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Pharmacists dispense medications, advise patients, and in some cases, mix custom medications. This work brings with it a number of potential sources of liability, including the risk that a pharmacist may make an error that harms a patient. Business insurance can provide financial protection from lawsuits brought by patients, and it also helps you deal with property damage, theft, accidental injury, and other incidents that may arise.
What insurance coverage do I need as a pharmacist?
There are many types of insurance available, but these types of coverage are particularly important for pharmacists to consider:
Professional liability insurance for pharmacists, also called pharmacist malpractice insurance, is a critical coverage, providing financial protection from accusations that you made mistakes in your professional work. No matter how conscientious you are, there’s always a possibility that you could make an unintentional error such as providing the wrong medication or wrong dosage, or not including the correct instructions. Pharmacy mistakes can have a devastating effect on patients, and the associated lawsuits and settlements can be extremely expensive. If you are accused of negligence, professional liability insurance can step in to cover the costs.
- Due to a data input error, a pharmacist accidentally fills a prescription with a dosage five times larger than required. The patient suffers multiple seizures as a result. The insurer would pay for the lawsuit and any resulting settlement.
Commercial property insurance provides protection for the value of your building, equipment, furniture, and other business property. Pharmacy locations could suffer major losses if a fire or other disaster destroys valuable drug inventory. In addition, drugs are a common target for theft, and criminals could damage your property in the process of stealing items. Commercial property insurance can provide funds to replace or repair your business property if it is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril such as fire, explosion, storm, vandalism, and more.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including furniture, equipment, and inventory
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- Faulty wiring in your refrigeration equipment causes a fire to break out, destroying equipment and medications. Your commercial property policy will pay to replace the equipment and reimburse you for the lost inventory.
Commercial crime insurance provides funds to reimburse you for losses caused by theft, robbery, fraud, forgery, burglary, and other crimes. Since pharmacy locations handle valuable drugs and accept cash payments, they can be targets for theft by outside parties or by your own employees. Commercial crime insurance can give you financial protection if theft occurs and will cover crimes committed by your own employees as well as others.
- You discover that a new hire has stolen thousands of dollars from your office safe. Commercial crime insurance would cover the loss.
General liability insurance covers incidents of third-party bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and advertising injury. If visitors to your pharmacy slip and fall or otherwise injure themselves, or if you inadvertently damage their property, you could be held liable. General liability insurance can step in to cover legal costs, medical expenses, and damages for these incidents.
General liability policies also include a personal and advertising injury component, which provides coverage for a number of non-physical injuries, including libel, slander, copyright infringement, and invasion of privacy, which may occur if confidential information is released into the wrong hands.
- Bodily injury: A customer trips over uneven carpeting at your pharmacy and falls, breaking his arm. Your general liability insurance would pay for medical expenses and legal fees if the customer sues.
- Property damage: One of your pharmacists accidentally knocks over the coffee of a customer picking up a prescription. The coffee stains the customer’s expensive vintage coat. Your insurer would cover the damages.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial and medical benefits for your employees or their dependents in the case of a work-related injury, illness, or death. Pharmacists may slip and fall, suffer cuts from broken glass, develop repetitive strain injuries from long hours working with computers, or develop health issues related to long periods of standing.
Workers’ compensation insurance can pay for medical expenses, lost income, and rehabilitation costs for injured employees. Workers’ comp coverage is legally required for companies with employees in most states, and penalties can be severe if you do not have adequate coverage, so it’s important to make sure that you are complying with state laws.
- One of your pharmacists accidentally cuts herself on broken glass and requires stitches. Workers’ compensation would cover her medical expenses.
- Cyber liability insurance protects your business from the financial consequences of cyberattacks, data breaches, and other cyber threats. As a pharmacist, you 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.
- Business income insurance will reimburse you for lost income and operating expenses if your business is temporarily unable to operate due to a covered reason, such as fire, storm damage, or other property damage.
- 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 pharmacy 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 pharmacists:
|Business Owner's Policy
As a pharmacist, you are exposed to a number of potential liabilities, from customer lawsuits brought by people who were negatively affected by drugs to slip-and-fall injuries or property damage. This is why it’s important to purchase a wide range of business insurance to protect yourself and your business. With appropriate coverage, you will be able to withstand the financial consequences of any unexpected disasters that may befall you.