Did you know that the United States has over 100,000 licensed veterinarians? Moreover 60% of veterinarians face at least one malpractice claim during their career and a single malpractice claim can easily exceed $50,000 in damages. With such a high probability of facing a lawsuit, it is crucial for veterinary professionals to understand the importance of having veterinary professional liability insurance.
So, whether you’re a seasoned veterinarian or a new graduate, read on to learn more about why you should consider obtaining Veterinary malpractice insurance.
Professional veterinary liability Insurance protect wide range of events, including malpractice claims, carelessness, and other legal concerns that may develop throughout the course of your profession.
What is Veterinary professional liability Insurance
Veterinary liability insurance is designed for veterinarians.
Veterinary license defense insurance protects these professionals from claims of negligence against you brought by a customer who believes the practitioner harmed his or her pet. This is a form of medical malpractice insurance.
veterinary malpractice insurance seeks to provide protections that general liability insurance or other types of business insurance do not provide. This type of insurance is typically provided on a claims-made basis.
Veterinary malpractice insurance coverage is only provided for a limited time period and for the situations specified in the policy. Veterinary liability insurance policy will most likely have limited supply. Policyholders should carefully read the language that provides coverage for negligence, errors and omissions, and breach of contract.
What Is the Importance of Veterinary Insurance?
Professionals who provide medical treatments for animals should be aware that they may be sued for malpractice at some point.They have to pay a significant amount of money in court fees and damages. Some or all of the costs of this claim would be covered by Veterinary malpractice insurance. Vet insurance is designed to assist small businesses in recovering from everyday issues such as property damage or the loss of critical files. But we’re also here to help with the unique risks that come with running a veterinary clinic.
Who Requires Veterinary liability insurance?
- Veterinary clinics
- Veterinarians for animals
- Veterinary specialists in animals
- Veterinary servicemen for livestock
- Veterinary therapist
- Veterinary disease testing servicemen
- Animal shelters and rescue organizations
- Livestock farmers and ranchers
- Zoos and wildlife sanctuaries
What Kinds of Insurance Do Veterinarians Require?
Veterinarian insurance protects your practice against the unique risks it faces. If you’re unsure what you require, many small businesses begin with a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). It combines three critical coverages to help protect you from claims arising from normal business operations:
General liability veterinary Insurance:
General liability insurance protects you against claims that your company caused bodily harm or property damage.
Commercial property veterinary Insurance:
Commercial property insurance protects your practice’s physical location as well as its equipment, such as medical carts, exam tables, and surgical instruments.
Business income veterinary Insurance:
Business income insurance can help substitute your consultant’s lost income if you are unable to open your clinic due to protected destruction of property, such as a fire or natural disaster.
Workers’ Compensation veterinary Insurance:
If the veterinarian has employees, this insurance covers any injuries or illnesses that occur while on the job.
Cyber Liability veterinary Insurance:
With the increasing use of technology in veterinary medicine, this insurance covers the veterinarian for any data breaches or cyber attacks.
Property liability veterinary Insurance:
Property liability Insurance covers damage or loss of the veterinarian’s property due to fire, theft, or other unforeseen events.
What does Veterinary professional liability Insurance Covers?
Here is a detailed guide on what veterinary malpractice insurance covers:
Professional negligence or omissions:
This type of insurance covers veterinary professionals in case they make an error or omission in their professional duties that results in injury, illness, or death of an animal. This could include misdiagnosis, incorrect medication dosages, or surgical mistakes.
Bodily injury and property damage:
If a veterinarian’s animal causes bodily harm or property damage to a third party, veterinary liability insurance can help cover the resulting legal fees and damages.
Legal defense costs:
Veterinary professional liability insurance can help cover legal defense costs if a veterinarian faces a lawsuit or legal claim related to their professional duties. This could include hiring an attorney, paying for court fees, or settling a claim.
If a veterinarian is subject to a complaint or investigation by a regulatory board, veterinary liability insurance can help cover legal fees and other associated expenses.
Veterinary license defense insurance can also provide coverage for reputation damage resulting from a lawsuit or legal claim. This could include the cost of public relations or marketing efforts to repair the veterinarian’s reputation.
Safeguard Your Veterinarian Staff
Accidents happen no matter how careful you are, especially when working with animals. If an accident occurs, you and your team will be protected by veterinarian insurance. veterinarian insurance also provides the best possible care for the animals you love by protecting the employees you rely on.
When an abundance of animal hair and fur at your workplace causes property damage due to clogged drains, Backup of Sewers and Drains can help. veterinary liability insurance also covers the cost of replacing the pipes of your vet clinic.
What Veterinary professional liability Insurance doesn’t Covers?
Veterinary Insurance doesn’t cover all negligence claims. Typical exclusions in Veterinary Liability Insurance include:
- Cases involving a veterinarian’s deceiving or criminal acts.
- Intentional misconduct with pet or causing harm to an animal or engages in unethical behavior
- Claims involving lawsuits settled or pending prior to the start date of your policy.
- Court cases involving a veterinarian’s family member.
- Regulation fines coverage
- Losses incurred as a result of non-covered professional activities.
- Court cases of a larger class-action lawsuit
How much Does Veterinary malpractice insurance cost?
Cost of Veterinary Professional liability Insurance usually depends on the types of animal you treat mostly in your clinic. If you treat large and equine animals mostly the premium will be higher and if you treat small animals mostly like cats, rabbits and dogs then your premium will be lower.
However, combining multiple policies, such as general liability, malpractice, commercial property, and animal bailee insurance can cost between $4,300 and $8,300 on average.
Questions to ask before buying Veterinary professional liability Insurance
Prepare to answer the following questions when seeking a quote.
- Do you travel for your profession?
- Do you have any experience with exotic animals?
- How many years of practice experience do you have
- Do you own or rent the building?
- How much are your tools and equipment worth?
- Tell us about your worst experience in your practice?
- How many employees do you have?
- What is your projected and annual revenue?
- What age and type of animals do you treat?
Questions like these are used by providers to assess the risk of your practice and determine the appropriate rate and amount of coverage for your business.
Why Do Veterinarians Need to Have Veterinary Professional Liability Insurance?
Pet owners who suffer significant financial losses and/or emotional distress may take you to court. Here are some of the claims they could make against you:
- Malpractice claims
- Negligence claims
- causing emotional distress and/or suffering
- Failure to perform a bailee’s duty (protecting a pet while it is in the care of a veterinarian)
- Breach of a contract with a pet owner
- Deceptive or fraudulent business practises
A malpractice case may involve multiple grievances, which can increase the case’s complexity, attorney fees, and potential judgements.
Because of their complex anatomy and disease processes, caring for animals poses malpractice risks. Given this complication, it’s surprising that veterinarians don’t make mistakes. Here are some examples of common errors:
- Failure to diagnose a pet’s illness timely and correctly, thereby violating current care standards
- Applying or performing the incorrect treatment or surgery
- Injuring a pet being treated in your office, even if the error was made by a staff member, not you
- Allowing an animal to escape your premises, resulting in injury or death
- Taking care of a species of animal without sufficient experience
- Not referring difficult cases to a specialist veterinarian
What is meant by Veterinary Malpractice?
Veterinary malpractice occurs when a veterinarian causes harm to an animal due to
- Poor judgment
- lack of care.
However, it is critical to understand that a failing animal does not always indicate malpractice. Clients who want to win a malpractice lawsuit against a veterinarian must have to prove four things:
- Their pet was under the formal care of the veterinarian.
- The veterinarian violated the professional care standards of the state veterinary board.
- Because the vet failed to provide adequate care, the animal died, was injured, or had its condition worsen.
- The animal’s owner suffered a financial or emotional loss as a result of the veterinarian’s care, also known as “damages.”
The American Veterinary Medicine Association does not publish statistics on how many veterinarians are sued each year or how much claim settlement costs. However, based on informal evidence, the industry’s claim expenses have most likely increased significantly in recent years.
What to Look for When Choosing a Professional Liability Insurance Company
Given the importance of protecting yourself from client litigation, it is critical that you choose an insurance company that will safeguard your interests. Look for the following features:
- Service to veterinarians like you.
- A good track record of paying claims.
- A solid reputation in the field of veterinary medicine.
- A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s give it their highest rating (S&P).
- Customer service that is responsive.
- An attorney hotline availability
- Risk management educational material
What are the veterinarian insurance benefits?
Immediate access to a qualified defense attorney:
If you are sued, you will require legal counsel as soon as possible. With professional liability insurance, you’ll have a skilled attorney ready to defend you right away.
Reduces anxiety and stress-
If you have Veterinary Professional Liability Insurance, your insurer’s provided attorney will attempt to have the claim dismissed or settled out of court, if possible. One of the main reasons for having malpractice insurance is to reduce the stress of being sued.
Improves client trust:
Your customers expect a true veterinary professional to look after their pet. Being insured is an excellent way to demonstrate that you are that person. It demonstrates that you will accept responsibility for your errors and make them whole financially if your professional negligence causes harm to their pet.
Covers the gaps left by general liability insurance.
Many veterinarians believe that their professional errors are covered by their general liability insurance or business owner’s policy (BOP).
They only cover third-party injuries and property damage, not errors made while providing care. Malpractice insurance is required if you want to be protected from client lawsuits.
Best Veterinary Insurance Companies:
To help you in finding the best veterinary license defense insurance provider for your business, we looked for insurers that offered high limits, appropriate coverage, and clear instructions on how to handle a loss.
- The Hartford
- Next Insurance
- AVMA PLIT