One in every three people in Canada has reported experiencing mental illness, according to the Government of Canada website. Many of these individuals are impacted indirectly or directly through friends, colleagues, and family members. Whatever the case may be, the only option for most victims of mental illness is prescription medicine combined with counseling.
When most people think of mental health, they only consider the patient, leaving out the most important part of the equation, the patient’s family. Why does mental illness impact everyone, including the parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends, and sometimes neighbors? Without mental health clinicians and referral centers, the victims would have no hope. What exactly is the role of counseling and referral centers? How do these entities play in mental health treatment? Last, but not least, how do counseling and referral centers protect themselves from threats of financial loss associated with third-party claims and lawsuits? Find the answer to these questions and the must-have non-profit business insurance policy recommendations for counseling and referral centers in the article below.
Business Owner’s Insurance
Whether you know it or not, counseling and referral centers are businesses. They operate like most Canadian businesses, hiring, firing, opening, closing, and other operational necessities. One thing is for sure, without referral centers, physicians, hospitals, psychiatrists, and other medical facilities, will struggle to find the proper counselors for their patients.
What is a referral center? It is exactly as its name entails, as it handles referrals from licensed practitioners, hospitals, and outpatient and inpatient facilities. Some Canadian health care insurance policies require referrals for most specialist medical treatments. Instead of hiring a referral team, hospitals, and outpatient clinics go through third-party referral centers. These facilities handle the entire referral process, beginning with the referral and ending with a scheduled appointment.
A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is part of a government mandate. All businesses, including counseling and referral centers, operating within Canadian borders must obtain and maintain BOP. This insurance policy is recommended for all Canadian businesses because it protects against the financial loss associated with third-party claims and lawsuits.
For example, a patient slips and falls on a throw rug inside the counseling center. In this case, the business owner’s insurance kicks in almost instantaneously after receiving the claim from the facility. BOP also covers the following:
- Business property damage
- Third-party property damage and bodily injuries
- Damage caused by slanderous advertising
- Damage caused for forced closures
Some referral and counseling centers are non-profit, while others are for-profit. Fortunately, this policy is suitable for both types of businesses, with a few exceptions. BOP is not for every for- and non-profit referral and counseling centers. To qualify, your company must have 99 or fewer employees, have a designated workplace, earn less than $1 million in yearly revenue, and operate work in an industry that is considered low risk.
Another requirement for BOP insurance is business interruption insurance. Both policies work together to protect referral and counseling centers from financial loss associated with third-party property damage and bodily injury claims and lawsuits.
General Liability Insurance (GLI)
GLI is another business mandate policy. All Canadian businesses are required to obtain and maintain GLI policies. Whether the policy is basic or customized does not matter as long as your referral and counseling business is covered.
One of the biggest benefits of GLI is financial loss prevention. In the event, a patient is injured before, during, or following an appointment on your business premises, you are responsible. Fortunately, most third-party injuries in referral and counseling centers are minor. In any case, an injury is an injury. It really depends on the severity of the injury and how far the patient wants to take it.
Another important benefit of GLI is it allows referral and counseling centers to fulfill contracts following a third-party accident claim. Otherwise, your business would be prohibited from accepting new clients. GLI policies cover the following:
- Damage caused by slanderous advertising
- Third-party property damage
- Third-party bodily injury or injuries
You also have the option of bundling GLI and BOP to ensure coverage for all your risks.
Professional Liability Insurance – Not Always Mandated
Unlike BOP and GLI policies, professional liability insurance. Depending on the industry, your counseling and referral center may or may not be required to carry professional liability insurance. However, this policy combined with GLI and BOP can prevent financial devastation when facing a third-party accident lawsuit.
Professional liability insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is highly recommended by Canadian insurance companies because it protects against financial loss related to the following:
- Negligence accusations
- Failure to respond or comply by a specified deadline
- Abuse oversights
As much as referral and counseling centers would love to live in a perfect world, it is never going to happen. The more workers, the higher the risks for all Canadian businesses. Regardless of your safety policies and operational processes, a mishap can occur at the drop of a hat.
Third-party claims and lawsuits tend to follow most business oversights, mishaps, and negligence allegations. Insured referral and counseling centers are not going to be impacted financially at the level of uninsured businesses, which is the driving force behind professional liability insurance.
Business oversights are inevitable. You could spend the majority of your time or hire a third-party firm to oversee your business operations and it still would be impossible to prevent an oversight or mishap. Your only option will be professional liability insurance.
E&O policies protect businesses in the event of a third-party claim or lawsuit related. Even a minor oversight or mistake could end badly for a company. This policy will cover all or most of your legal fees, monetary court judgments, and monetary out-of-court settlements. If you are covered at the time of the accident claim or negligent allegations surface, you may not be required to pay a cent out of pocket. But, this will depend on your customized business policy.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance – The Best Of Both Worlds
Worker’s compensation insurance is a part of an insurance mandate to protect workers and businesses from monetary losses associated with workplace injuries. For example, a worker slips on a puddle of water in the onsite gym, worker’s compensation kicks in to cover the injured worker’s medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation expenses. What do you pay? Very little if your referral and counseling center is covered under a worker’s compensation insurance plan.
All businesses operating in Canada are required to obtain and carry worker’s compensation. As mentioned previously, this policy offers the best of both worlds. What this means is the policy protects the injured employee and employer by covering medical expenses, lost wages, and expenses associated with a lawsuit.
Workplace injury claims and lawsuits have been ruled to be at fault of hundreds of permanent business closures in Canada. Whether the lawsuit ends in a $1 million or $100,000 monetary judgment, worker’s compensation can help minimize the overall expenses for the injured worker and employer.
Directors And Officers Insurance – Covers Officers And Board Members
Referral and counseling centers are constantly working to fulfill contracts. Fulfilling referrals for professional services is not as easy as it may look. In fact, there are a lot of fine details that are often overlooked. Unfortunately, these fine details play a major role in fulfilling referral contracts. A patient referral is much more than just a phone call to a specialist for an appointment. It is also a phone call to the patient’s insurance company, patient, and specialist. In some cases, the referral center may need to contact multiple specialists to find a specialist that is accepting patients. Regardless, the referral must continue forward because it is a necessity for the patient’s mental and physical health.
Directors and officers insurance is not mandated in Canada but it is highly recommended. This policy kicks in when a counseling and referral center is accused of mismanaging funds. It also covers third-party claims and lawsuits associated with failure to meet government regulatory standards and perform official duties. However, this policy is slightly different than the other aforementioned policies, as it only covers board members and officers.
These professionals have so many responsibilities that mishaps are inevitable.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance – Protects Against Harassment Allegations
As much as you would like, it is impossible to monitor all of your employees every second of the day. In fact, your responsibilities outweigh any of your employees’ responsibilities, leaving little to no time for employee oversight.
Employment practices liability insurance covers financial damages associated with employment discrimination and harassment lawsuits and claims. The policy also protects companies from monetary losses related to wrongful termination and rights violation lawsuits and claims. Try as you may, your company is at risk of all the above. What are your options in these cases? Nothing short of employment practices liability insurance.
How Much Does Referral And Counseling Business Insurance Cost?
Every business has unique insurance needs, making it impossible to determine the actual insurance premium. Contact ProfessionalsCoverage today to request a free quote and learn more about all of the policies listed in the article above.
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