Does A Therapist Need Public Liability Insurance?
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Therapists and mental health professionals play a critical role within Australia’s healthcare system. They’re responsible for helping patients that suffer from mental illness, stress, eating disorders, marital and family issues, and substance abuse. Care for these ailments must be carefully evaluated as therapists create customized treatment plans. The demand for these services is rapidly trending upward and putting strain on the current resources available to provide this type of care.
Unfortunately, Australia is one of the most litigious nations on earth. Therapists that make mistakes could cause harm to their patients or others. If this happens, the mental health professional could be held accountable through legal action or claims. Having the right insurance policy can provide therapists with the protection they need to avoid any serious financial consequences.
What is public liability insurance?
Public Liability Insurance helps protect businesses in the event they do something that accidentally causes physical harm or damage to their patient or another member of the public. While therapy and mental health services rarely deal with physical property, public liability insurance can also protect against claims for property damage as a result of business activities.
If a claim is made against a therapist, the insurance company will immediately take action to mitigate or minimise any risk associated with the lawsuit. They will also provide guidance to their client on how to navigate the legal process. If the court sides with the patient and awards a settlement, the insurance policy may cover any of the costs including legal fees, up to the limit of the policy.
Why therapists need public liability insurance
Providing mental health services is a sensitive form of medical and psychological care. Patients are often in a vulnerable state and at risk of harming themselves or others. It’s important for therapists to work quickly to identify, diagnose, and treat any mental health challenges. Despite their best efforts, care doesn’t always go as planned. A mentally unstable patient can cause harm or damage to others through physical violence, damage to property, and emotional or psychological abuse.
Therapists need to make sure that they are protected from any liability that comes as a result of their patient's actions. For example, a patient might have a mental breakdown and harm a family member. The patient could claim that a slow diagnosis was the reason for their actions. Public Liability Insurance can help provide protection from such claims. Public Liability Insurance could also provide protection in other circumstances such as a patient slipping over in your clinic bathroom and injuring themselves.
One thing to note is that Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) is different from Public Liability Insurance. PII is required by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for all counsellors and therapists. Having a Public Liability Insurance policy can add additional protections. It's important to check to make sure you have the right coverage and are compliant with all regulations.
Therapists can count on upcover's insurance offerings
Are you a therapist and not sure where to get started with securing Public Liability Insurance? upcover makes it easy to get market leading insurance that nurses need to feel protected as they care for their patients every day. Find out for yourself by getting an instant quote in seconds today!