If you’re a self-employed healthcare professional you are potentially taking on a lot of risk. Just some examples are when you give advice or provide a service, or possibly through loss of revenue. There are many other areas of risk to consider as part of your profession; and it is important to protect yourself against unforeseeable events.
Insurance is the best protection
The best protection is insurance. The types of insurance you will require really depends on your set up. For example, if you employ anyone, what assets you have and what you consider to be your biggest risks.
Here are some practical tips on the types of insurance you should consider.
Professional indemnity – If you are a self-employed dentist or doctor, then perhaps your most important insurance purchase is professional indemnity. This covers you in the event that your patient suffers a loss from your advice or a mistake you make.
Public liability – This insurance is recommended for self-employed medical professionals as it will cover you for client injury, damage or accidents on your premises or as a result of your work activities if you travel to other premises.
Loss of revenue – Monetary losses can come in many forms. Credit insurance will cover you if clients don’t pay you. You can choose to cover key clients, or all of them. The other big area of revenue loss could be through business interruption, such as through flooding of your working premises.
Protecting equipment and premises – If you have a lot of vital medical equipment, you should consider an equipment policy which could help you replace items if they break. If you own or rent a building, then you should also consider buildings and contents cover. If your business is run from home then you should contact your home insurer to let them know.
Staff – If you employ anyone else you will need to purchase employers’ liability insurance to cover injury and other incidents involving your staff. This is a legal requirement for employers. In addition, depending on the roles of the people you employ, you might consider a policy to cover key personnel in case of long term leave.
Using your vehicle for work – If you have to travel around for work purposes using your own vehicle then you will need to inform your insurance company and include ‘business use’ as part of your policy. It is unlikely this will increase your premium by a significant amount but without it you would not be covered for any accident while carrying out business activities.
In addition to these, there are a few other insurances that you might consider. For example, legal expenses or travel insurance if you go abroad as part of your work.
Making your insurance decisions easier
While your particular situation might not need all these insurance covers, there is a lot to think about when making sure you are properly protected, and meeting legal requirements. If your situation changes, such as taking on an employee, your obligations also suddenly change.
There are various types of policy and levels of cover, but you don’t have to make the decision alone.
Speak to a specialist broker who will have dealt with hundreds or thousands of healthcare professionals in a similar situation to you.
They can talk you through the pros of each level and type of cover to help you make an informed decision about which insurances meet your needs.