Chiropractors—like any other medical practitioners—need to have the proper business insurance in place to protect yourself, your employees, and the assets of your business. But what does that look like? Why do you need malpractice insurance?
Why Do Chiropractors Need Malpractice Insurance?
Chiropractors work on someone’s bones to help keep them in alignment, often reducing significant pain that their patients may face. Working with a chiropractor can help with back pain, reduce the number of migraines someone suffers with, and help you deal with chronic pain.
But because you deal with a patient's spine and bones, it leaves you open to significant risk if something goes wrong. What might happen?
- You might make a mistake that could damage or break a patient’s bone.
- A patient may accuse you of negligence if an adjustment goes awry.
- A chiropractic student under your care may make a mistake, and you’re named in the lawsuit.
These are just the risks you face running your practice every single day. It’s also why you need medical malpractice insurance.
What is Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance?
Chiropractic malpractice insurance is designed specifically with the chiropractic field in mind. If you’re accused of negligence or making a mistake, it can cost your practices thousands of dollars—and even cost you your license. It can also completely harm your reputation in the chiropractic industry. So what can malpractice insurance cover?
- Lawyer’s fees
- Settlement costs
- Punitive damages
It must be noted that malpractice insurance doesn’t cover everything. If you tamper with medical records, try and defraud Medicare, engage in sexual misconduct, or deliberately engage in a criminal act, it won’t be covered by this policy.
The Different Types of Malpractice Insurance
Now that we’ve established that you need malpractice insurance and have laid out the basics of what is covered, here are the types of policy options that you can choose:
A claims-made policy starts as an inexpensive option (and the price increases over time). It protects you and your practice if a patient files a claim while the policy is active for an incident that occurred while the policy was active.
An occurrence-based malpractice policy is more expensive but offers you coverage no matter when the claim is filed. If you recently retired and are no longer practicing and have therefore dropped your malpractice insurance, you’ll still be covered for a claim that happened while you were practicing.
If you had a claims-made policy your entire career and are slapped with a lawsuit weeks after you retire, you’d normally be in trouble—unless you have tail coverage. This policy will extend your claims-made policy for a number of years after it’s canceled or you’re no longer a practicing chiropractor.
How Much Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost?
The cost of chiropractic malpractice insurance varies depending on numerous factors:
- Where you live and the average number of claims that are filed in your area.
- How long have you been practicing? Premiums increase the longer you're in business.
- What hours do you run your practice? What chiropractic services do you offer?
- How many patients do you see?
- Have you had any previous claims filed against you?
Chiropractic liability insurance costs are also impacted by the type of policy you choose, the policy deductibles and limits, and even the insurance company you go with. Some companies, such as CoverWallet, offer general liability and medical malpractice starting at $139 a month. ChiroSecure offers policies for experienced chiropractors for around $700 a year. We recommend speaking with an insurance agent to determine the coverage you need and who the best provider would be.
Other Insurance Chiropractors Should Consider
Protecting your practice doesn't just mean purchasing liability insurance. You also need to protect your office, your employees, and your customers. To do that, you should consider a few other insurance policies:
- General Liability Insurance: General liability protects your practice from claims of third-party bodily injury, property damage, or advertising injuries. This is necessary for any business that works directly with patients in person.
- Commercial Property Insurance: This protects your office space, expensive equipment, computers, etc. if your property is damaged due to a covered peril (storm, fire, vandalism, etc.).
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Workers' compensation protects your employees if they're injured at work. The insurance company can help pay their medical bills and cover a portion of their lost wages until they can return to work.
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance: If you or another doctor are accused of discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination, employment practices liability can cover defense costs and settlements when deemed necessary.
This isn't an exhaustive list of the coverage you might need to protect your practice. An experienced agent can help you decide what you need.
What Is Included in Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Coverage?
Unfortunately, nobody's perfect. Even qualified, knowledgeable chiropractors make mistakes, and when they do, the results can be devastating to both the patient and the chiropractic practice.
That's why chiropractic malpractice insurance is a must-have for any reputable chiropractor. Spinal manipulations are seldom free of risks, but they're a regular occurrence in your daily tasks. If you're not carrying insurance, all it takes is one mistake to earn a lawsuit and sink your practice.
Malpractice coverage can be used to help cover legal defenses and the amount of any settlement with the patient, but that's only the beginning of the coverage that good chiropractor insurance can provide. The right policy can also provide you with reimbursements for loss of earnings because you might not have time to see patients while preparing your defense. Before you get started with chiropractic care, it's a good idea to look into chiropractic malpractice insurance and find the right policy to protect you from the costs of a mistake.
Get a Free Quote for Chiropractic Liability Insurance Coverage
Are you ready to get the ball rolling on your chiropractic insurance? We'd love to help! Complete the form at the top of the page to start the process of getting free quotes. Or, you can call us at 877-907-5267 to get a quote for coverage.