Dietitian Liability Insurance

Get a Professional Liability Insurance coverage designed to meet dietitians’ requirements nationwide.

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Insurance for dietitians

From preparing meal plans to conducting research, dietitians make nutrition accessible, empowering Canadians to develop and sustain healthy habits that improve their quality of life. However, like anyone providing a service or offering advice to the public, there is room for risk. An intake error, misdiagnosis, or injury due to your advice could result in a costly lawsuit for you or your practice.

Whether you practice at a local hospital or operate a private practice, carrying professional liability insurance is critical to your success in the health and wellness industry.

At Zensurance, our mission is to make insurance as accessible as possible. We wrote this guide to help you navigate the basics of dietitian liability insurance.

What is dietitian liability insurance?

You provide invaluable guidance to groups and individuals throughout many phases of their lives. However, a dissatisfied client or intake oversight could result in a situation where you are the subject of a lawsuit.

Dietitian liability insurance policies provide comprehensive protection against the specific risks associated with your services, including negligence and malpractice.

Some of our clients include:

  • Registered Dietitians
  • Clinical Dietitians
  • Community Dietitians
  • Nutritionists
  • Sports Dietitians
  • Public Health Dietitians
  • Research Dietitians
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What does it cover?

All College of Dietitians members is required to carry Professional Liability Insurance.

Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Malpractice Insurance, protects dietitians against claims or lawsuits alleging negligence, malpractice, or failure to deliver services as promised. Professional Liability Insurance may cover your legal defence costs, as well as monetary judgments and settlement fees up to your policy limit.

Additional coverage is recommended for dietitians who run a business or offer services across multiple locations. Comprehensive coverage for dietitians typical includes the following coverage:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance protects you from the everyday risks you may expect to encounter during day-to-day business operations, including third-party property damage or bodily injuries (e.g., slip-and-fall).
  • Product Liability Insurance protects you from claims alleging property damage or bodily injury due to a product you sell, distribute, or manufacture. For example, a client suffers an allergic reaction to a supplement you sell and sues you for bodily injury. Your Product Liability Insurance could cover the medical fees and legal expenses. Most product liability claims arise from incorrect labelling or manufacturing defects.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance is critical for anyone who stores client information or confidential data. It covers costs associated with electronic incidents involving your technology systems and customer data, such as incident response and breach management fees. For example, your employee opens a suspicious link leading to a data breach. Your Cyber Liability Insurance could cover the cost to notify your clients and implement advanced security measures.

Coverage will vary based on several factors, such as the services you provide, training, and experience. Our specialized team of brokers will always ensure you receive the most comprehensive coverage for your specific needs.

Who needs it?

Dietitian Colleges and Associations across Canada require dietitians who provide services to the public to carry Professional Liability Insurance (also known as Errors & Omissions) with a minimum limit of $2M. 

Carrying Professional Liability Insurance ensures you are protected should you be personally named in a claim or lawsuit. It also provides protection should you take on clients personally or work at multiple locations. 

For more information on insurance requirements for dietitians, check with your provincial association.

How much does it cost?

The cost of liability insurance for dietitians will vary based on several factors, such as specialization, experience, and location. Dietitians can anticipate premiums starting at $470 annually for a Professional Liability Insurance policy with a $2M limit.

When you complete our online application, we will ask some questions to understand your needs better. The following factors are taken into consideration when determining the best policy options for you:

  • Specialization
  • Training, Education, and Experience
  • Annual and Projected Revenue
  • Services Provided
  • Location

We’ve partnered with over fifty insurance providers to offer you different options that suit your business needs at the best price.

Business considerations

Freelance Dietitians

Working as a freelance dietitian offers plentiful career growth opportunities and flexibility. While some dietitians choose to contribute their expertise to clients with various needs, others may focus on a specific area (e.g., diabetes, eating disorders). Regardless of who you treat, operating as a freelance dietitian has unique risks from an insurance perspective. 

Unless you are working full-time at a clinic, you are unlikely to be covered by an employer, meaning you need comprehensive insurance that travels with you across multiple locations. 

General Liability Insurance is highly recommended, as it could cover costs related to any injuries that occur during a session or potential property damage at a client’s house. If you sell or manufacture products, Product Liability Insurance could provide coverage should the client claim your products caused bodily injury or property damage (e.g., an allergic reaction to a proprietary supplement). Professional Liability Insurance may provide coverage for any claims of negligence or malpractice, such as advice that results in an injury. For example, you suggest a diet that interferes with a client’s medications, resulting in serious complications. If you offer virtual consultations or sell products online, Cyber Liability Insurance may provide coverage should your data system or technology being compromised.

Not only will purchasing insurance protect you from financial loss, but it may also help in securing jobs, as clients want to see their dietitians are adequately insured.

Suggested Coverage:

  • Commercial General Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Product Liability Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance

Private Practice/Clinic Owners

Comprehensive coverage covering your services, employees, and general business liability risks is critical to running a successful dietetics clinic.  In addition to General Liability and Commercial Property Insurance, which are often required to rent or lease a space, several other policies can protect you and your business against client claims and lawsuits.

Clinic owners who sell or manufacture products are strongly advised to add Product Liability Insurance to their policy, covering injuries or property damage resulting from a product you manufacture, sell, or distribute. For example, a client claims the wearable blood sugar monitor you sold to them malfunctioned and caused minor burns. Professional Liability Insurance can protect your business from claims alleging negligence or malpractice; for example, you mistakenly advise a client to eat a product containing peanuts, which they listed as an allergy in their intake form. They suffer anaphylactic shock and sue you for negligence. If you store any client data, use a Point of Sale or scheduling software (e.g., MindBody, JaneApp). Cyber Liability Insurance could help your business recover from a cyberattack or electronic incident. 

If you have full-time employees working at your clinic, they are likely covered by your Dietitian Liability Insurance. However, it is essential to note that your coverage limit applies to all employees of your business, not each employee. One option to accommodate all of your employees is increasing your limit or hiring freelance service providers that carry liability.

Suggested Coverage:

  • Commercial General Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Property Insurance
  • Product Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance 

Online Dietitians

We live in a virtual world, and with the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on small businesses, digital offerings are increasingly common – and expected. If you offer consultations over video conferencing or sell online programs, you run the same risks to those offering services in person. If you accept virtual appointments, you are providing an online service. You will want to protect your business against negligence claims or failure to deliver a service as advertised with Professional Liability Insurance.

Product Liability Insurance protects those selling products alongside their digital offerings, such as meal plans or wearable monitors, against lawsuits alleging bodily injury or property damage due to a product you sell or manufacture. Of course, anyone collecting information about their clients (e.g., financial, health) will want to protect their business with Cyber Liability Insurance in the event of an electronic incident. 

Suppose you had to transition to a home-based business due to COVID-19. In that case, it is highly recommended that you notify your broker and review your existing insurance policies to ensure your current work environment is covered, as most home insurance policies don’t cover business-related claims.

Suggested Coverage:

  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Product Liability Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance

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Dietitian liability insurance is an essential requirement for anyone offering dietitian services in Canada.

Protect your practice against claims of negligence, malpractice, or misconduct. If you’re ready to get your free quote, start your online application today. If you need more information or prefer to speak with a broker, our friendly team can always help guide you through the process.

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