What coverages do traditional and unconventional healthcare facilities need?

As the healthcare space evolves, brokers need to stay on top of the many exposures these clients face

What coverages do traditional and unconventional healthcare facilities need?

Life & Health

By Alicja Grzadkowska

The evolution of the Canadian healthcare industry is being influenced by a number of key factors, from an ageing population to advances in innovative, yet costly technologies. As the sector adapts to demographic and digital forces, insurers focusing on healthcare have in turn had to shift their offerings.

“Cyber insurance is becoming more popular and is a necessity, especially where personal records are stored. In many cases, this includes personal health information,” said Paula Lansky (pictured), Senior Underwriter at Burns & Wilcox, adding that digital healthcare, from artificial intelligence to video chat consultations and healthcare apps, is bringing its own unique exposures to the operating table.  

“We’ve also seen an increase in businesses purchasing E&O cover, especially when it’s combined with CGL, property, cyber and medical malpractice in a package policy format,” she explained.

Meanwhile, some markets are limiting their underwriting appetite in this class of business because they are no longer writing certain classes, or because they’re limiting cover or reducing capacity.

To address the myriad of risks they face, all entities operating in the healthcare space require liability coverage. This includes conventional healthcare institutions and organizations, as well as some unconventional providers.

“Registered medical practitioners that require coverage include clinical psychologists, counsellors, educational psychologists, and occupational physicians and psychologists, as well as radiographers, registered psychologists, sport and exercise psychologists, and veterinarians,” explained Lansky.

There’s an even longer list of alternative, holistic, and naturopathic providers that likewise need coverage. These range from acupuncturists and biochemical therapists, to healers, herbalists, and homeopaths. Others include alternative medical clinics, hypnotherapists, tattoo shops, health and fitness facilities, podiatrists, and any company providing spa services, including but not limited to salons providing massage, microdermabrasion, hair removal, tanning facilities, chemical peels, and body contouring – and the list goes on.

Insurance policies for healthcare facilities have a few key features as well as important exclusions.

“A typical professional liability policy for a healthcare facility would cover breach of contract, breach of professional duty, sexual misconduct and physical abuse, and breach of confidentiality,” said Lansky, adding that typical exclusions under a professional liability policy include bodily injury, property damage, and prior knowledge, to name a few.

Considering the new and emerging exposures these clients face, brokers should also consider pointing their healthcare facility clients to several other coverages, such as general liability, property (taking into account the wide variety of equipment and premises these providers rely on), medical malpractice, cyber and privacy, crime, business interruption, and digital health. Ideally, all of these coverages can be combined under a package policy.

Nonetheless, whatever type of healthcare client a broker is working with, Burns & Wilcox offers coverage to protect against the many risks associated with operating in this rapidly evolving industry today.

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