When most people think of malpractice lawsuits, they think of a high-profile case they might have heard about on the news where a doctor made a major mistake like amputating the wrong leg. But malpractice suits can happen to other health professionals, such as pharmacists. A mislabeled bottle could lead a patient to overdose themselves and end up in the hospital, for instance. Then that patient may file a claim against the pharmacist. So it’s important to understand what pharmacy malpractice insurance is, when it makes sense to get it and where you can find it.
6 Best Pharmacist Malpractice Insurance Companies
For the most part, getting a quote for professional liability insurance, also known as malpractice insurance, is very easy. Multiple companies offer quotes and all you have to do is answer a few basic questions. Make sure you obtain quotes from at least three companies, because as you can see below, companies vary quite a bit in what they charge.
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing several quotes online
- Berxi: Best for a fast online quote
- Pharmacists Mutual: Best as an industry specialist
- Proliability: Best for affordable rates
- HPSO: Best for portable policies
- CM&F Group: Best from an experienced healthcare insurer
CoverWallet: Best for comparing several quotes online
CoverWallet is a great website to start your search for insurance quotes. They serve most industries, and they offer multiple types of business insurance. When you settle on a policy, you can purchase, manage, and store your policies in the same “wallet.”
Although CoverWallet’s claim to fame is generating insurance quotes in under three minutes, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes, they want you to call to discuss your options. Here is an example. We usually have a success rate of 70-80% getting several online quotes from CoverWallet. In the remaining 20-30% cases, when we can’t get an online quotes, we always get several quotes when we discuss our situation on the phone.
Berxi: Best for a fast online quote
Berxi offers quick quotes, flexible policies, and excellent financial stability. They boast that they can save you 20% on your insurance because they sell directly to you, rather than through agents. When you get a quote, it gives you several coverage options, which makes it easy to compare.
However, you will notice that Berxi doesn’t usually offer one of the more affordable quotes.
Pharmacists Mutual: Best as an industry specialist
As the name suggests, Pharmacists Mutual is a specialist provider of pharmacy malpractice insurance. They only focus on serving pharmacists.
Pharmacists Mutual has been covering every type of pharmacist, from hospital pharmacists to retail pharmacists to students. Coverage is available on either a claims-made or occurrence basis with limits $1million per claim or $3 million a year. They also have policy and claim service 24/7. However, they only sell policies through agents, so you’ll need to call and speak to someone. But they definitely know the pharmacy profession.
Proliability: Best for affordable rates
Proliability offers coverage of up to $1M/$3M for as low as $105 a year. Customers also get access to a toll-free hotline and a 30-minute consultation with a Risk Consultant. Member of professional organizations and students get discounts. You can also earn a discount if you participate in a company loss prevention or legal issues seminar.
HPSO: Best for portable policies
HPSO points out that the average cost of a claim is $124,000—most or all of a pharmacist’s annual salary, and quite a chuck more than liability insurance. Policies with HPSO offer a $1M/$3M limits, and coverage is completely portable: if you change jobs or take a second job, you’re still covered.
CM&F Group: Best from an experienced healthcare insurer
CM&F Group has insured pharmacists and other healthcare professionals for over 100 years—since 1919. You can get coverage of up to $2 million per claim, and coverage follows you everywhere. Over 100,000 healthcare workers are insured with CM&F.
What is Pharmacist Malpractice Insurance?
Pharmacy malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance. The pharmacists’ professional organization ASHP defines pharmacy malpractice insurance as, “Professional liability insurance is coverage for a pharmacist that provides protection in the event a claim is made against a pharmacist involving an actual or alleged error or omission while carrying out his or her duties that are within the ‘scope of practice’ for a pharmacist.”
To put it a bit more plainly, pharmacists can be held liable when they make mistakes that cause harm. The independent insurance agency Trusted Choice lists three of the top mistakes that can result in a claim against a pharmacist:
- Wrong drug: Clerical errors or oversights could simply result in someone getting the wrong medication.
- Wrong strength: If the wrong dosages are listed, the patient could overdose or not get enough medicine to treat their illness.
- Wrong directions: Improperly stated directions can lead to a patient taking a drug wrong, which could harm them. And according to the definition above, all it takes is a patient mishearing someone to initiate a claim event.
According to the Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) pharmacy malpractice insurance can often cover up to $1 million for each claim and $3 million for an annual aggregate. HPSO lists that the average cost for the defense of a pharmacist claim is $14,503, so these claims can get quite costly.
Many of these types of plans can also cover other expenses related to a legal claim against a pharmacist, such as license protection if you have to defend your license to the state, defendant expenses, assault coverage, medical payments, sexual misconduct, first aid expenses and damage to property of others, as a few examples.
When looking up pharmacy malpractice insurance, you might also see products that cover entire pharmacies. If you own or are thinking of starting a pharmacy, you will need other types of insurance, too. In addition to professional liability, CoverWallet lists general liability, a business owners policy (BOP), worker’s compensation, business interruption coverage, and cyber liability as common products for pharmacies.
When Do Pharmacists Need Malpractice Insurance?
Many pharmacists work for larger retailers and in other traditional employment situations where coverage can be included by the employer. So you may be wondering if this product is even necessary for your situation.
Many employer malpractice plans may only offer limited coverage or not cover you in certain situations. It’s important to check what is all covered with your employer and whether you feel that is enough coverage. You may want to get your own malpractice policy just to be sure you have enough coverage.
Other situations where pharmacists need their own malpractice insurance coverage include when a pharmacist is self-employed or owns their own pharmacy.
How Much Does Pharmacist Malpractice Insurance Cost?
As you can see above, different companies provide us with different quotes. Different pharmacists will have different quotes depending on your years of experience, your work nature, where you work, your history claim, your location, etc. Below is an summary of several quotes we received from the top provider for a 3-year experienced pharmacist who works full time for a retail pharmacy. This policy is considered an additional to the main policy provided by the employer:
|Providers||Pharmacist malpractice insurance costs|
Again, these are the quotes for a particular pharmacist. Your quotes will be different. Be sure to get up to 3-5 quotes to compare and select the cheapest one for you.
Business insurance for pharmacies: Coverages & Costs
If you are looking for small business insurance for your own pharmacy, you might need more than just malpractice insurance. CoverWallet lists out some of the coverages you may need and their prices you can expect:
- General liability from $39 per month
- Bundled general liability and professional liability from $139 per month
- Business owners policy and worker’s compensation from $139 per month
Business owners policies tend to lump commercial property and general liability coverage together.
Pharmacy malpractice insurance covers you in case an actual or perceived error on your part causes harm to a third party. While you may do your best, all it takes is a clerical error or grabbing the wrong container for misdosing a patient. Even if you have employer insurance, some types of coverage may not be enough. You can find this type of insurance directly through a wide variety of business insurers.