Occupational Therapist Insurance

Occupational Therapist Insurance

Occupational therapist insurance is a customized policy unique to the profession that’s designed to protect these health care professionals from claims or lawsuits related to the services they provide.

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Insurance for occupational therapists

Insurance for occupational therapists protects these types of professionals from exposure to third-party bodily injury lawsuits. The liability risks occupational therapists face are significant in part because the treatment patients may receive elsewhere can affect their efforts.

What is occupational therapist insurance?

Occupational therapist insurance – often referred to as medical malpractice insurance or professional liability insurance – is highly recommended.

Occupational therapists help people who are already injured. Also, treating patients with existing injuries or disabilities raises the possibility of a patient suffering additional injuries. The most common allegations against occupational therapists involve the mismanagement of treatment and neglect. If you are sued by a patient, the cost of that lawsuit could cost you thousands of dollars.

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What does it cover?

A customized occupational therapist insurance policy may include the following types of coverages:

  • Medical Malpractice Insurance: Malpractice insurance provides financial coverage for occupational therapists if subject to allegations of misconduct, neglect, substandard treatment, equipment- or treatment-related injuries, and third-party bodily injury lawsuits.
  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: CGL is a liability insurance policy that protects you and your business against third-party property damage or bodily injuries. For example, if a patient visiting your practice slips, falls, is injured, and sues you, CGL is designed to cover the patient’s medical expenses and your legal fees.
  • Commercial Property Insurance: If you own the commercial property where your practice is established, commercial property insurance is a necessity for protection from insured risks that occur beyond your control, like a fire, theft, or flood. It typically includes content coverage for the equipment, computers, and inventory in your practice. You can add business interruption coverage to a commercial property policy to be reimbursed the net income you lost following an insured event. However, business interruption coverage does not cover income lost due to a pandemic, infectious disease, or a government-mandated closure.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: This type of coverage protects the equipment you use in your practice if they require repair or replacement because of internal damages, such as an electrical or mechanical malfunction.
  • Tenant Legal Liability Insurance: If you rent or lease a property for your practice, tenant legal liability coverage insures any loss or damage to the property. Also referred to as commercial tenant insurance, it provides protection against the cost of third-party bodily injury and property damage lawsuits.

Who needs it?

All occupational therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapist assistants, and physiotherapist assistants who support the delivery of services to their patients should be insured against the risk of a third-party bodily injury lawsuit or allegations of malpractice. 

Each province and territory has its own association of occupational therapists. In some provinces, professional liability insurance is a requirement and must meet the association’s bylaws. For example, the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario requires its members to hold professional liability insurance with a minimum coverage limit of $5 million.

How much does it cost?

The cost of an annual premium for occupational therapist insurance varies by the insurance company you choose, the types of coverage you need, and the liability risks you face. For example, for professional liability with $2 million worth of coverage, an annual premium may start at around $155, or commercial general liability with $1 million worth of coverage may start at $47 per year. Some other factors that influence the cost of a policy includes: 

  • Where you are located
  • Your years of experience
  • Your annual and projected revenue
  • The types of services you provide
  • Previous insurance claims you have made

 Get a free quote and speak to a licensed insurance broker to find out what premium you need to pay based on the factors above.

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Common claims scenarios

Frequently asked questions

Is occupational therapy insurance portable?

Yes. If you move to another province or territory to practice or decide to change jobs and work for a different practice, your insurance policy stays with you for the duration of the annual policy until it needs to be renewed.

I am employed as an occupational therapist assistant at a practice. My employer has insurance in place. Do I need to get my own policy?

It depends. The insurance coverage your employer provides may have gaps that can leave you exposed to liability risks. Ensure you are covered against allegations of malpractice or neglect by speaking to a licensed broker.

Does occupational therapy insurance provide coverage for virtual services?

Yes. Whether you provide your services in-person or virtually through a video conference call, your insurance policy is valid in both circumstances.

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