Navigating Liability Risks in Your Wellness and Health Business
As an owner or operator of a Wellness or Allied Health Centre, mitigating risks to your clients' wellbeing is paramount. Understanding the nuances between general accidents and treatment injuries, and how they are addressed under specific insurance policies, is crucial for safeguarding both your clientele and your business interests.
Identifying Liability Risks
Within your premises, patrons entrust their health and safety to your care from the moment they step through your doors until they depart. Two primary risks loom large in this scenario: general accidents and treatment injuries. Each poses unique challenges and requires tailored insurance coverage for adequate protection.
Public Liability Insurance: Shielding Against General Accidents
Often referred to as "slip and fall" incidents, general accidents encompass any injury sustained within your establishment. For instance, consider a scenario where a patron slips on a wet surface and sustains an injury. In this case, as the proprietor, you bear responsibility for the incident and its consequences. Public Liability insurance steps in to mitigate such risks by looking to cover expenses associated with any resulting claims or legal proceedings. Moreover, it serves as a prerequisite for business operations, often mandated by lease agreements.
Health Services Professional Indemnity Cover: Safeguarding Against Treatment Injuries
In contrast, treatment injuries present a distinct set of challenges. These injuries arise directly from the services rendered, such as massages or physiotherapy sessions, rather than environmental hazards. For instance, a client undergoing a massage may experience unintended discomfort or aggravation of existing conditions due to therapist error. These incidents fall outside the scope of Public Liability coverage and necessitate specialised insurance solutions.
Health Services Professional Indemnity Cover, colloquially known as Medical Malpractice insurance, addresses the unique risks associated with treatment injuries. This policy provides essential protection against claims arising from alleged malpractice or negligence during the provision of professional services. Should a client suffer harm or adverse effects due to treatment, this coverage offers financial support and legal representation to mitigate potential liabilities.
Preparing for Contingencies
Despite meticulous precautions, accidents can still occur. As responsible business owners, preparation is key to mitigating risks and ensuring appropriate responses to adverse events. Consider implementing the following measures:
1. Immediate Care: Prioritise the wellbeing of affected individuals by providing prompt medical assistance or emergency services as necessary.
2. Avoid Premature Admissions: Refrain from admitting fault or liability until a comprehensive assessment of the incident has been conducted.
3. Documentation: Maintain detailed incident reports and documentation, capturing essential details and eyewitness accounts for future reference. We recommend completing an *‘Incident Report Form’ in all cases even if it was a near miss.
4. Broker Engagement: Establish a collaborative relationship with an experienced insurance broker to navigate claims processes effectively and ensure adequate coverage for your business's unique needs.
* see the following link to download your own copy of a sample Incident Report form as a guide.
Partnering with BICS: Your Trusted Insurance Advisor
At Business Insurance Cover Services (BICS), we recognise the multifaceted risks inherent in Wellness or Allied Health Practice. Our team specialises in tailoring insurance solutions to mitigate risks specific to your industry, offering peace of mind and protection for your business endeavours. Contact us today to explore comprehensive insurance options and safeguard the future of your allied health centre.
To review all insurances, including Healthcare Professionals Indemnity/Medical Malpractice insurance, Public Liability, or any other business coverages please click here to arrange a one-on-one consult with a dedicated broker. Alternatively, use the links on this page to find out more about types of cover and how to best protect your clients, employees, and the financial welfare of your business in the future.