physical therapy liability insurance

Secure Your Practice: Physical Therapy Liability Insurance for Comprehensive Protection

Physical therapy stands out as the leading medical field with closed malpractice claims in 2011, 2016, and 2020. If you are a physical therapist, facing a malpractice lawsuit can lead to substantial financial burdens. According to a 2020 report from the Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO), the costs of such lawsuits for physical therapists surged to $134,761, marking a 12% increase from 2016 to 2020. Without physical therapy liability insurance, you might find yourself responsible for covering these expenses. Safeguard your practice and finances from potential legal challenges and expenses by securing reliable malpractice insurance.

Liability in Physical Therapy

Liability for physical therapists involves the legal responsibility to provide patients with quality, effective, and safe care. When facing a malpractice suit, the claimant alleges that you, as a physical therapist, caused harm to a patient due to negligence.

To establish negligence in malpractice lawsuits, evidence must show the following:

  • Violation of standard of care: The physical therapist failed to meet the standard of care.
  •  Causation of harm: Failing to meet the standards of care directly caused the harm the patient experienced.
  •  Serious harm occurred: The patient suffered serious harm, including physical pain, suffering, medical bills, disability, or income loss.

While successful lawsuits require these elements, some patients may sue even without meeting all the requirements. They may claim harm that isn’t directly linked to the physical therapy provided.

Professional liability insurance is crucial for protecting against various liabilities, including:

  1. Negligence: Allegations that the physical therapist did not adhere to established standards of care.
  2.  Failure to obtain informed consent: Claims that the patient lacked complete information about treatment risks and benefits.
  3.  Improper or harmful treatment: Situations where the patient received non-evidence-based care or suffered harm from the treatment.

Having physical therapy liability insurance provides a safety net, ensuring protection against potential legal challenges and liabilities.

Cost of Physical Therapy Professional Liability Insurance

The cost of your physical therapy liability insurance depends on several factors:

  • Your location
  •  Whether you insure yourself or the entire clinic
  •  Clinic size
  •  Insurance provider
  •  Coverage type and amounts selected

Given the diverse components influencing the total cost, it can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars annually. At the same time, this might seem like a significant investment, considering the potential expenses of a malpractice lawsuit. Having liability insurance becomes a crucial safeguard, offering financial protection against unforeseen legal challenges and liabilities.

Types of Professional Liability Insurance

To ensure your practice is well-protected, carefully assess its operations to decide on the right coverage. Your choices will play a crucial role in determining the level of protection you have in the event of a malpractice suit. There are various coverage options available, and the ones you select can make a significant impact. Reach out to your insurance provider to explore the complete range of options they offer and identify the ones that best suit your practice’s liability requirements.

Lost Wages Coverage

Lost wages coverage gives you additional payments to compensate for the time you spend away from the clinic while defending yourself. This policy offers financial support when you miss work to attend court proceedings or consult with lawyers. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘loss of earnings’ coverage.

HIPAA Coverage

HIPAA guidelines govern how medical professionals, including physical therapists, manage patient information. Your standard professional liability insurance may not cover the costs of HIPAA non-compliance. Having HIPAA coverage in your policy helps handle these expenses.

License Protection Coverage

A malpractice suit could jeopardize your license, and you might have to pay an additional legal fee to retain it during the suit. Physical therapy liability insurance covers these extra costs.

First Aid Coverage

Emergencies can happen at your physical therapy practice without warning. First aid coverage steps in to cover sudden expenses like ambulance rides or emergency medical care. This is where physical therapy liability insurance becomes crucial.

Benefits of Physical Therapy Liability Insurance

Before deciding on a professional liability insurance policy, it’s essential to understand the benefits you receive in exchange for the plan’s cost. Here are some perks you will enjoy by having a physical therapy liability insurance policy for yourself or your practice:

physical therapy liability insurance

Physical Therapy Liability Insurance: Legal Protection

If you have insurance, you are assured of having legal support to defend your case. With coverage, it might be easier to find an affordable attorney qualified to assist you.

Physical Therapy Liability Insurance: Save Money on Legal Fees

While having liability insurance won’t prevent lawsuits, it does cover the legal expenses incurred. In 2020, defending physical therapists in lawsuits averaged $14,575, and some cases soared to $300,000 due to complexities. Don’t add legal fees to your list of concerns invest in professional liability insurance, especially if you can’t afford substantial donations to defense lawyers.

Physical Therapy Liability Insurance: Peace of Mind for the Physical Therapist

As a physical therapist, your focus should be on patient care, not worrying about liability or legal defense costs. Insurance provides peace of mind, allowing you to concentrate on your essential work.

Improved Credibility and Clinic Reputation

A more diligent approach to patient recordkeeping is encouraged by having insurance. By maintaining comprehensive health records, you not only showcase your professional reliability and credibility as a physical therapist but also expedite legal processes and enhance communication with the patient’s care team. Investing in liability insurance can prompt you to elevate your recordkeeping practices, establishing yourself as a credible professional and improving your chances of meeting compliance requirements.


Physical therapy liability insurance is crucial for safeguarding your practice and finances in the face of potential malpractice lawsuits. Without it, you may be responsible for significant legal expenses, which can reach substantial amounts.

Several factors influence the cost, including your location, clinic size, coverage type, and the insurance provider. The diverse components can result in annual premiums ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Professional liability insurance protects against various liabilities, including allegations of negligence, failure to obtain informed consent, and improper or harmful treatment. It provides a safety net against potential legal challenges.

Having liability insurance offers legal protection, covering the costs of defending malpractice lawsuits. It provides peace of mind for practitioners, allows them to save on legal fees, and enhances clinic credibility through improved recordkeeping practices.

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