As providers of medical services, veterinarians are under the constant threat of litigation and disciplinary action. Fortunately, there are multiple types of insurance available to veterinarians that provide protection against these types of situations. In this article, we examine three types of insurance veterinarians should consider.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance protects and defends veterinarians against allegations of negligence in the delivery of veterinary services. There are three main types of professional liability insurance policies:
Individual: This type of insurance policy provides protection to a single veterinarian.
Group: Under a group policy, the entire veterinary practice is the named insured. This type of policy usually covers the entire practice and all its staff members and veterinarians. When a practice has a group policy, individual policies are not required.
Business: A business policy is similar to a group policy, but license defense, professional liability, and animal bailee coverages are included.
License Defense Insurance
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for an event to occur that places a veterinarian’s license in jeopardy. Depending on the state, possible disciplinary measures levied against veterinarians may include fines, license suspension, or license revocation. Therefore, it is imperative for veterinarians to defend themselves against state licensing board complaints. This is where license defense insurance comes in handy. This type of insurance covers legal expenses incurred when a veterinarian defends a complaint that is brought by a state licensing board. The coverage is usually either part of a professional liability insurance policy or a separate endorsement.
Animal Bailee Insurance
Finally, animal bailee insurance is a type of coverage that is designed to protect a veterinary practice if an animal is killed or injured while in its custody, care, or control. This type of coverage is often subject to a deductible, whereas the above two types of insurance are not.
Common types of animal bailee insurance policies include:
Individual: This is typically offered as a third optional component for single veterinarians after license defense and professional liability coverage.
Group: This is similar to the individual coverage discussed above, but it applies to the entire practice.
Business: Finally, this type of policy is typically incorporated into an overall liability and commercial property insurance policy.
Examples of scenarios in which animal bailee coverage may apply include:
- A natural disaster
- A fire
- A fight between animals
- An animal’s escape
- An issue involving a corral, cage, or fenced area
Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys
Veterinarians face unique risks and challenges. So, as a veterinarian, in addition to carrying adequate insurance, you should work with an experienced veterinary attorney to help limit your risks of litigation and disciplinary action. As longtime veterans of the veterinary business, the experienced professionals of Mahan Law are dedicated to helping veterinarians lower their risk exposure through the design of well-crafted agreements and proactive policies. Please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation with a talented veterinary attorney.