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SettlementMedical companies face many dangers when it comes to liability. Handling sensitive information, providing advice, prescribing medication and handling procedures can all result in backlash if not handled correctly. But the companies themselves aren’t the only entities that need to carry insurance. Medical professionals, whether working independently or in an office or hospital, should have general liability insurance to protect themselves.

Generally speaking, medical companies carry insurance to protect themselves. Their insurance is geared to protect the company from claims both against the company itself and the professionals it employs. But there isn’t always protection for medical professionals.

As a medical professional, be sure to speak with your employer about their general liability coverage. Medical professionals often carry individual insurance policies to ensure they have coverage in case a claim is filed against them, even if the professional switches companies.

Who Needs General Liability?

In the medical industry, nearly everyone is liable for injury, property or personal damages. Professionals that should be covered with general liability include:

  • Surgeons
  • OBGYNs
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • General practitioners
  • Psychiatrists
  • Pediatricians

This is not a complete list. Anyone working in the medical field that handles patients or patient information should be covered beneath general liability insurance.

What Does General Liability Cover?

For medical professionals, general liability can cover:

  • Cost of medical bills
  • Legal fees
  • Settlements
  • Funeral expenses
  • Repair or replacement cost of a damaged or destroyed item
  • Libel and slander
  • Copyright infringement

No matter how large or small the business is, every medical company needs general liability insurance. When this insurance reaches its limits or a claim is denied, it’s crucial for medical professionals themselves to carry insurance as a precaution.

Difference Between General Liability Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance

General liability insurance, sometimes called commercial general liability insurance, is not the same as professional liability. In the medical industry, professional liability is also known as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice insurance provides coverage when claims arise due to negligence on behalf of the medical professional. For example, if a doctor fails to follow up after a patient has major surgery and complications arise, the patient may file a medical malpractice claim saying the complications arose due to the doctor’s failure to follow up. General liability, meanwhile, handles issues that arise from third party injuries or property damages not relating to negligence or professional mistakes made on behalf of the medical employee. Regarding a medical business, coverage for libel and slander—such as claiming another medical company intentionally hurts their patients—is crucial.

How Much Does General Liability Cost?

The cost of general liability varies. The average cost falls between $483-$2,758 a year. For medical businesses, it is usually more cost-effective to bundle such insurances. A business owners policy, for example, combines general liability and property coverage. Insurance for medical professionals tends to be more expensive due to the dangerous nature of the industry. Medical professionals are seen as more likely to file a claim, which means the insurance company may charge higher premiums in order to balance out the cost of what they will pay in a claim. Different professions within the medical field also have varying prices when it comes to insurance. Certain high-risk specialties such as surgeons cost more to insure.

Is General Liability Required?

Most businesses in New York are required to carry general liability insurance. Individuals are not generally required to carry their own policy, however. Keep in mind that general liability is not comprehensive and doesn’t cover everything. General liability doesn’t cover injuries an employee suffers at work, criminal acts or intentional injury or damages.

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