ODs’ Most Common FAQs About Malpractice and Business Owner’s Insurance

Finding the right malpractice insurance is essential for a doctor of optometry’s practice and career. Shopping for the appropriate coverage inevitably leads to many questions. Since factors and circumstances can vary, it’s essential to understand what options are available to make the best decision.

Lockton Affinity has worked directly with ODs for over ten years to provide expertise about the nuances and specifications regarding the optometry field. We are knowledgeable about the unique needs that ODs face in a complex industry. Below are some of the most common questions ODs ask when determining the right fit for malpractice insurance.

“Isn’t all malpractice (also called professional liability insurance) coverage the same?”

No. In fact, there can be critical differences between coverage options.

Some insurers offer the option to add malpractice liability protection to a typical business owners policy, but optometrists may find this kind of coverage insufficient because it isn’t comprehensive. Common exclusions could leave you open to excess risk and the possibility of having your claim denied.

A key benefit of AOA Insurance Alliance, administered by Lockton Affinity, is that coverage is designed specifically for the risks optometrists face, with a policy that covers everything defined in your state’s current scope of practice. Unlike a traditional agent, we’re knowledgeable about the specific insurance requirements of ODs, so your unique coverage needs are always addressed.

“My practice has several locations. Is there coverage for that situation?”

Yes. We offer specific malpractice insurance policies to cover just one office, as well as several locations. In addition, the policy we offer automatically covers each listed optometrist at any location they practice, including other states.

“I’m buying equipment for my practice. Is there specific coverage for my optometric equipment?”

Yes. We offer policies that can cover you for the contents of your office, including equipment, but it’s important to choose the right coverage to protect your investment. Malpractice insurance doesn’t cover equipment, so you’ll need Property Insurance or a Business Owners Policy (BOP) to protect your investments. Leased equipment is covered at the same rate as owned equipment, so you’re covered whether you purchase or finance.

“Can I get insurance coverage for services I provide outside of the main practice I work for?”

Yes. We offer a policy specifically for such “moonlighting” situations that covers you outside your main practice (where you’re already covered). A discount may be available if the extra time outside your usual practice is less than 20 hours per week and you have completed at least two years of practice.

Our malpractice insurance policy also automatically includes coverage for the services you provide at multiple locations. With an individual policy, you have more control over coverage, should you leave your current practice or switch from an employer claims-made policy. Learn more about the difference between claims-made and occurrence policies here.

“Is there additional coverage included in the malpractice insurance?”

Yes, there are additional enhancements found in the policy forms. For example, our policy can provide coverage for:

  • HIPPA violations—Get coverage for HIPAA fines, penalties and notification costs.
  • Licensing board reimbursement—Covers expenses or fees from an investigation or proceedings from State Boards of Optometry and other regulating bodies.
  • Wage loss and expense—Covers for lost wages, costs and expenses for your attendance at a trial, hearing or arbitration proceeding.

Having added coverage for these situations provides a layer of protection, not to mention peace of mind.

Lockton Affinity also offers Cyber Liability coverage designed to protect AOA members’ practices from the costs associated with a data breach.

“Can I get malpractice coverage to protect myself against a false claim?”

Yes. We offer policies that can cover you and your practice against false claims. While optometrists don’t often think about the need to defend against an erroneous claim, it is something that can occur and is generally expensive to defend against. It’s wise to be prepared with the proper coverage for this and other unique risks you face as an optometrist.

“Can you answer other questions I might have?”

Yes. Email or call us today — we’re happy to answer any questions you have. Whether you practice individually or in a group, we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

 

At AOA Insurance Alliance, administered by Lockton Affinity, we’re always eager to answer your questions and ensure you have the coverage you need to protect your optometry practice and your career. If you have questions, email Lockton Affinity at Info@AOAInsuranceAlliance.com or call 1-888-343-1998.