As an optometrist about to enter the workforce, you’re about to make a lot of big decisions for the first time. One of them will be choosing a malpractice insurance policy to protect yourself and your new career.

Learning about insurance options for your career as an optometrist can help you practice and grow your career with confidence. State law also requires that practicing optometrists obtain adequate malpractice insurance protection, so learning about your options can help you to choose a policy that lets you practice with peace of mind.

What’s missing is an optometry student’s guide to insurance, where you can get important information about what coverages are available and what types of insurance you need to be fully protected. While there are a lot of factors that will go into your insurance decision, a few stand out. You need coverage that:

  • Includes the coverage options you need.
  • Automatically updates with any state scope expansion.
  • Is reputable and tailored to your needs.
  • Provides discounts for recent graduates.

Here’s what to know about your insurance options as a new optometry graduate.

Optometry Student’s Guide to Insurance — Reputation

For optometry students and recent graduates shopping for insurance for the first time, reputation is another important consideration. The insurance company you partner with matters for maintaining compliance with your state law and providing you with necessary coverage for complaints and claims.

It’s important to consider whether your insurer:

  • Understands the risks optometrists face.
  • Covers the services under your state’s scope of practice.
  • Has the financial stability to back up its coverage.
  • Offers coverage that grows with your practice.

With Lockton Affinity, you are protecting your career with the only malpractice insurance recommended by the American Optometric Association. The policy covers all procedures and services permitted by your state and automatically updates as laws change, so you don’t have to worry about outdated coverage. Coverage is underwritten by top-rated carriers and offers solutions that grow with your practice.

Optometry Student’s Guide to Insurance — Coverage

As you transition from an optometry student to a practicing optometrist, it’s important to think about how you will protect your new livelihood. Purchasing malpractice insurance coverage that fits your needs as a doctor of optometry is a must.

Not all coverage is tailored to the needs of optometric practices. Even between coverage options, there are going to be differences you’ll want to pay attention to. Look beyond the basics of rates, limits and deductibles to determine what’s really covered by your malpractice insurance.

One of the benefits of having your insurance with Lockton Affinity is the breadth of coverage that comes standard with every Malpractice policy:

  • Scope of practice coverage – Covers all optometric services within your state’s defined scope of practice. Plus, this policy is structured so that as your state evolves its scope of coverage, there is no waiting period to be covered under your policy.
  • Portability – Because the policy is tied to you and not your employer, this policy will follow you wherever you practice.

  • Administrative defense – Covers billing errors and omissions, defense for HIPAA claims and allegations of sexual misconduct.

  • Lost income – Receive up to $500 per day due to suspension of practice during a hearing or trial.

  • Employee work – Covers your full or part-time employees for their work.

  • Telehealth services – Covers telehealth consultations and care via phone and video.
  • Legal entity coverage – Add coverage for your corporation, partnership, professional association or other legal entity. This additional policy also covers full scope of practice, unlike coverage from other providers.

While all of these options may not be applicable as you’re starting out, this policy can grow with you as your practice grows.

Optometry Student’s Guide to Insurance — Value

Value is important when choosing coverage, even when you’re just starting out. Some insurers may tease low rates, but skimp on the actual coverage, leaving you exposed to an unnecessary level of risk.

Offering value to insurance policyholders is about benefits that go beyond the base coverage you’ve purchased. Convenience, service and benefits that go the extra mile can make a big difference when it comes to choosing a carrier and a policy.

With Lockton Affinity, you can get a quote, ask questions, or file a claim conveniently online. Our insurance representatives are trained specifically to understand the risks optometrists face and are always ready to help answer questions. Plus, Lockton Affinity offers helpful risk management resources to help ensure you are fully protected as an optometrist.

Optometry Student’s Guide to Insurance — Premiums

Comprehensive malpractice insurance coverage is more affordable than you may think. Broad coverage is readily available to meet most of the needs of your practice and state legal requirements for less than the cost of your daily coffee. Plus, discounts are available for recent graduates.

With Malpractice coverage administered by Lockton Affinity, you can enjoy 50% off your first year of malpractice coverage and 25% off your second year. Discounts on high-quality coverage can be a big help to new graduates who are just starting out and help you feel confident managing your risk.

With your coverage from Lockton Affinity, you also have coverage for your legal entity, such as a corporation, partnership, or professional association at no extra charge, plus coverage for telehealth services provided over phone or live video if you decide to offer your services online. With the right coverage, you can feel confident as you enter the workforce and turn your full attention to your patients.

With Lockton Affinity, you are protected with the only malpractice insurance endorsed by the AOA at a competitive cost and with flexibility that suits optometrists who practice in group settings. As you look ahead to a bright future, it can help you protect and grow your career with the best coverage available.