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Are You Certain Your Employer’s Professional Liability Policy Covers You?

Avoiding Malpractice: Tips for Social Workers to Manage Risk

Are You Certain Your Employers Professional Liability Policy Covers You?
  • Do you moonlight or work part time for another employer?
    Your employer’s liability insurance policy may not cover you for this conduct.
  • Do you provide “curb-side consults”?
    Your employer’s liability insurance policy may not cover you for this conduct.
  • Do you have a lawyer representing YOU in state Licensing Board matters?
    Your employer’s liability insurance policy may not cover you for this conduct.

We live in a very litigious society. Your NASW endorsed Risk Retention Group Professional Liability insurance policy issued by NASW Assurance Services provides insurance coverage for all of the above matters. It fills the coverage gapsMoonlighting and working for others… Many social workers work for a primary employer and for another employer as an independent contractor during weekends and nights. Many have 36 hour/3 day work weeks that allow time for additional work. Your employer’s insurance policy may not cover you because it is in place to protect the employer who pays the premium and is liable for your actions only within the scope of your employment with your employer.

“Curbside consults”… This is a frequent occurrence in healthcare. This advice is not covered by your employer’s insurance policy because it is outside the scope of your employer. You may be on your own.

Licensure… Virtually all employer insurance policies cover malpractice, but some do not cover Board matters. When, and not if, a State Licensing Board investigates you, you need immediate legal representation by a lawyer which could cost you up to $5,000, at hearing even if the inquiry or complaint is dismissed against you, YOU must pay for the legal defense yourself if you have a gap in insurance. Your employer’s insurance policy is paid by your employer to protect your employer whose interests come first and before YOU.

Be safe. Don’t take a chance that your employer’s insurance policy will cover you. Read the employer’s insurance policy. It is important for social workers to be aware of the gaps in coverage. Be safe. Buy your own professional liability insurance policy today so YOU ARE COVERED. Call your NASW Assurance Services insurance licensed experts for free advice and assistance. We are here to help you.

Do you have a question you would like to see addressed in the Tip of the Month, or wish we would address a previous Tip in more detail? We welcome your ideas! Please email suggestions to asi@naswasi.org (include “Tip Idea” in the email title). A new topic is profiled each month.

Published May 2014

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