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Know the Difference: General vs. Professional Liability Insurance

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Are you looking for ways to protect your company in the event of a liability case? Do you need insurance for medical professionals, but are unsure of where to find it? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about professional liability insurance.


One of the most common questions we get is “What’s the difference between general liability insurance and professional liability insurance?” Well, today, we’re writing this article to clear it all up!


See below for an in-depth guide highlighting the differences between general and professional liability insurance, and why professional liability is the ideal type of insurance for medical professionals.


What is General Liability Insurance?


Maybe your company has had an accident where a worker or a client was injured in the act of one of your services being performed. Perhaps you’ve had items and equipment that were stolen from your place of business.


Whatever the case might be, these are considered to be physical risks of doing business. General liability insurance is great for these types of situations, as it gives you protection from physical business risks such as:

  • Property damage

  • Bodily injures

Each of these can do massive financial damage to your medical practice if you’re not careful. General liability insurance can offer financial protection during these unforeseen instances.


For example, let’s say that a customer is injured by slipping and falling on a wet floor inside of your property. The injuries the client sustained can quickly lead to things like expensive medical bills, lost wages after not being physically able to perform their job, long-term disability, mental trauma, etc.


General liability insurance will ensure that all of those costs are protected. Your client/patient will file a claim directly with your provider, thus removing you from the situation entirely.


What is Professional Liability Insurance?


So, if that’s what general liability insurance is, then what is professional liability insurance? How does it differ from general liability coverage?


Remember when we said that general liability coverage deals with the physical risks (injuries, stolen items, etc.) of your business model? Well, professional liability insurance deals with the theoretical liabilities that your medical business might face one day. This could be along the lines of:

  • Claims of medical malpractice

  • Errors and omissions

  • Claims of negligence

Essentially, professional liability insurance—in the context of the medical industry—will provide you coverage any time that you are accused of not doing your job properly. For example, if a patient were to claim that you gave him/her advice that led to injury or sickness, your coverage would kick in to protect you.


Generally, when such situations occur, a patient might be tempted to pursue further legal action against you. Fortunately, insurance for medical professionals also protects against lawsuits, as well as the legal fees that you might accrue.


Don’t get caught in a sticky situation without it. Reach out to a trusted professional liability insurance provider right away to get the coverage you need against error and commissions (E&O).


Which Should You Invest in?


To put it simply, both. There are a lot of similarities between general liability and professional liability insurance, such as:

  • Financial coverage for you and your patients

  • Coverage for unforeseen and unintentional damage

  • Protection against the reputation of your medical practice

That said, there are a lot of differences as well. If you only invest in professional liability insurance, and then someone gets injured on your property, you have no coverage.


On the flip side, if you only have general liability coverage and a patient claims malpractice against you, then your general coverage won’t cover the legal fees. Make sure that you have both in place.


Give us a call to figure out what your coverage needs are. We’ll take the time to listen to your concerns, learn more about your profession/business, and then customize your coverage to fit your needs.


What to Look for in a Provider


Now that you’ve seen the difference between general liability and professional liability insurance, you just need to find a trusted provider to invest with.


But with so many options out there, how can you be sure that you’re teaming up with the right insurance company? Our recommendation is to listen to the voice of the people through client references and online reviews.


You can find online reviews by either Googling the name of the provider you’re considering or just reading the customer testimonials they have on their site. Here are a few questions you can ask to get a better feel for the situation.

  • Do the clients seem to be satisfied with the customer service they received?

  • How long have the clients been with the insurance provider? (The longer, the better)

  • Do any of the clients mention that they’re medical professionals? Do they feel financially secure?

  • What are some examples of how the insurance provider protected their clients in their hour of need?

You want to make sure that you’re investing with an insurance company that understands your industry. Ask them if they have any clients in the medical field and, if so, what kind of coverage they have.


Invest in Professional Liability Insurance Right Away


Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on why general and professional liability insurance are necessary, be sure to use this information to your advantage.


Take some time to visit this page and learn more about how Central Carolina Insurance and our specialty areas, such as medical offices.


For more inquiries, please feel free to reach out to us via our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further.

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