Healthcare, health and wellness, and allied health professionals all share certain characteristics. 

They’re excellent communicators, have empathy for their patients and emotional intelligence, and are adaptable and detail-oriented. They’re also passionate about helping people and dedicated to their professions. 

But caring for others and aiming to help them improve their overall health and lives is also an incredibly challenging profession with noteworthy risks. Despite their best intentions and efforts, unforeseen circumstances can lead to expensive claims against them. 

Let’s explore what health and wellness and allied health professionals do, their liability risks, and how they can get the necessary protection to safeguard their careers and finances.

Malpractice insurance for health and wellness professionals

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Health and Wellness Professional vs Allied Health Professional: What’s the Difference?

Health and wellness professionals and allied health professionals are integral to the healthcare industry but have distinct roles and responsibilities. Let’s examine each one:

Health and Wellness Professionals

Health and wellness professionals promote overall health, well-being, and a balanced lifestyle. Their primary focus is helping their customers take preventative measures to improve their health and help them achieve and maintain a state of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Examples of these types of professionals include:

  • Nutritionists and dieticians
  • Fitness trainers
  • Mental health counsellors
  • Life coaches
  • Holistic practitioners
  • Yoga instructors

Allied Health Professionals

Allied health professionals have specialized clinical expertise that complements the work of other healthcare providers. They are not physicians, dentists, or nurses, but they collaborate with these professionals and are often involved in patient care, diagnosis, and treatment.

Examples of these types of professionals include:

  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Radiologic technicians
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Pharmacists and pharmaceutical assistants
  • Medical laboratory technicians

7 Liability Risks Health and Wellness or Allied Health Professionals Face

There are many significant risks professionals in the healthcare industry face that could threaten their careers, reputations, and finances. Here’s a brief rundown of seven of the most common liability risks they face:

1. Professional Negligence

An allegation of professional negligence against a healthcare professional is usually called medical malpractice. It occurs when a professional neglects or fails to perform their responsibilities as per the expected standard of their profession or if they make a mistake when treating a patient that causes harm.

2. Professional Misconduct

Professional misconduct involves improper behaviour or actions by a healthcare professional that breaches ethical or professional standards. Accusations of harassment or inappropriate behaviour can severely damage your reputation and practice.

3. Injuries to Patients

Unintended or accidental injuries to patients can occur from the prescribed exercises or treatments that may exacerbate their health challenges or create new ones, such as an adverse or allergic reaction to a treatment. 

4. Failure to Communicate or Obtain Consent

It is critical to communicate with patients and get informed consent for any treatment you recommend. Failing to inform patients of the risks and benefits associated with your recommended treatments can lead to significant professional and legal consequences.

5. Damage to Business Properties or Clinics

The clinic or office where you practice could be burglarized or vandalized. Fire or water damage, such as a burst pipe, could damage the property, business contents, and equipment.

6. Product Liability

The products and equipment you sell may be defective and cause bodily injuries to your patients or damage their property.

7. Cyber-Attacks and Privacy Data Breaches

No professional or small business is immune to the threat of a cyber-attack or a data breach. One cyber incident could compromise your practice and expose you and your patients’ confidential information to fraud or identity theft. 

What Type of Insurance Do Health and Wellness or Allied Health Professionals Need?

Medical malpractice insurance is designed to shield healthcare professionals from allegations, claims, or lawsuits by providing them with the financial support they need to pay for damages to third parties and defend themselves against legal action.

Any practitioner offering professional healthcare services to the public, including consultations, advice, and prescribing treatments, needs malpractice insurance. Often, it is a legal or regulatory requirement.

Malpractice insurance provides healthcare professionals coverage for financial damages and losses and support for their legal costs related to claims against them for their professional services.

Depending on your profession, there may be other coverages you should consider adding to your policy. For instance, adding cyber liability insurance to protect your digital assets, commercial property insurance to cover your business contents and clinic, or tail coverage insurance to extend your policy to cover claims against you that are reported after your policy expires.

How Health and Wellness or Allied Health Professionals Can Get Insurance Fast

Getting the medical malpractice insurance policy you need quickly is easy with Zensurance.

All you need to do is take a few minutes to fill out our online application for a free quote. Our knowledgeable brokers will shop our partner network of over 50 Canadian insurance providers to get the low-cost policy you need and customize it to suit your requirements.

Why You Should Choose Zensurance As Your Business Insurance Brokerage

Zensurance serves hundreds of thousands of Canadian small business owners, self-employed professionals, contractors, and healthcare professionals annually.

We make it painless and hassle-free to get insured by offering impartial recommendations for the coverages you need and strive to find the best deal on insurance that’s right for you. Our clients agree: We have a 4.8 out of 5-star rating from over 3,000 Google Reviews.

In general, there are many reasons why you should choose a small business insurance broker when buying insurance for the first time or renewing your policy. Not only will a licenced Zensurance broker help you save money on your insurance bill, but they are also insurance experts who can advise you on what coverages your policy should contain, what coverage limits to select, and ensure you understand what your policy covers and what exclusions it has.

If you have a question about malpractice insurance, get in touch with us. We’d be delighted to help.

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About the Author: Shelly Petrie

Shelly Petrie is a Team Lead, Digital Solutions Team, Zensurance.