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Avoiding Malpractice Tips

Assortments of Endorsements

Apr 1, 2021 | Avoiding Malpractice Tip

Assortments of Endorsements

The social work profession is indeed a noble founded on service, integrity, and clinical expertise. At times, it can be a stressful and hazardous occupation. The nation is grateful for what you do. Thank you!

Let’s talk about changing your insurance policy. What is that?

Just about any insurance carrier allows the buyer of an insurance policy or an active insured covered under an insurance policy to buy a “Rider,” referred to as an “Endorsement.”

These are the same thing because they both amend the insurance policy contract in a defined manner. The “Endorsement” word has a more implied legal connotation value that is positive, versus the literal denotation of a “Rider,” which is less formal.

Here is the crucial point in this TIP article. When you add an Endorsement to an insurance policy contract, think CHANGE. It could amend anything. Endorsements are added when an insurance policy is new or renewed, and they typically require an additional premium to be paid, but not always. Endorsements add, change, delete, reverse, or exclude the scope of coverage. It is critical that you read your Policy contract thoroughly to understand how the Endorsement changes it.

So, first and foremost, understand what the Endorsement is doing. You need to know the meaning and the impact of an Endorsement. It can be very complicated and confusing. Ask your licensed insurance agent or your lawyer for a straightforward interpretation because insurance policy contracts are complex. They frequently require the reader to compare several parts of the contract to understand the whole meaning. Pay attention to the Definitions section of the policy contract and defined words throughout the policy contract, the perils covered, the peril frequency limit per policy term, deductibles, exclusions, and the sub-limits.

Endorsements impact these contract elements the most. None of the NASW Risk Retention Group policies or Endorsements have deductibles.
All insureds receive first dollar coverage, unlike most competitors. This customer-friendly approach is invaluable to NASW Risk Retention Group insureds and is unmatched in the market.

Endorsement elements added to an insurance policy contract can be as easy as a “check-the-box” on a policy application or a policy renewal form. They can also be an actual document form that states the Endorsement (CHANGE) in explicit language. Some short Endorsement changes are added to the Declarations page, while others are written on a separate page with a Declarations page reference.

An example of the “check-the-box” Endorsement is simply expanding Licensing Board Inquiry coverage from $35,000 to $50,000 by agreeing to pay an additional $50 in annual premium. A simple example of a basic Endorsement form is the one-page Endorsement form that clearly and thoroughly redefines the definition of “Workplace” as defined in the insurance policy contract form. Here the Endorsement broadens the definition of “Workplace” beyond the insured’s office to expand to any location that Professional Services are provided. A small additional premium is charged for this enhanced coverage.

Other typical examples include adding Additional Insureds, employees, contractors, enhanced deposition coverage, and various other perils.

In summary, always understand what you are amending in your insurance policy contract. Make sure that you know your risk elements. Also, reconcile the new Endorsement amendment with your new adjusted premium. You do not want to eliminate coverage accidentally. Always keep a copy of the Declarations page and a copy of all Endorsement form pages with your insurance policy contract because this entire set of valuable documents is your comprehensive scope of coverage. It is the first risk-related file you need to refer to if a complaint is filed against you.

Thank you for all that you do as first responders and as ongoing behavioral health and social work providers. It is truly a noble profession needed now more than ever.

Good luck and stay healthy!

Avoiding Malpractice Tips

Avoiding Malpractice Tips

Monthly advice and information to help you manage risk. See list of past articles.

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NASW Risk Retention Group (NASW RRG) shares information based on our helpline inquiries, corresponding claims history, and an understanding of a varying nationwide professional state regulatory environment.

Due to COVID-19, many states have implemented or waived specific regulations; it is the individual professional's responsibility to research, implement, and monitor those regulations; and apply our risk management content as a consideration in your practice environment. Do not interpret this risk management material as any means to alter professional training, standards, nor any ethics information provided by your professional association.

Please understand, the NASW RRG makes no representations or warranties other than those stated to our current policyholders in the insurance policy contract. Please contact us if you have further questions.