insurance for physical therapists

Insurance for physical therapists

Westwood will work with you to ensure your Physical Therapy clients have adequate insurance coverage for every threat they could face.

Quick Quote for Medical Malpractice Insurance

Physical therapists (PTs) confront numerous challenges, and as a commercial insurance agent providing coverage, it’s important to understand these issues in order to tailor your services and products effectively. Some challenges that could potentially intersect with the realm of commercial insurance include:

  1. Reimbursement Rates: Insurance reimbursement rates are a significant challenge for physical therapists. Insurers often don’t fully cover the cost of PT services, leaving clinics with low margins. An understanding of this challenge can help insurance agents design more attractive policies, perhaps with better reimbursement rates.

  2. Insurance Approval and Denials: PTs often face challenges in getting insurance approval for certain necessary treatments. Coverage can vary widely, and some treatments are denied even when they would be beneficial for the patient. This can be frustrating for PTs and may affect the level of care they’re able to provide.

  3. Administrative Burden: The administrative work associated with insurance billing and compliance can be burdensome for practitioners. This not only includes the time required to complete paperwork, but also keeping up with changes in insurance regulations and policies.

  4. Caps on Coverage: Many insurance plans have caps on how many physical therapy sessions they’ll cover per year, which can be a challenge for patients needing long-term rehabilitation.

  5. Telehealth: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of telehealth in physical therapy. While this has been a boon in terms of accessibility, it has also posed challenges in terms of insurance coverage. Some insurers don’t cover telehealth services, or they may not reimburse at the same rates as in-person sessions.

  6. Liability Insurance: Physical therapists need liability insurance to protect themselves from malpractice claims. However, the cost of this insurance can be prohibitive, especially for smaller practices or individual practitioners. Insurance agents could potentially offer competitive rates or package deals to attract these clients.

  7. Evolving Treatment Modalities: As physical therapy embraces new treatment modalities (like virtual reality or advanced assistive devices), insurance companies may lag in recognizing and covering these services. Being aware of these advancements and the challenges they pose to physical therapists can make an insurance agent more attuned to the evolving needs of their clients.

  8. Preventive Care Coverage: Physical therapy can play a crucial role in preventive care, but many insurance policies do not cover services unless they are used to treat an existing condition or injury. There’s an opportunity here for insurance agents to propose coverage models that recognize the value of preventive care.

Understanding these challenges can help commercial insurance agents tailor their products and services to better meet the needs of physical therapists, potentially leading to improved client relationships and increased business.

what specific insurance do they need?

Physical therapists require several types of insurance, not only to protect their practice but also to fulfill legal and professional obligations. Here are some key insurance types they may need:

  1. Professional Liability Insurance (Malpractice Insurance): This protects therapists from financial loss resulting from claims of negligence or malpractice in the course of their professional duties. It covers legal defense costs, settlements, and damages awarded in a lawsuit.
  2. General Liability Insurance: This covers claims arising from injuries to people in the therapy premises (like slips and falls), property damage, and certain forms of libel or slander.
  3. Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If the practice employs other therapists, assistants, or administrative staff, it typically needs to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages if an employee gets injured or becomes ill due to their work.
  4. Commercial Property Insurance: This protects the business property where the practice is located. It covers damage or loss due to fires, theft, natural disasters, and other events. If the practice leases expensive equipment like therapy machines, this insurance could cover damage to or loss of that equipment.
  5. Business Interruption Insurance: Also known as business income insurance, this covers loss of income resulting from a covered catastrophe that interrupts the operation of the business, such as a fire or a natural disaster.
  6. Cyber Liability Insurance: Given the rise of electronic health records and online scheduling, physical therapy practices, like other healthcare providers, are at risk of data breaches. Cyber liability insurance can protect a practice in the event of a data breach or cyber attack, covering costs such as notifying patients, public relations, and legal fees related to the breach.
  7. Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI): If the practice has employees, EPLI covers claims relating to employment-related issues such as discrimination, wrongful termination, and sexual harassment.
  8. Commercial Auto Insurance: If vehicles are used for business purposes (e.g., home visits), commercial auto insurance is necessary to cover any potential damages or accidents involving these vehicles.
  9. Telemedicine Malpractice Insurance: As telehealth becomes more popular, this coverage is crucial for therapists providing remote services. It helps to cover claims related to the provision of these services.

It’s essential for physical therapists to work closely with their insurance agents to ensure that they have the appropriate types and levels of coverage for their specific practice needs and risks. This will involve a careful review of their business operations, clientele, equipment, and staff.

advice for commercial agents approaching physical therapists

As a commercial insurance agent, you can offer tremendous value to physical therapists by demonstrating a deep understanding of their unique professional challenges and needs. Start by educating yourself about the field of physical therapy, including the types of services PTs provide, the equipment they use, the regulatory landscape they operate within, and the professional risks they face. Understanding these facets will enable you to engage in informed conversations, offer relevant advice, and suggest tailored coverage solutions.

Recognize that physical therapists, like many healthcare providers, are grappling with challenges such as low insurance reimbursement rates, administrative burdens, and rapidly changing technology. Be prepared to offer solutions that address these challenges. For instance, you might suggest policies with higher reimbursement rates or coverage for telehealth services. Additionally, you could provide resources or recommendations to help PTs manage the administrative aspects of insurance.

When proposing coverage solutions, take a comprehensive view of the physical therapist’s needs. A PT’s practice may require a wide range of insurance types—from professional liability insurance and commercial property insurance to workers’ compensation and cyber liability insurance. Work closely with your clients to ensure they have the appropriate coverage in all relevant areas. Your ability to offer a complete package of coverage tailored to the specific needs of physical therapists will differentiate you in the marketplace.

Above all, strive to build relationships based on trust and service. Be responsive, transparent, and proactive in managing your clients’ insurance needs. Be there to support them in case of a claim, guiding them through the process, and advocating on their behalf. Your efforts to serve as a trusted advisor and advocate will go a long way in attracting and retaining clients within the physical therapy community.

Contact Michael Richards now

Michael specializes in insurance for this particular group. You can call him on the number below or fill out the form and he will get your message directly:

Michael Richards

sourcing the best insurance for physical therapists is essential for commercial agents


General Liability Insurance

General Liability insurance cover medical expenses and attorney fees which result from bodily injuries and property damage that your company or organization could be legally responsible for.

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Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance (E&O) and medical malpractice insurance, protects your business against claims of negligence, malpractice, errors, and omissions which may have occurred during the fulfillment of a professional service.

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Telemedicine Malpractice Insurance

telemedicine malpractice insurance—also known as digital health insurance or eHealth insurance—has become increasingly vital for healthcare providers. to  protect them against claims of negligence, malpractice, errors, and omissions which may be the result of the limitations of webcam quality or the inability of a patient to properly photograph a condition. It can also cover cyber liability, such as remote controlled medical devices being hacked.

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Directors and Officers Liability (D&O) insurance

D&O insurance (Directors and officers liability insurance), shields the personal assets of company directors and officers, and where necessary, their spouses, from claims which could arise as a result of the decisions they made and actions they took within the scope of their regular duties.

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Cyber liability insurance

Cyber liability insurance covers the financial costs associated with a breach of your cyber security, such as a ransomware attack. It also covers first party costs including event management, data restoration, financial costs to third parties, network interruption, and cyber extortion.

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RAC Audit Insurance

RAC Audit Insurance is a shield against the financial implications of audit discrepancies, and a testament to an organization's commitment to proactive risk management. As the wave of regulatory oversight intensifies, understanding and embracing RAC Audit Insurance becomes paramount for the healthcare and senior living industries alike.

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HNO Insurance

HNOA, (hired non-owned auto insurance) is designed for organizations who regularly hire vehicles or require employees to use their own vehicles in the course of their work. In the case of an accident where your employee was liable, it could cover physical damage to that other person’s vehicle, medical expenses, the cost of hiring an attorney to defend your business.

Workers’ Comp. Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance covers your employees for workplace injuries or illness. It provides them with medical and wage benefits.

This coverage is mandated by each state, with the wage and medical benefits varying from state to state. Workers compensation also protects business owners from civil suits by workers who become injured on the job.

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Employment Practices Liability

Employment practices liability insurance (EPL insurance or EPLI), covers employers (PDF) against claims made by employees for:

  • Discrimination (based on sex, race, age or disability, for example)
  • Wrongful termination
  • Harassment
  • Failure to promote and other employment-related issues
Sexual Abuse & Molestation (SAM)

Sexual Abuse and Molestation Insurance provides coverage for organizations against claims arising from alleged sexual misconduct or molestation by an employee or other representative of the organization. 

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Environmental Liability insurance

Environmental Liability insurance is liability insurance specifically designed to protect environmental liabilities. This is a specialized form of general, commercial liability insurance that provides financial protection against litigation and clean-up costs resulting from claims of injury or damage caused by pollution, contamination or hazardous waste disposals. 

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is a fundamental component of risk management for healthcare and senior living providers. It is designed to protect the organization’s physical assets, such as buildings, medical equipment, furniture, and supplies, from financial losses due to damage or theft.

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Crime Insurance

Crime Insurance covers the insured party a reimbursement if their property is damaged due to a crime. Crime Insurance usually has a huge range of options and comes in different forms. It can be either a rider that can be attached to the existing insurance policy, or it is available as a completely separate product.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is a crucial aspect of risk management for healthcare and senior living providers. It offers vital financial protection against vehicle-related incidents and is often required by law.

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Fully/Partially Funded insurance

Partially Funded insurance gives facilities the opportunity to pay a set premium for, and then in turn is  partially covered for specific risks.

Fully Funded Insurance allows facilities to pay premiums to have coverage against all risks. In return, if they are unfortunate enough to incur any of the covered loss or injury, they are reimbursed their insurance policy amount.

Excess and umbrella coverage

Excess coverage provides an additional layer of protection over and above what an underlying policy provides. It applies to a single policy only.

An umbrella policy on the other hand, provides additional liability coverage over and above what is provided by a number of underlying policies.

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we've got you covered

General Liability Insurance

Protecting healthcare organizations against increasingly crippling litigation.

Professional Liability Insurance

Protecting medical professionals against increasingly crippling litigation.

Medical Malpractice Insurance

Protecting medical professionals against increasingly crippling litigation.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Protecting healthcare organizations & professionals against cyber attacks.

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traditional insurance products

Westwood have fostered exceptional relationships with underwriters and we go to great lengths to keep abreast of their latest products, changes in requirements and restrictions, including having weekly calls with the carriers, which you can see here, by joining our insurance insider group.

    Insurance products at Westwood Insurance Group

    You can find more information on the Insurance Products main page.

    If you have any questions on the different policies, check out our Insurance FAQ's

    alternative structures

    Westwood President, Michael Richards has extensive experience in setting up alternative structures for larger clients. Here are some examples:


    If you think your client could be large and stable enough to benefit from starting or participating in a captive or has a special need for another alternative structure, contact Michael Richards now by phone: 855 351 7487.