Insurance language can be confusing. And while it’s not meant to cause anxiety and confusion, the terms, definitions and knowing what is actually covered can be frustrating. Let’s start with the basics of Professional Liability and General Liability.
General Liability and Malpractice Insurance for Optometrists
Malpractice insurance is designed to cover you while you are carrying out the normal duties of your profession. In the ophthalmic industry, Malpractice Insurance is often called Professional Liability and both terms can be used interchangeably.
Malpractice (or Professional Liability) is designed to protect you from claims or allegations of an error, such as a missed diagnosis or an injury during an exam. This coverage is almost always required by your state— whether you practice part-time or full-time, regardless of setting. Because you work in a line of health care where regulations can change or update with some frequency, it’s prudent to ask if the professional liability coverage you are considering includes full-scope of practice coverage, and automatically updates with changes in your state’s scope.
General Liability (GL) is designed to cover risks associated with a business, and anyone who comes in contact with that business. Examples of GL claims can include a client tripping on a welcome mat coming into your office, or a patient’s vehicle getting damaged in your parking lot. ODs who work in a retail setting are usually required to provide proof of GL Insurance. This type of insurance is not particular to doctors of optometry. Often, this coverage is combined into a Business Owner’s policy, which also includes Business Interruption and Property insurance.
Protecting yourself and your practice is prudent, so don’t let potentially confusing terms and language interfere with the process. Contact Lockton Affinity to learn more.