insurance for social service providers
Westwood will work with you to ensure your social service provider clients have the specific insurance coverage they require for every possible threat they could face.
General Liability Insurance
Professional Liability Insurance
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.
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.
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.
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
- Failure to promote and other employment-related issues
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.
Property Insurance covers unexpected damage or loss to property. The policy can be purchased to cover both structures and contents, which are separate policies in many cases. Property Insurance covers physical structures, not land. Medical facilities and aged care facilities need property insurance to cover the real property and all fixed items such as furniture, medical equipment, art works and tapestries.
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.
Auto insurance is a type of liability insurance coverage, usually mandated by law, for all mechanically propelled vehicles. It provides protection against losses resulting from traffic accidents and against liability that could also arise therefrom. A medical or aged care facility would typically have auto insurance on their fleet of vehicles as well as for any vehicles transporting patients to and from the facility.
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.
social service providers have special insurance requirements
Social service providers need specific insurance coverage to protect them from litigation as they face many challenges in today’s demanding environment. They are expected to provide services that meet the needs of an ever-changing population, while operating within tight budget constraints. In addition, they must constantly adapt their services to meet the evolving needs of the people they serve.
The challenges faced by social service providers can be divided into three main categories: financial, operational, and societal.
Financial challenges include the need to secure funding for new programs and services, as well as the costs associated with maintaining existing ones.
Operational challenges include the need to effectively manage staff and resources, and to respond quickly to changes in demand.
Societal challenges include the need to address issues such as poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse.
Each of these challenges presents its own set of difficulties, but all must be overcome if social service providers are to continue to provide the high level of care that is expected of them. With the right strategies in place, however, these challenges can be met and even turned into opportunities for growth and innovation.
As a professional insurance agent, you should ensure your social service clients have a general liability policy in place to protect them from some of the risks they face. A well-rounded policy will cover them for any malpractice claims made against them. If they are an employer, they must also have at least a workers’ compensation policy in place, which will protect their employees in the event of an injury sustained while on the job. Depending on the state they operate in and the size of the organization, there will be a number of other policies they should be protected with.
The Westwood Insurance Group will help you source the right policies for your social service provider clients, ensuring they have the protection they need to survive and thrive in today’s challenging environment. Contact us now
Do social service providers still need insurance, even though they may not administer medical treatment?
Absolutely. Any professional who is providing some kind of diagnosis and recommendations should be covered by professional liability insurance to protect them from litigation by a patient or client who believes they have been harmed as a result of that diagnosis or those recommendations. While insurance can be expensive, not being insured can cost you everything.
Do social service providers have to pay the same insurance premiums as other medical professionals?
Not necessarily. The cost of insurance premiums is calculated on the amount of risk the insurer takes by providing the coverage. If you work in a field that traditionally has a low number of claims, you should have lower premiums than say a physician in an emergency center, where there is a high risk of claims being filed. But the insurer must also take future trends into account and sadly, both the number of claims and the amounts being awarded for those claims are trending upward.
Why are the number of claims and payouts for those claims on the increase?
It’s a combination of many things. While many claims are genuine and justified, there is a growing trend in our society for people to take no responsibility for their actions and try and pass the blame on to others. There are also a growing number of predatory lawyers who encourage patients to lodge claims where they otherwise mightn’t, as lawyers stand to make a small fortune from a successful claim. Juries also appear to be more inclined to want to hand out punishment to medical professionals these days in the form of unusually large payouts.
We can only guess the reason for this alarming trend, some experts believe it is as a result of frustration they feel with medical professionals over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whatever the reasons, sadly the whole community shoulders the cost of these payouts as the cost of health care increases proportionally to increases in insurance premiums.
Do social service providers need other insurance beside professional liability?
As social service providers are running a business of some kind, even when they are working from home, they should consider the usual insurance business owners have. If you employ staff, you are required by law to have workers compensation insurance. You may also want a general liability insurance coverage in the event that a client or patient is injured while on your premises and cyber insurance to protect you from cyber and ransomware attacks, where hackers freeze your patient records and demand a payment to release them. It’s best to have an experienced medical insurance consultant take a look at your individual situation and tailor a package to your needs. You may find it’s more affordable to get everything as a package. Contact us today.