Finding the right business insurance as a clinical social worker is an important step in protecting your business and achieving long-term success.
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With a broad range of work settings, responsibilities, and distinct challenges presented by at-risk clients, clinical social workers face many unique hazards that have the potential to financially ruin their business. If you work as a clinical social worker, it is vital to purchase business insurance that suits your needs and adequately protects your business from the many risks in the health care industry.
What insurance coverage do I need as a clinical social worker?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but the following policies are particularly relevant to clinical social workers:
Malpractice insurance, or professional liability insurance, provides coverage for health care professionals in the event of a liability lawsuit alleging negligence or failure in professional duties. Much like other health care professionals, clinical social workers are especially vulnerable to lawsuits resulting from damages that a client experiences due to the professional’s mistakes, negligence, or perceived failures.
Tasked with properly assessing, diagnosing, and administering treatment for clients, clinical social workers carry the large responsibility of overseeing the well-being of their clients. Since a single mistake or oversight can have irreparable consequences, liability coverage is critical. Malpractice insurance can pay for legal fees and damages in the event of a malpractice lawsuit.
- One of your teenage clients at a mental health center tries to commit suicide and requires medical attention. His parents sue you for negligence, claiming you failed to take all the necessary steps to recognize and prevent the suicide attempt. Your malpractice insurance would cover the legal fees associated with this lawsuit.
General liability insurance provides protection for incidents of third-party property damage, bodily injury, personal injury, or advertising injury. Clinical social work often requires face-to-face sessions and heavy foot traffic at your business location, so it is important to protect your business should any clients face injury or property damage on your premises.
Additionally, your general liability policy also includes personal and advertising injury coverage. This protects your business from lawsuits based on non-physical injuries such as claims of privacy violations, slander, and libel.
- Bodily injury: A client slips on a stack of files that was accidentally left on the floor of your office and sprains her ankle. Your general liability insurance would pay for medical expenses and legal fees if the client sues.
- Property damage: One of your employees accidentally spills coffee onto a client’s new designer purse. Your insurer would cover the damages of this incident.
- Personal and advertising injury: On your website, you decide to use client experiences as examples of your services. However, one of your clients did not give you permission to disclose information about her private life. She sues your business for the invasion of privacy.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides medical and financial benefits for employees who suffer occupational injuries or diseases. Benefits can include rehabilitation costs, a portion of lost wages, and vocational training. Additionally, workers’ compensation insurance provides death benefits for surviving dependents in the case of an employee death.
Clinical social workers have various job responsibilities, which means there are also a variety of potential risks. For instance, clinical social workers who are employed by a hospital are more likely to be exposed to infection and illness in their workplace. Given the complex and unpredictable interactions that take place during clinical social work, some employees receive verbal and physical assaults during visits with clients. Obtaining workers’ compensation insurance is essential to creating an environment of financial security for your employees in the event that they are injured or fall ill during the course of their work.
- While trying to pacify an unruly client, one of your employees injures his back and requires medical attention. Workers’ compensation insurance would cover his medical expenses.
Cyber liability insurance financially protects your business against first- and third-party losses and damages stemming from cyberattacks such as hacks, data breaches, denial of service attacks, and viruses.
As a clinical social worker, you likely use technology to store sensitive client health information, records of meetings, and other important documentation. The storage of this sensitive information makes your business particularly vulnerable should you become the victim of a cyberattack. If confidential client data is breached, in addition to dealing with the costs of repairing and addressing a security breach, you could be sued by any impacted clients. Cyber liability insurance can provide coverage for these costs.
- Hackers breach your online servers and gain access to your clients’ private health information. Your cyber liability insurance will provide funds for legal fees and settlements should your clients sue you for this data breach.
Some clinical social workers must travel from client to client to conduct business, and this travel may be done using their personal vehicle. Although commercial auto insurance covers auto accidents that occur while driving company-owned or leased vehicles, hired and non-owned auto insurance is essential if your employees rent or use personal vehicles for business purposes. Hired and non-owned auto insurance can provide much-needed coverage in case an employee’s personal auto insurance is exhausted and damages are sought from the business.
If one of your employees is at-fault for an auto accident, hired and non-owned auto insurance provides financial protection for third-party bodily injury and property damage, as well as any legal costs associated with the accident. It is important to note that coverage does not include the employee’s bodily injury or damages to the rented or personally-owned vehicle.
- One of your employees is driving her personal vehicle to a client meeting when she rear-ends the car in front of her. The collision causes severe damage to both vehicles and the other driver requires medical attention for his wrist. Your employee’s personal auto insurance has low coverage limits, so your business’s hired and non-owned auto insurance can provide additional coverage for damages and legal fees.
Operating a business that provides clinical social work services produces a unique set of property risks. Whether you rent or own your office space, your business heavily relies on your business premises in order to meet face-to-face with your clients. Damage to your business premises and equipment—such as the computers used to organize and store client flies—directly impact your ability to operate.
Commercial property insurance can protect the value of your business if an unexpected disaster damages or destroys your property. Common perils covered by commercial property insurance include fire, theft, vandalism, windstorm, and water damage.
- You run a small community health care center that provides clinical social work services. A heavy storm causes your roof to leak and floods your workplace, causing damage to the structural integrity of the building and damaging your business equipment such as your computers. Your commercial property insurance would pay for repairs to the roof and replace the damaged equipment.
- Commercial crime insurance provides funds to reimburse you for losses caused by theft, robbery, fraud, forgery, burglary, and other crimes committed by outside parties or your own employees.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) financially protects your business against lawsuits of wrongful treatment such as discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues. These lawsuits can be made by prospective, current, or former employees.
- Commercial umbrella insurance, also known as excess liability insurance, extends the liability coverage of your primary liability policies if you exceed the limits of those policies. Because large lawsuits can financially ruin a small business, this cost-effective coverage is an important form of extra protection.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a social services clinic with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for clinical social workers:
|Provider||Business Interruption||Business Owner's Policy||Commercial Auto||Commercial Crime||Commercial Property||Cyber Liability||Employment Practices Liability||General Liability||Product Liability||Professional Liability||Workers' Compensation|
With varying types of clients and workplaces, each clinical social worker faces their own unique set of challenges. This may make it appear difficult to determine your risks and properly protect your business, but taking the time to assess your potential hazards will be well worth it. By ensuring that you have a wide and adequate range of business insurance, you can gain peace of mind knowing your company will be financially protected should a disaster strike.