Safeguarding Home Healthcare Providers: The Power of Liability Coverage
Medical and non-medical home healthcare providers, such as home health aides and nurses, face unique challenges. First, they have to deal with the usual business operating risks. Second, they must consider the risk of negligence and malpractice during care delivery. Thus, these individuals and businesses need general and professional liability coverage. Here’s a detailed guide on the type of coverage a home healthcare agency might need.
What Do General and Professional Liability Insurance Plans Cover?
A general liability insurance policy covers businesses against property damage and bodily injury claims. It provides coverage for the following:
- Bodily Injury: It is any physical injury your business operations cause to someone. Suppose an elderly patient slips and falls while you provide physiotherapy. General liability insurance will cover legal fees and medical expenses.
- Property Damage: It includes any damage your business operations cause to the patient’s property. Examples include broken or damaged equipment, such as a wheelchair.
- Personal Injury: It includes claims of libel, defamation, and slander. An example would be if a patient accused you of false statements or malicious remarks. Meanwhile, professional liability insurance or errors and omissions insurance covers you against claims of errors, omissions, and negligence. It kicks in during the following situations.
- Breach of Contract: If you fail to deliver the medical service per the contract, the patient may sue you. Professional liability insurance covers the fee for legal processes or damages.
- Professional Negligence: It includes any mistakes or negligent behavior during patient care. A typical example is wrong medicine administration.
Which Insurance Do Home Healthcare Providers Need?
Whether you’re a home healthcare agency, a registered nurse, a home health aide, or a certified nursing assistant, you may need one or more of these insurance coverages.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a must for both home healthcare companies and individuals. It protects healthcare providers in the following cases:
- Accidental bodily injuries
- Advertising injuries
- Damage to patient property
It’s best to couple this insurance with property insurance for optimal protection. Property insurance covers any medical equipment or devices that you store at home.
Business Owner’s Policy
A business owner’s policy bundles general liability and commercial property insurance in one plan. It’s a cost-effective option for in-home care providers. Such a policy will cover you in cases of:
- Business property damage
- Client property damage
- Slip and fall accidents
Professional Liability Insurance
All healthcare providers should have medical malpractice insurance. The rule applies to in-home caregivers too.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Home healthcare companies that hire nurses should also get workers’ compensation insurance. It covers the following for a company’s employees:
- Medical Expenses: If an employee, such as a nurse, gets injured or sick on the job, the policy will cover their medical treatment. It also covers rehabilitation, medication, and hospitalization costs.
- Wage Replacement: The policy will also cover a portion of the employee’s lost wages if their injury or illness keeps them from working.
- Death Benefits: If an employee dies on duty or due to a work-related accident, the workers’ compensation policy will provide benefits to their dependents. Some examples of benefits include ongoing financial support and funeral expenses.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Cyber Liability Insurance
Many home healthcare businesses keep patient details in cloud-based or online databases. Hackers can target such data and steal sensitive information like Social Security numbers, addresses, and credit card details.
- Lawsuits pertaining to data breaches
- Fraud monitoring costs
- Costs associated with alerting affected clients
How to Determine Which Insurance You Need?
Why Is It Important to Be Insured?
General and professional liability insurance are must-haves for home healthcare providers. Here’s why.
Any oversight or mistake on your part can lead to serious claims. Insurance can protect you from the financial burden of a liability claim or a lawsuit.
In some states, you might not be able to establish a home healthcare business without the required insurance coverage.