As a nutritionist, you have a lot to think about. There are patients to take care of, research articles to study and write, and all the countless demands of running a practice.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your practice is have the proper insurance. Depending on your state and local laws, you may be required to have a Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) policy in place before you open your private practice. Especially if your practice involves giving advice and counselling to individuals and companies.
Even if your state doesn’t enforce such a requirement, almost all companies that seek services from your private practice will require you to have Professional Liability insurance in case a claim comes up.
For example, you may be hired by a local business to give a seminar on healthy lunch options for busy employees. That business may require you to have Professional Liability insurance.
Professional liability insurance also offers protection for your patient centered practice. Simply put, if you are giving nutritional advice either to a single patient or a group, you need professional liability insurance.
You can think of it this way – a professional liability policy protects you from financial loss resulting from claims of malpractice or negligence. Claims happen. Because of that you need protection.
What Is Professional Liability Insurance?
Professional liability is sometimes called Errors & Omissions (E&O) or professional indemnity insurance (PII).
Professional Liability insurance is simply coverage that protects your practice against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client to suffer harm due to mistakes on your part (errors) or because you failed to perform some service (omissions).
For health care providers, including nutritionists, Professional Liability is often referred to as Malpractice Insurance. When you’re in the business of providing professional nutritional advice, this is an essential form of insurance to ensure you are protected from financial loss if something were to go wrong.
The risk of ending up in a lawsuit is a real possibility for all of today’s health professionals, including nutritionists.
Professional liability insurance will protect you if you do end up in a lawsuit regardless of whether the suit has merit. The coverage pays for your defense costs as well as certain types of damages if they are awarded to the other party up to your policy limits.
How Can the Professional Liability Insurance Protect Nutritionists?
Figuring out what insurance you need as a nutritionist can feel completely overwhelming. Maybe you haven’t been able to figure out what your risks are, what you need to insure against or even what some of the insurance terms mean.
A conversation with an insurance expert can help answer your questions and make sure you have the proper insurance.
Bizinsure makes purchasing Professional Liability for your nutrition practice simple. You can get a quick and easy quote here. You can also speak to a licensed agent by giving them a call.
Professional liabiltiy insurance for nutritonists will protect you from a number of things, and if you think you don’t need Professional Liability insurance, consider:
- We live in the most litigious society in history
- There is an abundance of lawyers who make a living by filing lawsuits
- There is the possibility of double or triple punitive damages
A negligence claim can put a nutritionist out of practice. Professional Liability insurance is there to protect your from costs associated with having a negligence claim. Remember a claim doesn’t have to be based in fact to be devastating to a professional. Completely unfounded claims must be defended against as well.
Professional liability insurance protects you from four types of claims relating to nutritional advice and services. These coverages include claims of:
- Violation of Good Faith and Fair Dealings
- Inaccurate Advice
No matter the ins and outs of your career or the type of practice you operate, you should have Professional Liability insurance. Here are some examples of career paths for nutritionists that would require a Professional liability insurance policy:
- You are a nutritionist who opened a private practice in your local city or town
- Your private nutrition practice operates out of your home or in an office
- You conduct your business inside the homes and offices of the clients who hire you
- You offer advice and service-based consultations to meet client’s needs and/or reach their goals.
Each of these real kife business activities and situations can be protected with Professional Liability insurance coverage.
Other protections nutritionists need
Insurance to Protect your Physical Property
If you are in private practice as a nutritionist, you may also have considerable business property that must be protected.
Whether you have a small office where you don’t see patients, or a large office space with several nutritionists seeing patients, you probably have some business property that must be protected.
Your office may be used to meet new and existing clients, hold meetings, and conduct general ongoing business. It may also store inventory and contain office furniture and supplies. You may even have installed your own landscaping and fencing.
Commercial property insurance is a necessity for a nutritionist’s office. If catastrophe strikes, like a burst pipe, fire or a weather event, could you afford to come out of pocket to replace all your business property?
This is where Commercial Property Insurance comes into play. Even a small nutritionist’s practice must have protection for life’s unexpected catastrophes.
Your business property is one of the largest investments you make in your practice.
Here are some of the important aspects of your business that Commercial Property insurance helps protect:
- Your Building
- Your Outdoor Sign
- Your Furniture and Equipment
- Your Inventory
General Liability and Protection When Accidents Happen
At some point or another, most nutritionists make home visits to clients. Insurance can also protect your when you visit a client’s home or business.
Accidents can happen anytime and damages can happen while you’re on client visits. Maybe you accidentally back into their mailbox as you are leaving, or accidentally damage one of their kitchen appliances.
For accidents such as this, a General Liability Insurance policy can protect you from the cost of replacing damaged property that you are responsible for.
The policy also protects you if you are responsible for another person’s injuries from actions that are not related to your profession. Those could include a classic slip and fall accident at your office or a maintenance issue n your parking lot that damages a client’s vehicle.
Having General Liability insurance is the best form of protection for any accidents that may occur outside of your professional work as a nutritionist.
As careful and respectful as you and your employees may be, there is always a risk that accidents completely out of your control can happen.
Protecting Your Name, Your Products and Services
Lastly, is the importance of trademarking and licensing all your private, personally designed, unique products and services, as well as the very business name from which you operate under.
To protect your intellectual property, or things that you personally create, both physical and digital, a trademark will be the best form of protection if an outside party or individual tries to replicate or represent this as their own property.
Although needing a trademark isn’t necessary for every nutritionist, it is a form of protection which you can benefit greatly from if you were to fall victim to having your brand and ideas stolen from.
Trademark protection could be useful if you create unique diet plans, tracking methods for patients on special diets or educational or informational materials such as brochures.
If your practice includes this type of product or service innovation, trademark protection is a good investment. Without it, your hard work in designing special diets and educational materials for your clients could be taken, manipulated and represented as someone else’s.
Trademarks are extremely vital in offering protection over theft or misuse of your personal intellectual property.
So, there you have it. A very basic introduction to the different types of insurance coverage today’s nutritionist needs.
This list is not an all-inclusive breakdown of the many coverage options available or the reasons why a nutritionist must have them, but it will help you understand why you need professional and general liability insurance to protect the success of your practice.
Without proper nutritionist liability insurance coverage, you are at risk of lawsuits and devastating financial loss.
Having the right insurance can be the most valuable investment your business has on its side. Contact Bizinsure today for quick, simple and affordable Professional Liability coverage for your practice.
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