Insurance is critical for optometrists, and in some cases, legally required. For something so important, insurance can be very confusing. What insurance policies do I need professionally? For my business? What are limits of liability? The list can go on and on. At the AOA Insurance Alliance, a program designed for AOA members and administered by Lockton Affinity, we have the answers you need about Professional Liability Insurance and other coverage for optometrists.
Why is Professional Liability Insurance needed?
Professional Liability Insurance is designed to protect your career. Unfortunately, despite your expertise and attention to detail, you and your practice can still be sued for negligent practices.
What does Professional Liability Insurance cover?
All insurance policies are different, but Professional Liability Insurance from the AOA Insurance Alliance, administered by Lockton Affinity, covers the broad range of services you provide, within your state’s defined scope of practice. In the event of a lawsuit, you will have access to:
- The services of an experienced malpractice attorney
- Thorough administrative defense
- Lost income protection
- A substitute optometrist in your absence and more
What’s the difference between shared limit and separate limit for Professional Liability coverage?
A shared limit means that you and your corporation share limits of liability. If your limit per occurrence is $1M, you and the corporation would both draw from that amount. This can be done at no extra charge. A separate limit means that your corporation has an additional limit of liability, the same amount as yours but separate. This option increases your coverage, and as a result, your premium amount.
What limits of liability should I purchase?
Limits of liability are stated as two dollar figures, representing two levels of protection. The first figure, or the occurrence limit, represents the maximum dollar amount the insurance company will pay per claim during the policy year. The second figure, or the aggregate limit, represents the maximum dollar amount the insurance company will pay for all claims during the policy year.
For example, if your limits of liability are $1M/$2M, the maximum amount the policy will pay per claim is $1M. For all claims throughout the policy year, the maximum the insurance company will pay is $2M.
Coverage may not be available in all states and is subject to actual policy terms and conditions. Coverage is provided by an excess/surplus lines insurer which is not licensed by or subject to the supervision of the insurance department of your state of residence. Policy coverage forms and rates are not subject to regulation by the insurance department of your state of residence. Excess/surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and therefore insureds are not protected by such funds in the event of the insurer’s insolvency.