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Who needs mental health counselor insurance?
Mental health counselors who assist patients in working through personal issues, such as anger management, depression, aging, parenting, relationships, stress or addiction should consider seeking professional and general liability insurance. A number of issues can occur as a result of working with clients who don't understand or connect with certain methodologies, as well as patient confidentiality and privacy issues. Getting counselor insurance is an effective way to protect yourself while providing beneficial mental health services to patients across all walks of life—especially for therapists who work in private practices.
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Policies available for mental health counselors
For most mental health counselors, there are two main types of insurance policies worth considering, each of which offers its own aspects of protection to help you run your business without interruption.
Professional Liability Insurance for mental health counselors
Professional liability insurance—sometimes referred to as E&O Insurance—offers many potential benefits to mental health counselors, such as coverage for negligence, defense costs, personal injury (i.e., libel and slander), claims against past-rendered services, bodily injury and much more. While fraudulent acts and property damage are not covered by professional mental health counseling liability insurance, this form of insurance is essential for anyone who regularly provides a professional service or regularly advises clients, such as therapists.
- Protection even if you haven't made a mistake: A concerned parent hired a substance abuse counselor for her son who is having problems with drug and alcohol use. The treatments start and the son reports back to his parents that the treatment is working. It becomes apparent the son has continued his behavior when he is arrested again for a DUI. The parents are irate and sue the counselor for negligence. Professional liability insurance could protect you against claims of negligence even if you haven’t done anything wrong.
- Sexual misconduct: A client has been seeing a mental health counselor for years and begins to speak and act as if the relationship was more than therapy. The mental health counselor recognizes that this is happening and asks the patient to find a different counselor. The client sues for abandonment and claims the mental health counselor initiated the inappropriate relationship. Professional liability insurance protects the counselor against illegitimate claims.
When a client reacts negatively to treatment, accuses you of breaching confidentiality agreements, or otherwise feels that they've been damaged in some way by your services as a mental health counselor, the risk of being sued is constantly present. You can protect yourself by obtaining professional liability insurance—a key vehicle for providing peace of mind to small businesses.
General Liability Insurance for mental health counselors
In addition to times when mental health counselors can benefit from having professional liability insurance, there are many scenarios that are not covered under this type of policy. General Liability—also referred to as commercial general liability (CGL)—covers your therapy business against claims of bodily injury, any associated medical costs and property damage.
- Client's property damage: A mental health counselor is visiting a client’s home for a session and accidentally knocks over a tablet. The tablet shatters into pieces. The counselor’s general liability policy could cover the subsequent claim, up to the policy's limits of liability.
- Bodily injury: A substance abuse counselor rents office space in a medical office. A young patient becomes very upset during her counseling session and jumps up out of her chair, knocking it over and injuring herself. General liability insurance could protect the counselor against third-party claims for bodily injury and related medical costs.
- Personal injury: The receptionist of a mental health counselor is out for a meal. He talks to the owner of the restaurant about a client in a false and unflattering way. The client learns of this discussion and sues for slander. Hiscox may cover the subsequent claim, up to the limits of liability, and pay for an attorney if necessary.
Though your own property is not covered under general therapy liability insurance, damage sustained to a third-party property—including actions taken by your staff—will be covered.
Why do mental health counselors choose Hiscox?
At Hiscox, we understand just how much work goes into running a mental health counseling business. Whether you run a private practice or are working as a therapist in a different capacity, we can help your business grow by drastically reducing risk with our Professional Liability insurance policies and allowing you to focus on what truly matters: providing beneficial services to clients in need.
Here are five reasons why therapists choose Hiscox above other providers for professional liability insurance and general liability insurance:
- Flexible payment options: We offer you the option of making monthly payments (with no additional fees) to help you manage your cash flow.
- Tailored insurance: We specialize in businesses like yours and tailor coverage to the risks in your field.
- Claims responsiveness: When a covered claim is reported, we will immediately defend you—even if the claim has no basis—and, if necessary, appoint an attorney.
- Coverage for contracts: Our therapist professional liability insurance coverage satisfies most standard contract insurance requirements.
- Worldwide coverage: We protect you for work done by your business anywhere in the world, as long as the covered claim is filed in the United States, a U.S. territory or Canada.
- Passion for service: Agents knowledgeable about your business concerns will provide you with excellent service—4.7/5 people surveyed recommended us.
Ready to learn more about how Hiscox insurance can help mitigate risk with mental health counselor insurance coverage? Get a fast, free quote now and get that Hiscox confidence behind your business. If you prefer, you can call us at 1-866-283-7545 and speak with a Hiscox licensed agent, Monday – Friday, 7am – 10pm ET.
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This information is provided to assist you in understanding the coverage we offer and does not modify the terms and conditions of any insurance policy, nor does it imply that any claim is covered. Coverages are subject to underwriting and may not be available in all states.