If You Think Your Insurance Covers Like Paint, Where is it Blistered and Peeling?
The social work profession is a noble one 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, AND SO ARE WE! Thank you!
The Preferra Insurance Company RRG, formerly NASW Risk Retention Group (“RRG”) recently conducted a proprietary market research study of certain competitors’ professional liability insurance policies. We uncovered some alarming findings. They metaphorically equate to what you think you see as a freshly painted house, but it is a peeled paint-blistered mess up close. As a shocked insurance carrier, from what we saw, all we can say is WOW!
Here are a few examples you ought to know when you shop for professional liability insurance.
Did you know that some insurance carriers specifically exclude indemnity in their professional liability policy form for claims arising under sexual misconduct? That also means that even if you, as the insured, did not commit the sexual misconduct but your contractor or employee did, you are still liable, and you will not be covered.
Moreover, in the event of a sexual misconduct claim, some insurance carriers only pay for legal fees and expenses to defend you but immediately cease coverage if any admission of guilt or judgment occurs. They automatically exclude any indemnity payments no matter what happens.
Indemnity payments refer to damages brought in the lawsuit against you for what you did or did not do through negligence or what your employee(s) and or contractor(s) did in connection with the sexual misconduct. Other insurance carriers set a firm limit of $200,000 for any claims arising from sexual misconduct, which include negligence claims.
Many insurance carriers set a deductible, for example, where you pay the first $5,000 to $10,000 of the claim.
Insurance carriers set limit caps and create strictly defined rules regarding sexual misconduct claims. These claims are among the highest dollar, and most severe claims experienced by professional liability insurance carriers due to their associated damages and added negligence claims. Plaintiff attorneys always file negligence claims in the lawsuit to tap into payments and settlements above the stated sexual misconduct insurance policy limit and grow up to the per occurrence limit, which could be in the millions of dollars.
You should be aware that the RRG covers sexual misconduct claims with no deductible. RRG defends related negligence claims when filed in the lawsuit up to the policy per occurrence limit, which can be $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 depending on the level of coverage purchased. Regardless of guilt, you, the insured, your employee(s), and your contractor(s). The RRG’s paint does not blister and peel.
Frequently, practitioners are required to provide testimony in court cases. As a result, some professional liability insurance carriers exclude this coverage completely in their policy forms. They want to avoid paying any legal fees on your behalf.
The RRG provides Deposition coverage up to $5,000 per occurrence with no frequency limit. RRG claims experience has proven that the $5,000 coverage per occurrence is more than adequate.
Licensing Board Defense
A professional liability insurance carrier sets a strict limit of $5,000 per Licensing Board Defense case. Legal fees typically cost $350 to $850 per hour, and fast eat up that $5,000. That is frightening beyond a paint blister and paint peel and is a festering exposure that you risk. Another insurance carrier provides a $35,000 limit but no option to buy additional coverage. Again, a paint blister.
The RRG provides a $35,000 Licensing Board Defense limit included in its professional liability policies. The RRG also offers the option to buy additional Licensing Board coverage in increments up to $100,000, starting at only $50 per year. The RRG sets no frequency limit on Licensing Board Defense incidents.
First Party Bodily Injury (Your Bodily Injury)
Unfortunately, occasionally practitioners sustain a bodily injury while providing professional services. We have not found any leading professional liability insurance carriers that provide this coverage, and some carriers strictly exclude this coverage as clearly written in their professional liability policy form. More paint blisters!
The RRG provides $5,000 in medical and property damage coverage for you with no deductible. Moreover, there is no limit on the number of incidents the RRG covers during your RRG professional liability policy term.
There is no doubt that your profession is a noble profession with implicit values of service, integrity, and clinical competence. To continue this effort, you must thoroughly read your professional liability insurance policy to assess the coverage gaps, paint blisters, and peeling paint.