insurance for social service providers

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.

assessing their needs

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.

what specific insurance do they need?

Commercial insurance agents should source insurance policies that meet the unique needs of social service providers. Social service providers offer a wide range of services, including counseling, therapy, case management, and support for vulnerable populations, such as children and families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. As such, social service providers have specific insurance needs that differ from other types of businesses.

One important type of insurance for social service providers is liability insurance, which can protect against claims of negligence, malpractice, or other professional misconduct. Professional Liability Insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance ormedical malpractice insurance is particularly important for social service providers who provide counseling, therapy, or other clinical services to clients. This type of insurance can protect social service providers from legal claims arising from alleged errors or omissions in their professional services.

Another important type of insurance for social service providers is General Liability Insurance, which can provide coverage for property damage, bodily injury, and other types of accidents or incidents that may occur on their premises. Social service providers may also need workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in case of on-the-job injuries or illnesses.

Finally, social service providers may also need specialized insurance policies that address their unique risks and exposures, such as abuse and molestation insurance, directors and officers liability insurance, and cyber liability insurance to protect against data breaches and cyber attacks.

Overall, commercial insurance agents should work closely with social service providers to understand their specific needs and provide customized insurance solutions that address their unique risks and exposures.

advice for commercial agents approaching social service providers

When approaching social service providers as a commercial insurance agent, it is important to understand the unique challenges and risks that these organizations face. Social service providers offer essential services to vulnerable populations, including children and families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. As such, they have specific insurance needs that are different from other types of businesses.

One key piece of advice for commercial insurance agents approaching social service providers is to focus on building relationships with these organizations. Social service providers rely heavily on trust and relationships with their clients, and the same holds true for their insurance providers. By taking the time to understand the specific needs and challenges of each organization, insurance agents can build trust and credibility with social service providers and become a valued partner in their risk management efforts.

Another important piece of advice is to provide customized insurance solutions that address the unique risks and exposures of social service providers. These organizations often face complex liability and professional risks, such as allegations of abuse or neglect, and may require specialized insurance policies to address these risks. By tailoring insurance solutions to the specific needs of each organization, insurance agents can provide social service providers with the protection they need to continue providing essential services to their communities.

Overall, approaching social service providers as a commercial insurance agent requires a deep understanding of their unique needs and challenges. By building relationships, providing customized insurance solutions, and becoming a trusted partner in their risk management efforts, insurance agents can help social service providers to continue making a positive impact in their communities.

Talk to Michael Richards for advice and support for approaching social service providers.

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, Westwood team member

Contact Michael by email

social service providers have special insurance requirements


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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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.

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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insurance for hospitals

Hospital Insurance typically covers all or part of the potential liability for hospital services. It includes medical malpractice, accidents involving hospital employees and equipment, care during surgery or any other invasive treatment, after-hours care arrangements by staff who need help with their children and more.

insurance for long term care facilities

Long term care facilities must protect themselves against potential liability arising from incidents within their facility. Westwood can help you negotiate a package tailored to your long term care facility client.

insurance for medical providers

The different types of insurance for medical providers includes medical malpractice insurance, professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, an umbrella policy, and professional indemnity. As a physician, you should have access to all of these types of insurance.

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.