No matter kind of counseling you do, your job is to help people. Unfortunately, no matter how kindhearted your intentions, the liability risks that come along with your career are very real. The wrong diagnosis or advice can lead straight to a lawsuit in today’s eager-to-sue society.
Thankfully, our independent insurance agents are here to help find you the right liability coverage to protect your business and personal life from devastating legal fees, medical bills and more. They’ll work with multiple insurance providers who specialize in your field to bring you the protection options that are right for you. Easy as that. But first, let’s talk a bit more about the risks you might face and the coverage you need to protect yourself from them.
Real-World Liability Concerns for Counselors
Counselors can face an infinite number of liability problems these days. And while there’s really no way to know what’s coming, you can be prepared for it. This starts by accepting that real-world situations can turn bad fast, and understanding how to be prepared for anything. Here’s an example:
Imagine you’re working with a husband, wife, and their teenage son. Say the couple is facing serious marital problems and the teen is acting out by skipping school and neglecting his usual activities. Tension continues to grow, and after a few sessions, you learn that the teen got drunk and crashed the family car into a tree. The couple blames you for the accident, claiming that you neglected to offer proper treatment and mounting family tension drove the teen to start drinking.
While this situation sounds ludicrous, it’s something that could absolutely happen. This is why it’s important for family counselors to be protected with the right professional liability insurance. Here’s another example:
A desperate mother pays for her daughter to visit a substance abuse counselor for a debilitating drug addiction. After a few weeks of meeting with the counselor, the daughter tells her mother that she is making progress and believes she can beat her addiction once and for all. When her mother discovers that her daughter has passed away from a drug overdose just days later, she is furious, blaming the substance abuse counselor for her daughter’s death. The counselor faces a negligence lawsuit, despite doing everything possible to help the girl conquer her addiction.
Again, this is just one scenario, but it’s a perfect example of why substance abuse counselors need liability insurance, too.
Types of Liability Insurance for Counselors
If you’re a licensed counselor looking for a policy that will reduce your liability risks, a Trusted Choice independent insurance agent can be the key to determining the specific coverages you need, including:
- General liability insurance: This protects you from bodily injury claims. If a client slips, falls, and suffers a serious injury in your office or on the icy steps outside, this policy covers the cost of medical bills and any related lawsuits.
- Professional liability insurance: This offers you protection against claims for errors and omissions. While general liability covers physical injuries in your office, your professional liability policy covers emotional or physical injuries that result from any advice or recommendations you made during a counseling session.
Who Needs Counselors Insurance?
Family counselors: As a licensed family counselor, you face the risk of a lawsuit daily. It only takes one session that goes poorly to escalate into a massive legal battle, leaving behind a pile of debt, a tarnished reputation, and worse. Investing in liability insurance can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your business is protected and you have the financial resources to survive an expensive lawsuit.
Marriage counselors: When you work as a licensed marriage counselor, you encounter a great deal of conflict and anxiety. Things can take a downward turn if a client begins blaming you for their continuing marriage problems. Even if you’re offering the best possible assistance to your clients, they can claim that your advice was emotionally harmful and sue you for damages. Liability insurance provides a buffer to protect your business in this unfortunate situation.
Substance abuse counselors: Substance abuse counselors are some of the most courageous and compassionate professionals in the world of counseling. Dealing with addictions is no joke, and these counselors work hard to help their clients find freedom and new beginnings. Unfortunately, substance abuse counselors also face frequent lawsuits, even when they haven’t done anything wrong. Consulting with an independent insurance agent is your first step toward securing your business with a fully customized, and comprehensive, liability insurance plan.
Types of Lawsuits against Counselors
Nowadays, you can be sued for just about anything. And due to the sensitive nature of your business, a counselor faces more risk than others. If a client decides your advice, or lack thereof, caused them harm, you could be found liable for damages. Liability lawsuits against counselors can be related to:
- Improper treatment
- Sexual impropriety
- Negligence (real or perceived)
- Confidentiality breach
- Patient suicide
- Libel or slander
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Failure to diagnose
Don’t Risk It: Get the Right Counselors Insurance
When you dedicate your life to helping others as a counselor, you hope that you will never face an unfair lawsuit. However, liability issues happen every day and you can’t afford to ignore the potential for a devastating lawsuit.
Purchasing liability insurance gives you peace of mind in knowing that you are protected from claims of negligence or improper treatment. Take action to protect yourself by choosing a reliable professional liability insurance policy for counselors.
The Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents are kind of like the Google of insurance quotes. You tell them what you’re looking for, and they bring in the results. And since they aren’t tied down to one carrier, they’re free to shop around and bring multiple policy options to the table.
And it gets better, you don’t have to review the policy options alone. They’ll walk you through everything you need to know about finding the right coverage, and price, for you. But it doesn’t end with your signature. Along the way, if something bad ever happens, they’ll handle the entire claim process for you and deal with the carrier, so you can focus on your patients’ wellbeing. How sweet is that?