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Home health care providers offer nursing and other care to people in their homes. Liability issues are common in these situations, whether it’s accidental property damage at a client’s home, a mistake made in a patient’s medical care, or a nurse suffering an injury on the job. It’s important to obtain a comprehensive range of insurance policies to financially protect you from these risks.
What insurance coverage do I need as a home health care provider?
There are many types of insurance available, but these types of coverage are particularly important for home health care providers to consider:
Medical Malpractice Insurance
Licensed practitioners and nurses working for home health care companies will need medical malpractice coverage. Errors in diagnosis, prescription, or care can be disastrous for patients, and lawsuits and settlements related to these errors are extremely costly. No matter how carefully you ensure that your staff is highly competent and maintains good safety practices, there’s always a chance that a mistake could occur, or a patient could accuse you of making a mistake when you were not to blame.
If your home health care practice is accused of medical negligence, errors, or providing inaccurate advice, malpractice insurance can step in to cover legal fees, settlements, and damages.
- A nurse accidentally prescribes a patient the wrong dosage of a medication, causing severe medical problems for the patient. The patient sues your practice for medical negligence. Your medical malpractice insurance would cover the lawsuit and any resulting settlement.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a crucial coverage for home health care businesses as it protects your business from claims of third-party bodily injury and property damage. Since your employees work closely with patients at their homes, there’s a possibility that they may unintentionally damage a patient’s property or cause a third party to be injured. If this happens, your company could be sued. General liability insurance would step in to cover any medical expenses and legal fees.
- Bodily injury: A nurse working for your company drops a bottle of medication on the stairs at a patient’s home and another resident of the home steps on the bottle and falls, sustaining a head injury. Your general liability insurance would pay for medical expenses and legal fees if the client sues.
- Property damage: One of your nurses accidentally knocks over and damages an expensive vase at a client’s home. Your insurer would cover the damages.
Fidelity Bond Coverage
Home health care fidelity bond coverage will protect your company if your employees commit theft, fraud, or other dishonest acts. Since your employees work from clients’ homes, there is a possibility that an employee may steal from a client. Although thorough background checks and hiring practices can reduce the likelihood of this occurring, it’s important to be prepared for any incidents that may occur. Fidelity bonds can provide financial protection if such an incident occurs, and they can also protect your company from internal theft or fraud committed by an employee.
- A new hire is found to have stolen hundreds of dollars in cash from an elderly client. Security cameras captured the incident. Your home health care fidelity bond would reimburse the client for the stolen money.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Since home health care services require employees to travel to clients’ homes, it’s crucial to make sure that you have sufficient commercial auto coverage for any company vehicles. If your employees are involved in a car crash, commercial auto insurance can provide coverage for physical damage to vehicles, third-party bodily injury, and property damage. Commercial auto insurance can also provide coverage for damage to your vehicles caused by covered perils, including theft, falling objects, fire, and more.
In many cases, home health care employees may drive their own personal vehicles for work purposes. If your employee causes an accident while driving for work purposes, personal auto insurance may not be sufficient to cover the claim, and your company could be held liable. Hired and non-owned auto coverage can step in to provide coverage in these situations. This coverage can be purchased as an endorsement on a commercial auto policy or obtained separately.
- While leaving a patient’s home, a nurse accidentally backs into a neighboring fence, knocking it down. Commercial auto insurance would cover the damages.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Providing home health care services is physically demanding, and even if they follow safety precautions, employees could accidentally injure themselves with needles or scalpels, sustain back injuries from lifting clients, or contract an infectious disease from a client, among other risks. In the event of a work-related injury, illness, or death, workers’ compensation insurance steps in to provide financial and medical benefits for your employees.
Workers’ comp coverage is legally required for companies with employees in almost all states, and penalties can be severe if you do not have adequate coverage. It’s critical to make sure that your business is complying with state workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ comp will typically pay for medical expenses, lost income, and rehabilitation for injured workers, and will also provide death benefits and funds to cover funeral costs in the case of a work-related death.
- While lifting a client out of bed, one of your nurses loses his balance and badly strains his back. Workers’ compensation insurance would pay for his medical fees and a portion of his lost wages while he is unable to work.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance will protect the value of your business property if it is destroyed or damaged. This coverage can cover your office space, computers, furniture, and other equipment that you may store on your property. Commonly covered perils include windstorms, hail, fire, vandalism, and water damage.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including furniture, equipment, and tools
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- Faulty wiring causes a fire to break out at your office. Your commercial property policy will pay for repairs to the building and the cost of replacing equipment and furniture.
- Cyber liability insurance protects your business from the financial consequences of cyberattacks, data breaches, and other cyber threats. Your health care business may store protected health information on your patients, and if this data is breached, you may be held liable. Cyber liability insurance can provide the funds to defend your business in a lawsuit, as well as any expenses necessary to recover from a cyber event.
- Inland marine insurance is a type of coverage that provides financial protection for property that does not remain at a fixed location and is not covered by a standard commercial property policy. This may be necessary for health care providers that transport medical equipment to patients’ homes.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects your business against lawsuits by prospective, current, or former employees accusing your business of wrongful treatment such as discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues.
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 home health care provider 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 home health care businesses:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
When you run a home health care company, it’s crucial to consider the liabilities you will be exposed to, from an accidental error that harms a client to property damage in clients’ homes or injuries to your employees. A broad range of business insurance policies can provide financial support that will protect you from the consequences of unforeseen incidents.