Posted on May 17, 2014
Home health care agencies provide services for loved ones who need extra medical assistance or care to allow them to continue living in their home. Home health care providers have unique insurance needs to fully protect them from the risks associated with their industry. Whether small or large, each individual facility requires customized insurance protection to meet the needs of the owners, staff and patients.
Understanding the various insurance options available to the home health care industry will help agency owners properly evaluate existing policies and make appropriate choices in the amount of coverage and type of insurance necessary for their facilities.
Medical Malpractice Insurance
This professional liability insurance provides coverage for doctors, volunteers and nurses whether contracted or employed with the agency. This coverage protects medical personnel from lawsuits that claim negligence, improper care or wrongful death. It will pay for legal defense fees as well as any award of damages determined by a court.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Employees who are injured or become ill on the job are covered under workers compensation insurance policies. Most states require that employers carry this valuable protection. It will pay for employee medical expenses and also wage replacement if they are temporarily or permanently disabled because of work related injury.
Employment Practices Liability
Home health care companies need added protection for employee claims about their employment practices. When employees allege harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, emotional distress or wage claims this coverage will defend employer and pay for any court award of damages up to policy limits.
Confidentiality of patient records is mandatory for health care organizations, and home health care agencies fall under the federal and state laws concerning patient privacy. Because many firms maintain patient files electronically via computer, the threat of security breaches is increased. Vital patient data contained in these files is not typically covered under standard property or general liability insurance policies so a separate cyber insurance policy is needed. These plans protect companies should they be liable for computer security issues that result in confidential patient, employee or vendor information being released without permission.
Directors & Officers Insurance
Most mid to large size home health care agencies have board of directors that need protection from legal liability. Because many directors and officers make daily business decisions, they can be held personally liable for employee actions and other businesses activities even when they did not participate in those actions. Directors and Officers insurance or D&O as it is often called provides protection should a company be sued and the directors be individually named in the lawsuit.
Business Owners Policy
Many home health care service providers choose business owner policies or BOPs to protect their companies. A BOP combines two or more insurance policies into one affordable package. The foundation policy always includes general liability insurance and property. General liability provides broad protection from third party lawsuits and property covers both buildings and personal property inside them. Additional endorsements can be added to customize coverage for policy holders and may include business interruption, crime, commercial auto or umbrella liability insurance as well.