Transitioning from alleviating persistent back pain to aiding in the recovery of physical mobility, physical therapists play a crucial role in helping people. A wide variety of people, including office workers with carpal tunnel syndrome, stroke survivors relearning how to walk, victims of car accidents, and athletes with sports injuries, all seek the benefits of physical therapy.
In the US, there is a growing need for physical therapists. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 258,200 PTs in 2019, which are expected to grow significantly. Anticipated to surge by 18% from 2019 to 2029, the growth in physical therapist positions surpasses the average rate.
Many individuals are drawn to a career in physical therapy because of the chance to impact people’s quality of life positively. While not every patient-therapist interaction goes smoothly, physical therapists must safeguard their careers by investing in insurance, specifically physical therapy professional liability insurance.
In simpler terms, physical therapists are in high demand, from helping people with back pain to aiding in mobility recovery. People from various walks of life, such as office workers, stroke survivors, accident victims, and athletes, all benefit from physical therapy.
In the United States, the need for physical therapists is increasing. In 2019, there were 258,200 physical therapists, which is expected to increase. The anticipated growth in physical therapist positions is 18% from 2019 to 2029, which is more rapid than average.
Many individuals choose a career in physical therapy to impact people’s lives positively. However, only some patients-therapist relationships go smoothly. That’s why physical therapists must protect their careers by investing in insurance, specifically physical therapy professional liability insurance.
Type of insurance do physical therapists need
Depending on their unique work circumstances, physical therapists might require one or multiple types of insurance.
Therapy Professional Liability Insurance: Professional liability insurance.
Physical therapists commonly get a kind of insurance called professional liability insurance, also known as malpractice insurance. This insurance is vital because it shields physical therapists if a patient files a lawsuit, saying they got poor care or wrong advice. In simpler terms, physical therapy professional liability insurance protects therapists from legal issues that arise due to claims of mistakes or negligence.
A patient may make a malpractice claim against a physical therapist for various reasons, some valid and others not. If you happen to make a mistake while working as a physical therapist, having physical therapy professional liability insurance is crucial. This insurance helps safeguard your career and saves you from paying expensive claims. Even if you made no mistakes, dealing with a patient lawsuit can still rack up hefty legal bills. Professional liability insurance protects you from having to pay those bills personally. In simple terms, physical therapy professional liability insurance is like a safety net for your career and finances, ensuring you are protected in case of mistakes or legal challenges.
Therapy Professional Liability Insurance: General liability insurance.
Besides having physical therapy professional liability insurance, it is a good idea to think about getting general liability insurance, especially if you own or run a physical therapy clinic. This type of insurance is handy because it protects you from claims related to physical injuries or damages. For example, general liability insurance will cover you if a patient trips and falls at your clinic and sustains injuries.
This insurance becomes even more important if you provide therapy services at clients’ homes. In such cases, you might be exposed to claims for incidents on their property, like damage to their home or belongings. So, having physical therapy professional liability insurance is bright, and adding general liability insurance gives you extra protection against different types of claims.
Types of complaints that are made against physical therapists
Physical therapists might face various types of claims and must be aware of them. Some examples include:
- Not testing or treating patients correctly.
- Doing manual therapy improperly.
- Not using therapeutic equipment correctly, like leaving a patient alone on it.
Another potential claim could be not managing things appropriately, such as not following doctor’s orders or referring patients to other specialists when needed.
Sometimes, there might be claims about not informing patients about risks, not supervising them well, or not referring them to the right places. In more severe cases, claims could involve:
- Issues like sexual harassment or assault.
- Creating a poor care environment.
- Not using a biophysical agent correctly.
In physical therapy, having professional liability insurance for physical therapy is like having a safety net. It’s there to help protect you from these claims’ financial and career impact, ensuring you can focus on providing the best care for your patients.
Physical therapist’s insurance cover
The American Physical Therapy Association states that the expense of claims against physical therapists has been going up. Between 2010 and 2014, the average amount paid for claims against these professionals was more than $90,000.
Usually, physical therapy professional liability insurance takes care of losses from legal claims during the policy period. If someone makes a legal claim against you, the insurance company helps by covering legal fees and damages.
On top of that, your insurance might also provide:
- License protection so that you can keep your physical therapy license
- A benefit for expenses you face while defending yourself in a trial or proceeding
- Coverage for lost wages
- Provision for a defense attorney and representation during depositions
- Coverage for personal injuries in case of an accident
- Compensation for property damage to you or your patients
- The option to take your insurance with you if you change employers or clinics
Having physical therapy professional liability insurance not only helps with legal costs but also offers extra benefits like protecting your license and covering various expenses that might arise during legal challenges. It looks like a career safety net.
Physical therapist’s insurance cost
The price you pay for insurance depends on your situation and the coverage you pick. For instance, how long you have been a therapist and your claims history can affect how much you pay for insurance.
The kind of physical therapy business you run, where it is located. And how big it is also plays a role in the insurance cost. Physical therapists work in all sorts of places. Some have clinics, while others work in hospitals, schools, or nursing homes. Some provide therapy in patients’ homes, while others work in gyms or sports arenas.
In short, regarding physical therapy professional liability insurance, your details. The choices you make about coverage impact how much you will pay. The type of business you are in and where you work also play a role in determining the cost of insurance.