Do You Need General and Professional Liability Occupational Therapy Insurance?

Professional Liability Insurance (Malpractice)

Professional liability is a good idea if you provide occupational therapy services and regularly see clients (physically or virtually via telehealth), provide consultations, education, training (e.g., in-service ), fieldwork preceptorship.

Although employees may have some form of professional liability insurance, there may be limitations and you may not be fully protected by your employer. Think – how much is your employer really willing to protect you, when they are likely running a business. Having your own professional liability insurance, designed to put your interests first, is the best way to mitigate your personal risk.

What it helps to cover:

  1. License Defense
  2. HIPAA Proceeding Expense
  3. Assault Upon You
  4. First Aid
  5. Medical Payments
  6. Deposition Fees
  7. Sexual Misconduct
  8. Loss of Earnings
  9. and more

Some scenarios include:

  • Someone sues you for malpractice.
  • Someone sues you for negligence.
  • Media coverage: someone sues you for giving bad advice – social media and Youtube count as consultation, students beware!!!

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is a good idea if you have a private clinic, work out of a rented space, or are self-employed for mobile clinics/home health to provide occupational therapy services. If you sell products and someone may get injured or potentially sue you, it’s a good idea to get general liability insurance with a products-completed-operations rider.

  • Someone gets injured in your space or where you work.
  • Someone gets harmed by one of your products.
  • If you work for an employer, you generally don’t need general liability insurance as they have their own general liability insurance.
  • E-commerce sellers, e.g. Etsy, Amazon, Ebay often need general liability insurance.

Personnel Type

  • Student – of an accredited occupational therapy program (often cheaper)
  • Personal – practicing under your name only (cheaper)
  • Group/Organization – DBA/FBN, partnerships, LLC, corporations *cost and laws vary

FYI: If you are doing business as another name, you generally cannot have a regular personal policy, as this will only protect your real name – your DBA name will not be listed on the policy and you will therefore be unprotected. These types of policies are generally more expensive than personal policies. Some policies may allow DBA/FBN at no extra cost.

Saving More Money

  • AOTA members may save additional money compared to non-members.
  • Ask the agent if you can save money by pre-paying or paying for larger durations, e.g. several years.
  • Prices may go up after your first year or subsequent years, shop around for other policies.

Popular Companies

  • HPSO – also contracts with other insurances for business policies
  • Proliability by Mercer
  • Hiscox
  • CM&F
Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, culture, sociology, philosophy, and more.