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What Insurance Do Health and Wellness Practitioners Need?

Medical, health, and wellness professionals face a broad range of liability risks. While medical malpractice insurance is often an association requirement, the more you know about your options for coverage, the better. Here’s what you need to know.

Published on:
May 5, 2023

As a healthcare professional in Canada, it's essential to understand the risks associated with your practice and how to best protect yourself and your patients from the financial consequences of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that provides coverage in the event that a healthcare provider is sued for negligence, errors, or omissions in their professional duties.  

What Liability Risks Do Health and Wellness Practitioners Face?

Health and wellness professionals face various risks that can lead to malpractice claims that are unique to their field. Some of the common risks they may face include:

  • Medical Malpractice Liability: Health and wellness practitioners can be liable for malpractice or professional negligence. That may include misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, errors in treatment, or incorrect advice given to clients. Professional liability insurance can help protect practitioners from the financial impact of lawsuits resulting from such claims.
  • General Liability: Think of general liability as claims associated with third-party bodily injury or property damage claims — for example, a patient slipping and falling in your office or clinic.
  • Regulatory Proceedings Liability: This coverage helps pay for legal expenses associated with regulatory proceedings, such as investigations by a regulatory body or a hospital's peer review committee.

Additionally, new risks are emerging as the healthcare industry evolves and new technologies are introduced. For example, telemedicine has become increasingly popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it also raises new concerns around data privacy and security and the quality of care provided through remote consultations.

These liability risks can arise from a variety of factors, including the complexity of medical diagnoses and treatments, communication breakdowns between healthcare providers and patients, and inadequate recordkeeping practices.

What Does a Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy Include?

Medical malpractice insurance is designed to help healthcare providers manage the risks associated with their profession.  

There are two main medical malpractice insurance coverage types: claims-made and occurrence-based. Claims-made coverage only provides coverage for claims made during the policy period, while occurrence-based coverage provides coverage for any claims arising from incidents that occurred during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is made.

In addition to these basic coverages, medical malpractice insurance policies typically include financial support for:

  • Legal Defense Costs: Coverage to help pay for legal expenses associated with defending a malpractice claim, including attorney fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.
  • Consent to Settle: This coverage allows the healthcare provider to have a say in whether a claim is settled out of court or goes to trial.

You may require other coverages to create a comprehensive policy, such as cyber liability insurance, to protect you from losses resulting from data breaches or other cyber incidents, such as ransomware attacks or phishing scams.

Getting the Medical Malpractice Insurance You Need

Getting a customized medical malpractice insurance policy that suits your practice means exploring your options.

Also, there are better ways to go than basing your purchasing decision on the policy with the lowest price. Instead, focus on what type of coverage you need and any policy's details regarding its coverage limits and exclusions.

Any type of business insurance can be confusing to understand, but that’s why it’s worthwhile to have a conversation with an experienced business insurance broker. After all, your livelihood is worth protecting.

Ryan Insalaco
Practice Lead, Zensurance

Ryan Insalaco is a licensed broker and Practice Lead, Digital Solutions, with a background in medical malpractice at Zensurance, Canada’s leading source for small business insurance. Get a free quote for your insurance needs by visiting Zensurance.com.

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