physical therapist liability insurance

Insurance for Physical Therapists: Protecting Against Liability

In 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor thinks there will be over 300,000 physical therapists in the country, showing a 28% growth from April 2018. If you are considering becoming a Physical Therapist, you could be heading for a successful career. Now, considering that, having physical therapist liability insurance can be a smart move for a secure professional future.

Becoming a licensed physical therapist extensively teaches you, especially when helping patients with long-term illnesses and accidental injuries. Your daily routine will include using ice, heat, hands-on techniques, traction, and exercises for treatments. As you are on this journey, having physical therapist liability insurance can add more protection.

Usually, you are helping patients feel better and get physically stronger. But someone might say you made a mistake that hurt them. If that happens, you could face unexpected costs like lawyer fees, missed work, court expenses, and a big lawsuit payout. 

If you don’t, you will want Liability Insurance to protect you and your Physical Therapy practice. Now, let’s see what Physical Therapy Liability Insurance is and how it can benefit you.

Insurance Coverage for Physical Therapists: General Liability

Think of General Liability Insurance as the primary form of all liability insurance. It’s often called ‘slip and fall’ insurance. This coverage is there to help you in case of general claims, like property damage or injuries, at the physical therapy place where you work. So, having bodily therapist liability insurance like this is an intelligent move for added protection.

General Liability claims cover a lot of different things. The coverage protects against various incidents, including:

Expenses from a patient getting accidentally hurt at your workplace, or if you accidentally damage someone else’s stuff while working there, can be covered by physical therapist liability insurance. It also helps with claims like slander, libel, assault, battery, and sexual misconduct allegations.

Remember, General Liability insurance won’t cover you if your employee gets hurt for professional mistakes, intentional actions, or things unrelated to your Physical Therapy work. But, it does help with other General Liability claims, paying up to the limit set by the policy.

physical therapist liability insurance

Physical Therapist Liability Insurance: Professional Liability (Malpractice)

Physical therapists use Professional Liability (Malpractice) Insurance to stay protected from claims of mistakes or not doing their job well. In many states, it’s a must for physical therapists to have this kind of insurance before they start treating patients. So, having bodily therapist liability insurance like this is an innovative and necessary step.

Even if your state doesn’t make it necessary, getting a Malpractice plan is always a good idea. It helps cover all the costs if there’s ever a lawsuit. One unhappy patient could lead to many money problems paying for lawyers, missing work, and possibly having to give money to the person who feels affected. That’s where having physical therapist liability insurance comes in handy.

Professional Liability (Malpractice) Insurance for Physical Therapists can usually be categorized into one of the following types:

1. General Improper Behavior by the Practitioner

2. Wrong Use of Physical Therapy Equipment, Manual Therapy, Therapeutic Exercise, or Biophysical Agents

3. Inadequate Management During the Patient’s Treatment

4. Insufficient Supervision or Monitoring of Patient Care

5. Creation of an Inadequate Care Environment

6. Failure to Provide Proper Treatment to a Patient

Essential Information on Liability Insurance

Getting the right Liability Insurance is just as crucial for physical therapists as getting educated and licensed. It is essential whether you own a clinic or work for a hospital or rehab center. Buying your own Liability Insurance ensures you are well-covered, no matter what happens.

Even if your employer has General and Malpractice Liability Insurance plans that cover you, they usually have low limits for employees, and there are often restrictions on what they will pay for. Also, employer plans do not move with you. If you take on another job, volunteer, or leave your current job, you might need coverage and face risks.

To get a better understanding of what you are buying, please take a look at all the basic features of Liability Insurance.

Understanding Liability Limits

Every insurance comes with limits on how much money they will pay for your claim. Physical Therapist Liability Insurance has two limitations: aggregate and per occurrence.

Aggregate Liability Limits

Aggregate Liability Limits cover the total cost of all claims in your liability insurance. It’s the most the insurance company will pay for all claims. You must handle the extra expenses if the costs exceed this limit.

Per Occurrence Liability Limits

Per Occurrence Liability Limits is the maximum amount the insurance company pays each time you make a claim. It’s specifically for that one claim. You must cover the extra expenses if the costs exceed this limit.

physical therapist liability insurance

Difference Between Claims-Made and Occurrence Policies 

Before you go for your new physical therapist liability insurance, ensure you know if your policy is a Claims-Made or an Occurrence policy.

A Claims-Made policy

A Claims-Made policy covers you only for claims made while your insurance is active. If someone files a lawsuit after the policy period ends, it won’t be covered.

An Occurrence policy

An Occurrence policy lets you file a claim even after your insurance has ended. If the liability coverage was in place when the incident happened, the insurance company will handle it as if the policy is still active today.

Cost of Liability Insurance

Getting a Miscellaneous Medical Liability package is a good idea to simplify things. This covers Malpractice, General Liability, and Cyber Liability Insurance. So, you only have one premium and one policy to deal with, making things a lot easier for you.

Liability Insurance costs can differ based on your details. Things like where you work, how long you have been in the profession, and how risky the industry is all play a role in determining your premium. But, it’s likely to be much less than paying for a Malpractice or General Liability lawsuit on your own.

On average, Liability Insurance for a single Physical Therapist might be around $600 a year. Breaking it down, that’s as low as $1.64 per day. It’s a small cost for protection, and you get a $1 million limit.

Physical Therapist Liability Insurance: Final Thoughts

Helping patients reach their best physical fitness is what motivates you every morning. You can rest easy each night with General Liability and Professional (Malpractice) Insurance. The person may never need to use the coverage, but having it just in case is an investment you won’t regret.

You have invested thousands of dollars and countless hours to become a licensed Physical Therapist. So, spending a few dollars daily to protect yourself from liability lawsuits is a small price.


During practice, physical therapists may face unexpected claims, such as injuries or property damage. Liability insurance protects against legal expenses, ensuring a secure professional future.

General Liability Insurance safeguards against claims like property damage, injuries at the workplace, and allegations such as slander or assault. It serves as a fundamental layer of protection for physical therapy practitioners.

Yes, it’s crucial. Professional Liability Insurance protects against claims of mistakes or inadequate treatment. Even if not mandatory, having this insurance is a wise choice, covering costs in the event of lawsuits and ensuring financial security for physical therapists.

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