There are numerous benefits of physiotherapy—in fact, it's indispensable to those who suffer from injury or health-related issues such as chronic conditions. Physiotherapists are health professionals who do so much to improve quality of life for their clients. But designing and carrying out treatment plans for patients leaves physiotherapists exposed to potential litigation for a wide range of circumstances, including bodily injury, professional negligence and breach of contract. The right Ontario physiotherapy insurance policy will protect you against legal claims and ensure you don't have to pay out of pocket for legal fees, medical costs, damage mitigation and other unexpected expenses that could derail your career and business success.
It is a package of insurance coverages that protect physiotherapy practitioners from a wide range of risks. What exactly is covered depends on the individual policy, but it must include at least $5 million in general liability coverage and $5 million in errors and omissions coverage. A professional liability policy protects you against medical malpractice lawsuits, along with costs related to allegations of misconduct, bad advice, breach of contract and more. Commercial general liability coverage protects you against costs associated with third-party bodily injury and property damage. Without Physiotherapist insurance coverage, your livelihood and ability to generate income can be seriously compromised by paying upfront for medical expenses, legal bills, repairing or replacing damaged property and more.
Practicing physiotherapists or physical therapists (PT) that are actively providing patient care are required to be covered with liability insurance. You must be registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, a regulatory college that sets rules to ensure physiotherapists are practicing in a way that meets the best interests of the public, to work as a licensed physiotherapist or physical therapist. In order to register with the College and provide physiotherapy services, you must have a certain amount of Ontario physiotherapy insurance. That includes the following mandatory liability insurance requirements for physiotherapists in Ontario:
If you are not sure how to navigate these requirements and get the best Ontario physiotherapy insurance to cover your individual needs and risks as a health-care practitioner, trust an expert Physiotherapy Insurance broker to leave no stone unturned. We will search out the right physiotherapist insurance for you specifically and make sure you are in full compliance with all regulations laid out by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
The two broad categories of physiotherapy coverage that every physiotherapist needs are professional liability and commercial general liability. These types protect your physiotherapy business from claims of bodily injury and property damage, as well as allegations related to medical malpractice, negligence, breach of contract and bad advice. But you may need other coverages as well, depending on how you operate your business. Your expert Physiotherapy insurance broker at Morison will ask you questions to understand how you run your practice and find the best Ontario physiotherapy insurance coverage to ensure you are fully protected against a wide range of perils.
While it's not the only coverage you need, professional liability insurance may be the most important part of a physiotherapist's policy. Medical malpractice insurance is a specific type of professional liability insurance that is for medical practitioners such as physiotherapists. Also known as errors and omissions insurance, it is what covers you in the event of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical malpractice is one of the top reasons why physical therapists are sued, and legal claims may relate to allegations of improper treatment such as manual therapy errors or using a therapeutic technique incorrectly. It could also be related to a failure to follow a doctor's orders, incorrect diagnosis, inadequate supervision or a whole host of other possibilities. For example, say you have a patient using a piece of therapy equipment and you step out in the hallway for a few minutes to take a phone call. If they injure themselves while using the equipment unsupervised, they could have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against you. Professional liability insurance can protect you against having to pay legal defense costs, settlements and medical expenses.
Commercial general liability (CGL) is also very important coverage for physiotherapy insurance in Ontario. It provides protection against two major types of third-party claims: bodily injury and property damage. This applies if you damage something and it needs to be repaired or replaced, or if you directly or indirectly cause someone to be injured and they require medical attention. For example, a patient could trip over a weight you left on the floor and break their toe, or you might visit their home for a physiotherapy session and accidentally bump into a china cabinet, sending its contents crashing to the floor. Commercial general liability insurance prevents you from paying out of pocket to replace or repair damaged property or to cover medical expenses, legal fees and settlement costs.
Business interruption coverage is a type of commercial property insurance that protects you from financial loss in the event that your business space or equipment is rendered unusable for an insured reason. If your clinic suffers a fire, for example, business interruption insurance will compensate you for lost income up to the limits of your policy so you are able to keep your head above water while your building is being repaired or your equipment is being replaced. Some business interruption insurance also includes coverage to help you pay rent on your commercial property or pay your employees' wages until your revenue stream is back to normal.
If you sometimes (or always) step outside of a clinic setting to provide physiotherapy services at different locations such as your clients' homes or long-term care facilities and you need to transport physiotherapy equipment in your vehicle, it's a good idea to add an equipment floater to your policy. This protects your equipment in the event that it is stolen or damaged in transit.
Say you stop to grab a cup of coffee on your way and someone steals a piece of expensive equipment out of your back seat, or you get in a fender bender that causes damage to a delicate technology item. With an equipment floater on your physiotherapist insurance policy, the cost of replacing those crucial items will be covered so you can get back to providing your usual services as quickly as possible without suffering a financial setback. It's worth noting that a commercial auto insurance policy will not cover damage or theft of your equipment in transit without the addition of an equipment floater.
As a physiotherapy professional, you need to handle and store sensitive patient information that can range from financial details to medical histories, and in the modern world, that is typically done with digital documents online. If that information is stolen while in your care, it can create a serious legal problem for you. Cybersecurity coverage protects you if you are the victim of a cyber attack by helping you pay your legal expenses and recover financial losses such as payments for ransomed information.
Tail insurance is a mandatory part of a claims-made physiotherapist insurance policy. Claims-made insurance means that you are covered for claims made during your policy period, regardless of when the actual incident of bodily injury or property damage occurred. If an incident occurs before your policy is in place, but it's reported after you purchase your Physiotherapy insurance policy, it is covered. On the other hand, if an incident occurs while you are covered but your policy has been cancelled or not renewed by the time the claim is reported, you will not be covered for that claim.
An example of this would be if you retired and cancelled your policy because you are no longer practicing, but a few years later, a former patient alleges that your physiotherapy techniques gave them a long-term injury. Without tail insurance, you wouldn't be covered because you've cancelled your claims-made policy—even though the incident happened when your policy was active. Tail coverage goes along with a claims-made policy to provide an extended reporting period (ERP), meaning you are covered for claims made after your policy expires, up to a certain time frame. The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario requires registered physiotherapists to have at least 10 years of tail insurance.
When you are submitting a medical malpractice proposal form, you have a duty to disclose to the insurer every matter that you know (or could reasonably be expected to know) is relevant to the insurer’s decision of whether they are willing to accept the risk of the insurance. That includes information such as:
That type of information is in addition to typical questions you would be asked during the quote application process for a business insurance policy, such as:
That depends on the circumstances of how you practice. If you have one employer and only ever work at their location or on their behalf, then you may be fully covered under their insurance. But if you do any freelance work outside of the limits of your contract with that employer, you will not be covered and need your own physiotherapy insurance.
While that is an option that's available to you, it's not mandatory to buy Physiotherapist insurance from a physiotherapy association in Canada. That may be the best solution available, but there may also be better choices for you elsewhere. It pays to speak with a Morison Insurance broker who can conduct a thorough search and come up with an ideal coverage package for your particular physiotherapist insurance needs.
If you are ready to experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are protected against all the liability issues you are likely to encounter in your professional life, reach out to the friendly, experienced team of Physiotherapy insurance brokers at Morison Insurance. We are a family-owned and operated business, and as such we truly value our team and clients as members of our extended family. We strive to deliver the highest standards of quality service by working tirelessly to find the right physiotherapy insurance for your unique practice. Give us a call at 1-800-463-8074 to speak with our knowledgeable brokers today, or request a quote via the online form below.