Physiotherapy Insurance

Physiotherapy Liability Insurance

Physiotherapy liability insurance is necessary to protect you and your clinic from claims by patients due to alleged negligence or accidental circumstance

Zensurance - Physiotherapist

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Physiotherapy Professional

Insurance for physiotherapists

Physiotherapists provide an essential health care service for the thousands of Canadians who require rehabilitation due to an accident, injury or illness. And while physiotherapists work hard to improve their patients’ strength and overall wellness, there’s always a chance things won’t work out perfectly. Each patient’s physical ailment is unique and often complex. A misdiagnosis or improper treatment can exacerbate an existing injury, or worse still, cause an additional injury.

As a physiotherapist, you have specific risks to consider. We’re here to help protect you and your clinic.

Physiotherapy insurance is a specialized liability policy package that protects against the common risks of practicing as a physiotherapist. Professional liability insurance is mandatory throughout Canada, and regulatory colleges set liability insurance limits for each province.

Insurance for physiotherapists could include several coverages which make up the policy package. Most importantly, physiotherapy insurance includes Medical Malpractice Insurance. This is a type of professional liability insurance that covers the legal costs, medical fees and other related fees from claims of negligence that result in causing third-party bodily injury.

Common claims typically fall within the following areas:

  • Failure to attend to a patient;
  • Failures in diagnosis;
  • Failures in referral or consultation;
  • Failure to protect or warn third parties; or,
  • Substandard treatment

Suppose you’re helping a patient regain strength in their legs after a car accident that confined them to a wheelchair for six months. You’re confident they can stand for a moment without support after a great session last week. When you let go of their hands, they become unsteady and fall backwards, hurting their back. In this case, the patient could sue you for your professional oversight. Medical Malpractice Insurance could cover the legal fees and any medical costs should the patient make a claim.

Additional coverage listed below is recommended for physiotherapists too. These coverages offer protection from the general risks of running a physiotherapy clinic:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance, also known as ‘slip and fall insurance,’ CGL protects your business from the risks that could be encountered during day-to-day business operations. This includes claims for things such as third-party property damage or bodily injuries. For example, your patient uses a resistance band to build up strength in their arms. The band is a few years old and snaps while they’re using it. They injure their wrist and successfully sue you for bodily injury. Your Commercial General Liability policy could cover the legal fees and medical expenses.
  • Commercial Property Insurance protects your physiotherapy clinic and the contents you own should a risk occur such as a fire, theft, flood or vandalism. Say pipe bursts in your clinic, flooding the carpet and destroying some fixtures. Commercial Property Insurance could offer coverage to replace the carpet and other damaged property.
    • Commercial Property Insurance often includes business interruption coverage too. This provides reimbursement for net income lost if you had to close for repairs following an insured event.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance is essential for any physiotherapist that stores patient information online or conducts virtual consultations. It’s your legal obligation to protect your patients’ confidential information. Cyber Liability Insurance covers costs associated with electronic incidents involving your technology systems and patient data, such as incident response and breach management fees. For example, a hacker attacked your online booking system and held your patient’s data for ransom. In this case, Cyber Liability Insurance could cover the cost of the ransom, the cost to notify patients of the breach and any other fees required to restore data.

There are many responsibilities that physiotherapists may have, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cost attached to this type of insurance. That being said, for a required physiotherapy malpractice insurance policy with a $5M limit, you can anticipate spending $250 annually.

Below are some of the factors that are taken into consideration when determining the cost of your premium:

  • Years of experience
  • Location
  • Past claims
  • Services offered
  • Individual or Group Clinic coverage

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

Getting insured is quick and easy!

Complete our 5-minute online application for a free physiotherapy liability insurance quote.

Common claims scenarios

patient - injury

Problem: You’re treating a patient that requires stability training. During the exercise, you ask them to balance on a stool about 1-foot high. They mention they’re afraid, but it doesn’t seem like much of a height to you, so you push them to attempt the balance. They lose balance and fall off, hitting their head on nearby equipment.

Outcome: You’re successfully sued for medical malpractice. Your Physiotherapy Malpractice Insurance could cover medical expenses and any legal fees, totalling $50,000.

physio back massage

Problem: You’re providing a back massage to a client to help with their physio treatment. While using quite a lot of pressure, your hand slips from the massage oil and causes further injury to the patient’s back. Your patient sues you for negligence.

Outcome: Your Medical Malpractice policy could cover any medical expenses and legal fees totalling $10,000.

baby climbing injury

Problem: You’ve added a coffee maker to your waiting room, which patients have free use. One morning, a young child climbs onto a chair next to the machine and pushes a button that releases hot water. The child is badly scaled.

Outcome: The child’s mother successfully sues you for the injury. Your Commercial General Liability policy could cover the legal expenses and medical fees for the child, totalling $12,000.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to get liability insurance from a physiotherapy association?

No, it’s not mandatory to purchase insurance through an association. Organizations such as the Canadian Physiotherapy Association offer support for physiotherapists and often include some insurance as part of their membership package. It’s a good idea to shop around for insurance and see if other coverage is more suitable for your business.

What is the required insurance coverage limit for physiotherapists?

Each Canadian province requires a different amount of coverage, with many provinces requiring a minimum of $5,000,000 in Liability Insurance (also known as Medical Malpractice Insurance). As a minimum limit, this amount may not be sufficient, depending on the size of your business. To ensure you’re adequately covered, work with an insurance broker on determining the right amount of coverage.

Does Physiotherapy Insurance cover my clinic?

Yes, whether you own your clinic or rent, your clinic and employees can be covered by Physiotherapy Insurance. There are two coverages to consider. Firstly, Commercial General Liability Insurance can protect your clinic from third-party risks during day-to-day business operations, such as accidental injury. Secondly, Commercial Property Insurance can protect your physiotherapy clinic and the contents you own should an insured event occur, such as a fire, theft, flood or vandalism.

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