Physical therapists are responsible for helping injured or ill people recover their mobility and ease their pain. It’s a lot of responsibility, especially with your hands on the patients some of the time. Accidents can happen, and sometimes physical therapists can get sued. Should you carry your own malpractice insurance? With the average cost of an indemnity claim averaging almost $100,000, you don’t want to pay that out of pocket. Here are the 6 best malpractice insurance companies we recommend for physical therapists.
- The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists
- What does Physical Therapist Malpractice Insurance Cover?
- Occurrence vs. Claims-Made Coverage
- Why Do Physical Therapists Need Malpractice Insurance?
The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists
Below are the 6 best providers of malpractice insurance for physical therapists that we compare and recommend. We got a quote from each provider for comparison.
- 1. HPSO (Healthcare Providers Service Organization) – Best for Their Winning Rate
- 2. NACAMS (National Associations of Complementary and Alternative Medicines): Best for a Fast and Easy Quoting Process
- 3. Proliability: Best for a High Level of Policy Customization to Your Needs
- 4. Berxi: Cheapest Quotes, Even With Additional Free Defense Attorney
- 5. CM&F: Best If You Change Workplace Often
- 6. My PT Insurance: Best if You Prefer Working with an Agent
1. HPSO (Healthcare Providers Service Organization) – Best for Their Winning Rate
HPSO insures more than 70,000 physical therapists, and they’ve been insuring healthcare professionals for 24 years. Their carrier has won more than 90% of the cases that went to trail. They have discounts for members of professional organizations and a great reputation.
2. NACAMS (National Associations of Complementary and Alternative Medicines): Best for a Fast and Easy Quoting Process
NACAMS offers protection from the minute you sign up for coverage. They can often get your covered in under three minutes. And it’s portable, so if you change jobs or decide to volunteer somewhere, you’ll still be covered. There are membership discounts for several physical therapy associations. Getting a quote is remarkably easy, and the whole process is super quick.
3. Proliability: Best for a High Level of Policy Customization to Your Needs
Proliability is probably the easiest way to get malpractice insurance, no matter what business you’re in. There are discounts if you’ve participated in a risk management course, and you can customize your policy with highest amounts of coverage. They’re available in all 50 states. You can choose between claims-made or occurrence based coverage.
4. Berxi: Cheapest Quote, Even With Additional Free Defense Attorney
You can get a quote in less than two minutes from Berxi. They also have great financial strength and claim they can save you 20%. Everything is sold directly online, making it very easy to get a policy. They can offer you a defense attorney as well, in case you do get sued. They have a good reputation for customer service and they have policies for both individual physical therapists and physical therapy businesses.
5. CM&F: Best If You Change Workplace Often
CM&F has been providing malpractice insurance for physical therapists for over 30 years. They offer coverage options of up to $2 million, license defense, and telemedicine coverage. Your coverage travels with you wherever you go, so it’s not tied to a certain practice.
6. My PT Insurance: Best if You Prefer Working with an Agent
You can get instant coverage with My PT Insurance, and they provide an immediate certificate of insurance. There is no online quoting, as they only sell policies through agents. However, they do have the estimate listed below.
Coverage is available in all fifty states, and they offer only occurrence based coverage, which is the preferred type of insurance in the industry.
What does Physical Therapist Malpractice Insurance Cover?
When shopping around for malpractice insurance, otherwise known as professional liability insurance, you should look for certain things:
- License coverage
- Lost wages
- HIPAA coverage
- Medical payments
- Property damage
- Assault coverage
- Deposition coverage
- Defense attorney provision
Anyone who works with patients, especially hands-on, needs to know that some patients will blame you for anything that goes wrong, whether it’s your fault or not. And of course, accidents can happen. Maybe you trip over someone while trying to massage their broken elbow and make it worse. Things happen that are hard to predict—that’s why they call them accidents.
Occurrence vs. Claims-Made Coverage
There are two types of liability insurance options (malpractice insurance is a type of liability insurance): claims-made and occurrence based coverage.
Claims-made coverage only covers you while the policy is active. Occurrence coverage covers you for anything that happened when you were insured, regardless of when the claim is made. Claims-made insurance is less expensive, but occurrence based coverage is preferable. Many patients take some time thinking things over before they decide to sue.
If you’re confused, here’s an example: John has insurance from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2020. Margo sees him a few times, in November and a few times in December. Margo decides she is steadily getting worse under John’s treatment and decided to sue. She files suit on January 15, 2020. If John had occurrence based coverage, he would be covered because the appointments in question took place while he still had the insurance. On the other hand, if he had claims-made coverage, he would be out of luck and would possibly have to pay for any settlements out of pocket.
You can get something called tail-coverage, which would cover any gaps between one claims-made policy and the next policy, so you would be protected.
Why Do Physical Therapists Need Malpractice Insurance?
There are many reasons why discontented patients may try to sue their physical therapist. You have your hands actively touching a patient, at least some of the time. This can result in injury and misinterpretations.
According to HPSO’s Professional Liability Exposure report, here are some of the reasons why physical therapists get sued:
- Failure to properly treat a patient
- Improper performance of manual therapy
- Failure to monitor or supervise
- Improper management over the course of treatment
- Improper use of therapeutic exercise
- Improper behavior by the therapist
As you may have noticed, people are getting more litigious in general these days. You probably don’t want to pay for the cost of a lawsuit out of your own pocket, not to mention the risk to your license.
Since physical therapists can get insurance for a fairly low price, it’s probably worth it to buy coverage. For less than $200 a year you’ll have peace of mind, just in case the worst happens and someone decides to sue you. As with any insurance policy, make sure you shop around and compare quotes, so you get the best price.