Nursing homes are in the unique position of having to provide daily care to an aging population. As with all types of businesses, nursing homes require coverage to protect them from liability issues. Owners of these facilities understand the unique and often difficult insurance challenges they face.
Between constantly changing government regulations, diverse liabilities and an increasingly competitive marketplace, it is critical for owners to secure an agent who specializes in this area, and can develop a comprehensive insurance program that also includes nursing home professional liability coverage. A comprehensive insurance program should include the following:
General Liability coverage
Protection of the physical property, including facilities, grounds and equipment
Professional Lability (malpractice) coverage
Directors and Officers Liability coverage
Employment Practices Liability
Also, be sure to purchase Workers’ compensation for employees who face risks ranging from back injuries to latex allergies and exposure to pathogens
In order to properly price, underwrite and place this insurance program an agent needs to understand the inner workings of the nursing home business. It requires an understanding of the regulations, as well as how nursing homes work, the management structure, etc.
For example, professional liability risks can vary depending on the relative health and ambulatory abilities of the residents. Because the residents at a nursing home are in different stages, in terms of both physical and mental stability – where some individuals can move freely about and maintain their faculties while some residents are bedridden or may have dementia – many may face the potential of physical and sexual assault.
Therefore there is a very real need for proactive risk management strategies that are essential to mitigate exposures and strengthen the company’s position when facing a potential lawsuit and to avoid becoming a target of legal actions. Having a proactive risk management program in place can greatly reduce these risks. A comprehensive program includes risk assessments; audits; training of staff, including management, supervisors, and caregivers; and recommendations for proactive improvements.
Most importantly, risk management programs should foster a positive and permanent culture change within the organization, one that promotes dignity and respect for both the residents and caregivers. This will reduce the odds of claims and ultimately, can help lower premiums. Speak to a nursing home and retirement facilities insurance specialist about how to best protect the business and, hopefully, reduce nursing home professional liability insurance costs.