Mindful, Watchful, and Careful
The social work profession is truly 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!
Traveling is picking up again as the nation comes out of COVID-19 and as the vacation season approaches. Moreover, some practitioners must travel overnight for work. Whether for work or vacation, traveling has risks even while providing professional services during the day. For your safety, it is important to be Mindful and aware; Watchful: vigilant; and Careful: prudently cautious to avoid danger and harm.
Lifestyle choices may include some simple tactics to enhance your personal safety.
For example, reserve a hotel room on the second floor to eliminate window break-ins. Also, the second floor is conveniently low for a ladder during a fire rescue. Reserve a hotel room with inside door hallway access only to reduce door break-ins from the parking lot. This tactic brings additional layers of security and buffers, including security cameras, interior hotel security personnel, witnesses, bright lighting, and elevators.
It is important to stay in public areas and know your escape routes outside and inside. Do not be distracted by talking on your cell phone while walking. Be aware of your surroundings. Remember that the frequency of muggings and street crime robberies peak in a 4-hour time slot beginning at dusk, around 6:00 pm, and run to 10:00 pm. Fridays are the most frequent day for these attacks, which correlate to payday and banking activities with cash involved. (SAGE Journals, Vol. 54, Issue 2, March 1, 2017).
From a safety perspective, there are at least six liability personal injury insurance protection examples related to travel and treatment that come to mind that you may find useful. Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Travel Accident Insurance, Auto Insurance Bodily Injury, Disability Income Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Part C in the NASW Risk Retention Group policy, and Felonious Assault insurance.
Let’s look briefly at each example and see how they can help protect you if you are a crime victim, an accident victim, or an indirect victim by providing professional services.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
AD&D is a guaranteed issue low limit life insurance policy that responds when an accident to the insured occurs that provides a stated death benefit or accident injury benefit. It can be purchased separately, or added to an auto insurance policy, or added to a life insurance policy to pay a double indemnity in the event of an accident.
AD&D premiums are inexpensive and easy to buy with no underwriting in most cases. AD&D coverage can be purchased, typically in an annual policy term, with premiums paid monthly or quarterly, in small benefit units such as $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000 blocks or other variations. Fractional benefits are paid in the event of an accident that causes the loss of a limb, eye, or paralysis.
AD&D is a common insurance plan benefit available to groups such as associations, credit card populations, checking account populations, and employee groups. Frequently, AD&D is awarded as a free “Thank you” gift to new customers or group members, and offers are extended to purchase additional AD&D coverage. Some AD&D plans cover significant others and dependents.
Travel Accident Insurance
This is coverage typically offered by many insurance carriers and AAA. It includes coverage for lost or stolen baggage, partial or fully non-refundable trip costs in the event of trip cancellation for any reason, and emergency medical evacuation to the nearest medical facility or your home.
Other benefits may include a small term life of AD&D insurance benefit and possibly an auto rental-related benefit. Premiums and limits vary by plan. Credit card companies usually include access to some of these benefits, and they vary depending on the credit card plan. Some people augment this coverage and purchase an AD&D (accidental death & dismemberment) policy to augment their life and accident benefits.
Auto Insurance Bodily Injury
The first party benefits payable to the insured in an auto insurance policy generally include medical benefits typically with a $5,000 minimum up to $100,000 regardless of fault. Optional coverages are available for extraordinary medical benefits.
Additional optional coverages include income loss due to injury, funeral benefits, and accidental death benefits, usually up to $25,000. Before renting a vehicle, check your auto insurance declarations page to see if your policy covers or limits collision damage to rental vehicles. Coverage is available from the vehicle rental agency for an additional fee.
Disability Income Insurance
This coverage is referred to as DI. It is income protection for the insured. DI pays an ongoing cash benefit for a defined time period to replace lost income from illness, injury, or impairment that causes the inability to work. It bolsters short-term disability and long-term disability benefits. DI is especially excellent for self-employed people.
If you are employed with employer-paid DI plans, it makes sense to consider buying your own individual DI policy to bolster your income security. There are many DI plans, premiums, benefits, benefit durations, limits, and carriers across the U.S.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability policies are designed to cover the insured from liability while delivering professional services. Because of that, many fail to cover the insured’s own damages and losses.
The NASW Risk Retention Group’s professional liability policy covers three key categories of the policy owner’s loss:
- Emergency First Aid for the client(s);
- The policy owner’s medical expenses arising from bodily injury to the policy owner and the repair or replacement of damaged or stolen personal property; and
- Medical payments from a bodily injury suffered by the policy owner’s client(s).
Felonious Assault Insurance
Rarely, if ever, is a Felonious Assault policy available to purchase. If felonious assault benefits are available at all, generally, they are a tiny part of a professional liability policy coverage or some other insurance policy. Damages sustained from a felonious assault are either excluded or have meager benefits and only a few perils that the policy covers.
The NASW Risk Retention Group and NASW Insurance Company cover this Felonious Assault peril in two ways:
- In the NASW Risk Retention Group Professional Liability policy, and
- In an NASW Insurance Company Felonious Assault policy with a death benefit of $25,000.
The NASW Assurance Services company awards a free Felonious Assault policy with a $25,000 fixed death benefit to NASW members in good standing who also participate in the NASW-sponsored insurance program with The Hartford. There is no other offering like this in the nation.
Thank you for all that you do as first responders and as behavioral health and social work providers. It is truly a noble profession needed now more than ever. Good luck and stay healthy!