Guide to Dietitian Liability Malpractice Insurance
Professional liability insurance, also called “errors and omissions insurance,” protects you, and your nutrition business if you are sued for negligently performing your services, have made a mistake, or omitted to provide a service. Even if you haven’t made a mistake, a case against you can still be costly and damaging to your business. When launching your nutrition practice, obtaining liability insurance is one of the first, and most important steps to take.
When should you obtain professional liability insurance?
For many nutrition professionals, providing contract services such as counseling clients as a side-income is a common way to generate additional income and gain career experience. Even if you’re business isn’t officially established, and you’re only providing services as an independent contractor, you can (and should) obtain professional liability insurance.
Here at Healthie, we recommend that dietitians look into professional liability insurance options prior to working with clients. The good news, is that the process is fairly straightforward, and it does not take long to get covered. Furthermore, having liability insurance is a requirement if you’re hoping to become in-network with insurance companies.
When selecting an insurance provider, there are several factors to consider, including the:
- Amount of coverage desired
- Scope of services provided
- Type of coverage (in-person or virtual care, or both)
- Cost of the plan
- And more
To get started, check out the insurance providers that cover nutrition and wellness professionals, listed below.
Liability insurance rates and coverage differ from state to state, but all of these providers offer insurance across the United States. If you are credentialed in multiple states, make sure to receive coverage in all states that you practice. You can get a free online quote from the respective websites, linked below.
Healthie’s Starter Guide to Liability Insurance
1. Pro-sight Specialty
Prosight Specialty is a liability insurance company that specializes in small businesses and solo practitioners. They have a product specifically designed for dietitians and nutritionists, as well as broader health and wellness professionals, and specialize in both in-person and virtual care (telehealth).
Prosight gives providers an estimated quote within 60 seconds, enables instant access to COI, and has an online submission platform to track your subscription and claims.
Proliability is a large liability insurance company powered by Mercer. They pride themselves on providing the most comprehensive coverage available with competitive prices. Look for the “Nutritionist Practitioners’ Professional Liability Insurance” plan.
Proliability has received enormously positive reviews from dietitians, and offers members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics discounted prices.
Hiscox is a liability insurance company created to protect small businesses. They pride themselves on tailoring their coverage to the risks in individual fields. This means that nutrition and wellness professionals have coverage for nutrition-specific concerns, as opposed to claims faced by healthcare professionals in general.
Hiscox has partnered with BOLT insurance Agency to provide coverage around the country. A.M. Best, a rating company specializing in insurance, gives Hiscox an A.
The company provides superior service and is rated A- by A.M. Best for their coverage.
4. CM & F Group
CM & F Group provides liability coverage for dietitians underwritten by Medical Protective, which is the oldest institution protecting medical professionals from malpractice lawsuits. As a family-owned and operated insurance company, CM & F Group prides themselves on superior customer service and quick coverage.
The company provides superior service and is rated A++ by A.M. Best for their coverage.
Insureon promises “hassle-free business insurance” for allied health professionals. They tailor their coverage to meet the needs of dietitians and nutrition professionals, specifically. Insureon offers a variety of insurance options to create specific coverage plans for their users. Some types of liability insurance you can receive through Insureon include general liability insurance, property insurance, malpractice insurance, and business owner’s insurance.
The Insureon provider received an A rating from A.M. Best.
6. Lockton Affinity
Lockton Affinity is a subsidiary of a larger insurance brokerage company, Lockton, that “makes buying insurance easy.” They take pride in their simple process for purchasing their liability coverage, as well as their affordable pricing.
A.M. Best gives Lockton Affinity an A+.
7. Healthcare Provider Service Organization (HPSO)
Healthcare Provider Service Organization (HPSO) is the largest provider of malpractice insurance in the country, and is endorsed by more than 60 national and state associations. HPSO succinctly outlines all of their coverage and limits on their website and provides a user friendly experience in buying and maintaining their insurance.
A.M. Best gives them an A rating for their service and coverage.
Liability Insurance And Virtual Care
When choosing your liability insurance provider, think about your scope of practice and the type of services you provide. If you currently practice or are thinking about providing virtual care, be sure to check whether your insurance provider covers virtual appointments. From our research, while Hiscox and Lockton make exclusions that prohibit this coverage, Proliability, HPSO, Insureon and CM & F Group all cover telehealth.
Telehealth is within the scope of coverage for dietitians. As a result, only insurance companies that make specific exclusions don’t cover it. Luckily, more and more insurance companies are starting to cover virtual care, and understand its importance and effectiveness.
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