- Keep floors and walkways clear of tripping hazards
- Surfaces such as counters, tables, waiting room chairs, floors, walls, etc., should be made of easily cleanable materials and textures
- Set up scheduled cleaning of all these surfaces
- Maintain proper lighting throughout the clinic
- Ensure that bathrooms are easily accessible to both staff and patients and are also cleaned on schedule
- Ensure all medicine, cleaning agent and other chemicals are clearly labelled using applicable regulatory standards, including WHMIS safety data sheets
- Provide provincially accredited workplace harassment and safety training to all practitioners and staff
How Acupuncturists Liability Insurance Can Protect Your Clinic
These are the customizable insurance policies we recommend as part of an acupuncturist liability insurance package:
Errors & Omissions (E&O) / Professional Liability Insurance – which can cover your legal costs including lawyer’s fees, out-of-court settlement costs and awards for damages against you for lawsuits alleging malpractice or injury from acupuncture treatments and traditional Chinese medicine services.
For more detailed liability coverage information, visit our Medical Malpractice Insurance For Medical Practitioners In Canada page.
Commercial General Liability Insurance – can provide liability insurance coverage for slip-and-fall and other personal injury lawsuits unrelated to acupuncture treatments; allegations of property damage; libel/slander allegations for verbal, written and published defamatory statements brought by a patient, former staff or competitors and legal claims of false advertising.
Property Insurance – which protects building and contents including office equipment, furniture, medicine and supplies and other business assets in case of damage or destruction due to perils such as fires, floods, sewage backups, etc. Your acupuncture clinic may also need:
- Business Interruption coverage to help you manage your company operating expenses after an insured peril; and
- Extra Expense protection to help cover the costs of setting up a temporary location and continue serving after an insured peril.
Cyber Liability & Privacy Insurance – patient records contain highly-sensitive personal information and carry with them legal confidentiality responsibilities. Cyber liability insurance plans can protect your acupuncture clinic from the costs of a breach including third-party losses and notifications, costs to repair systems and data and ransomware costs.
Employment Practices Liability (EPL) Insurance – can provide cover your company in case of suits brought by current or former staff member alleging that harassment or discrimination took place in your acupuncture clinic.
Will Acupuncture Malpractice Insurance Cover My Home-Based Clinic?
Many clients prefer visiting you in the comfort of your home rather than a clinic, and at-home acupuncture clinics thrive. Acupuncture malpractice insurance, also called Professional Liability or Errors and Omissions Insurance, will cover your home-based clinic as any other. Properly licensed and accredited acupuncturists can receive malpractice and additional insurance coverage for a home-based clinic.
How Much Acupuncture Liability Coverage Should I Get?
That question can only be answered by you working with your ALIGNED commercial insurance specialist. Factors such as the size of your business, whether you have staff, whether there have been any previous claims against your business, and your annual and projected revenue will all play into the cost of your liability coverage. How much you carry depends on these factors, as well as your insurance broker’s assessment of your risk and your own desired level of security. Each business has a different risk level based on its unique characteristics.
Acupuncturists Insurance Brokered by ALIGNED – Saving You Time, Money, Hassle and Potential Liabilities
When you choose ALIGNED, you get an advocate who specializes in commercial insurance coverage for businesses searching Canada’s top insurance companies to get you comprehensive acupuncture insurance policy that covers your liability exposures at affordable rates. Contact an ALIGNED advocate to get a free quote on acupuncturists insurance in minutes or get started right now by using our free online tool.