Professional & General Liability Insurance
As a Home Health Care Agency you face two distinct types of liability exposure, Professional Liability and “Non Professional Liability”. Non Professional Liability is addressed by a policy commonly termed “General Liability” in insurance industry parlance.
General Liability typically addresses exposures that result in bodily injury or property damage. Almost every business in existence has a ‘General Liability’ exposure.
General liability policies are different from professional liability policies. You can not rely on general liability polices to provide protection from claims arising out of professional negligence. In fact, most ‘General Liability’s polices have an explicit exclusion for the “.. rendering or failure to render professional services”.
Conversely, Professional Liability insurance is designed to protect professionals from losses arising from their negligence. Professional liability insurance is also called “errors and omissions”, “E&O”, or “malpractice” insurance.
There is always a possibility that any professional’s work may fail to meet their clients’ expectations, resulting in a professional liability claim or lawsuit. Professional liability insurance is designed to protect the professional from the significant financial loss that can result from a lawsuit.
The exposures presented by professionals vary considerably, and the potential for claim and the types of claims are vary as well. Consider the difference between a lawyer and a landscape designer! And the there are differences within professions… consider the difference between an local real estate lawyer and one who tries murder cases!
Professional liability policies will almost always include coverage for the cost of losses associated with professional liability allegations / claims including defense costs. Defense costs can be staggering even if you ‘win’!
CAUTION: Some insurance companies try to include defense “within limits”, meaning that the cost of defense erodes the amount left to pay claims. While this can reduce cost, it serious limits coverage.
Finally, it makes good sense to have both the Professional & General Liability coverage place with the same insurance carrier to avoid finger pointing at the time of a loss when trying to determine whether an allegation falls under General Liability or Professional Liability.