What Insurance Do Professional Counsellors Need?

What Insurance Do Professional Counsellors Need?

November 30, 2023 / 5 mins read

You have direct contact with your clients as a professional counsellor in Toronto. You need to protect yourself as a counsellor or therapist against the specific risks that come with providing counselling services and advice.

A patient could misunderstand your professional advice or you could face an allegation of unprofessionalism in the course of your work as a counsellor, therapist, or psychologist. Someone also could be injured at your Toronto office. A lawsuit could be filed against you.

Whether you’re working in Toronto’s downtown core as a professional counsellor or in York, East York, North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or elsewhere in Ontario, your Western business insurance expert will give you top-notch insurance advice and ways to save.

What is counselling insurance?

An insurance package for professional counsellors and therapists in Toronto helps protect you against specific risks associated with providing counselling services and advice to individual clients or groups.

Who needs it?

It’s recommended for:

  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Marriage counsellors
  • Family counsellors
  • Occupational therapists
  • Mental health counsellors
  • Speech/language pathologists
  • Life coaches
  • Art therapists

How will professional counsellor insurance protect me?

  1. You give advice and make treatment recommendations to a client without having full knowledge of her health history. The client says the treatment did not help her and made her feel worse. She then sues you for negligence. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, may cover your legal fees and any financial legal judgment against you.

  1. A client has an appointment to see you and slips on the icy sidewalk of your Toronto office on his way into your office. You get sued for third-party bodily injury. Commercial general liability insurance may help cover these costs.

  1. Your clinic’s computer system is hacked and your clients’ personal information and financial information is stolen. Cyber liability insurance will help cover the containment costs related to a cyberattack on your Toronto business, repair costs to your system, and with the costs of potential lawsuits from clients whose information has been hacked.

As a professional counsellor in Toronto, here’s an insurance check list:

  • Do you have the best business insurance rate you need as a professional counsellor, psychologist, or therapist?
  • Do you have the right amount for your deductible and regularly review it to make sure it’s the right amount for your business?
  • Is your number of employees up to date?
  • Have you thought about the consequences of your clinic being forced to close down temporarily due to a flood or fire?

Here’s the recommended insurance package that you need as a Toronto professional counsellor:

Professional Liability Insurance: It’s also called errors and omissions (E&O) insurance or malpractice insurance.

Professional liability insurance coverage helps protect you, and any of your employees if you own a clinic, from allegations of misconduct, negligence, errors, omissions, or failure to deliver a service as promised.

Professional liability insurance for counsellors may include an inappropriate relationship with a client, failing to protect a client from herself, failing to report abuse, and neglecting the duty to warn.

It’s recommended to have at least $1 million in professional liability insurance and more if you own a clinic.

Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: CGL insurance is also called “slip and fall” insurance because it protects you against day-to-day risks while working as a Toronto therapist or professional counsellor.

CGL insurance can protect you against claims of third-party bodily injury or property damage that occurs at your office. For example, if an injured client sues you for damages, it helps cover your legal expenses and any financial settlement ordered by the court.

It’s important to note that without commercial liability insurance, you would be responsible for paying any liability costs out of your own pocket.

Your CGL policy also can help protect you from libel, slander, and false advertising allegations.

How much CGL insurance do I need?

It’s not uncommon that you would carry at least $1 million in CGL coverage or more, depending- your number of patients and whether you run a clinic.

The size of your practice, number of employees, and claims history will be factors in how much CGL insurance you need.

Commercial property insurance: It protects your Toronto office or clinic and its contents from insured risks that can happen, such as fire, theft, flood, or vandalism.

If vandals smash an office window, commercial property damage could cover the costs of replacing the window and cover any damage or vandalism inside your office or clinic.

Commercial property insurance typically includes flood insurance, but what if there’s heavy rain and the sewers back up and your Toronto office is flooded?

You should consider adding sewer backup or overland flood coverage extensions, which standard business insurance policies typically do not cover.

Business interruption insurance: If you operate a clinic, business interruption insurance is recommended. If there is an insured loss at your Toronto counselling office or clinic that’s severe enough to prevent it from being open, the expenses associated with getting your business running again will be covered.

This type of policy usually covers vandalism, fire, wind, flooding, and other risks (make sure to understand what your policy covers). Your policy will help compensate you for lost income and expenses that you will need to continue paying even while you are unable to work.

Cyber insurance: If you process debit and credit card transactions, you need cyber insurance. Your system could be vulnerable to cyberthieves.

Without cyber insurance, you will have to pay out of your pocket for the cost of restoring your - clinic’s computer system if it’s hacked.

You may also be liable for damages to third parties whose information has been stolen and you may have to pay for notification expenses to inform customers affected by a breach.

Commercial crime insurance

This type of insurance coverage protects you as the owner of a Toronto-based counselling clinic from fraud, forgery, and theft by an employee. It gives you protection from losses because of burglary, robbery, or theft, and liabilities or losses arising from an employee’s fraudulent acts.

What do I do if I have an insurance claim as a Toronto-based professional counsellor?

  • Contact your broker immediately after any business-related mishap. Waiting to file a claim can confuse insurers about the severity of the damages to your business.
  • Know your policy so that when you contact your broker you are familiar with what will be covered or not.
  • Document the damage. Take photos right away and write down what happened.
  • Do not throw away damaged goods after taking photos. Keep the physical evidence so that your adjustor can see it.
  • Do not invite lawsuits. Don’t say anything that could be used against you, especially if you aren’t sure what happened.
  • Be honest about what your damaged property is worth. Damaged commercial property is generally valued according to its actual cash value or replacement value.

Western Insurance has licensed BUSINESS INSURANCE EXPERTS to get you the right insurance package as a Toronto therapist or professional counsellor. Our experts are available now to help you navigate the business insurance journey to protect you.

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