Social work is a demanding career path, one where a person provides support to individuals, families, and the community at large in order to best serve society as a whole. The issues that a clinical social work encounters are usually pretty complex. It is certainly an admirable career field and one that is based largely on simply helping people.
So what happens when your helping people ends with you getting sued? Maybe, as a social worker, you make an error or mistake. Or maybe not. Maybe a client doesn’t like a particular result or outcome.
By equipping yourself with liability insurance, as a social worker, you can protect yourself from unwanted time and expense spent on claims made resulting in lawsuits. If you don’t have insurance coverage and you didn’t actually make a mistake, you will still have to defend yourself and spend money for legal fees. If you are sued, malpractice insurance can protect you not just when the case is occurring, but years later as well.
While a liability insurance policy is not always required, it is certainly a good idea for any social worker who wants to have peace of mind. With it, you will be armed with a legal defense as well as coverage for settlements or damages awarded to a client. However, it’s best to check with your particular employer as some may require you to have an individual policy. Luckily, you can usually get insurance coverage for a reasonable price.
How much is NASW liability insurance?
In general, the cost of liability insurance will depend on a number of factors, including the type of business, number of employees, coverage limits, years in business, and location.
NASW offers a general liability insurance policy that will protect you and your practice in case property damage or an injury on site were to occur. Their general liability insurance is developed specifically for social workers, which makes it very unique. The coverage provides up to $1,000,000 of protection per occurrence and up to $3,000,000 protection each year. It’s currently offered at approximately $12.84 per month for a single practitioner.
What is the best professional liability insurance for social workers?
The best professional liability insurance for you as a social worker will largely depend on what type of protection you need. You want to make sure when you select professional liability insurance, that you consider several things about the insurance company, as outlined below.
Something that is important to research is the company’s history. What is their track record and reputation? For instance, how many clients have they covered and was there compensation for claims made? These are important things to find out when you are researching the best insurance for you as a clinical social worker. You can always go to the Better Business Bureau, Google, or Yelp to check reviews and business standings for companies.
When it comes to insurance, not all companies provide the same array of policies. An ideal insurance insurance provider is one that specializes in coverage and policies for social workers, such as NASW.
Financial Strength of Insurance Agency
You want to make sure that, as a clinical social worker, the insurance company has the ability to compensate you. If they have a history of bankruptcy or have pending litigations, then it’s probably a good idea to steer clear of them.
Extent of Coverage
You will want to be sure and understand the coverage of our policy. For instance, how much will your policy be able to cover you financially? It’s important to be clear on the coverage limits and extent of damage the insurance company will cover.
Establishing a budget and making sure that the premium payments you choose are affordable for you is a must for social workers when it comes to liability coverage. The last thing you want is to have the appropriate coverage for any potential claims made, but then you can’t afford to pay the premiums and ensure your protection.
If the Policy is Transferable
If your work could take you to another location, such as another state, it’s ideal if that policy can transfer with you from job to job, location to location. If you don’t have long term plans where you are, then you will definitely want to find coverage where the policy can transfer.
How much professional liability coverage do I need as a clinical social worker?
It will depend on how much risk you think you may taking as a social worker as to how much coverage you will need. However, it’s generally common for social workers to have policies with coverage up to $1 million dollars for each claim and $3 million dollars annually for all covered claims made during the policy period.
What are the two types of liability insurance?
There are two different types of liability insurance coverage social workers may have to protect themselves when it comes to claims made from clients. We’ll discuss each type of insurance below.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance will cover certain risks for an individual such as bodily injuries or property damage. While this doesn’t include any employee injuries, general liability does include any claims for someone getting injured at your business. If you need insurance for employees’ injuries, then worker’s compensation insurance will cover that. General liability will cover things like medical payments if someone is injured on your property, property damage your employees or business cause, advertising errors, and also reputational harm.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance will cover things like errors and omissions as they pertain to your business as a clinical social worker. In fact, it’s often referred to as errors and omissions insurance or malpractice insurance. It can protect your business if clients make claims that involve financial damage. It can help cover claims involving negligence, misrepresentation, and inaccurate advice. Since social workers often advise their clients, it’s easy to see why insurance coverage makes a lot of sense.