By 2022, the projections are that employment opportunities for optometrists will grow 24% due to the aging of the baby boomers.
So, you have your Doctor of Optometry degree, and you have your license to practice.
Life is good!
But you want to open your own office. You've leased a small office, right next to an optical retail store near the mall. You have the latest equipment. And you have got your small staff ready to go. But have you looked into what insurance coverage you will need?
Business Owner's Policy
You want to look into getting a business owners policy (BOP). A BOP is a package which usually includes commercial general liability and property insurance as well as other endorsements and insurances you need for you optometrist office.
Commercial Liability Insurance
Commercial liability insurance will protect you if anyone hurts themselves on your premises. It will pay court costs and damages as well as paying medical costs for the injured party.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
If you have employees, you need to be covered by employment practices insurance. Employment practices are usually bought as an endorsement.
Employment practices liability coverage will cover you in the event that there is a claim which is an employment practices case. Those cases include discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination or whistleblower retaliation.
Remember: even the most careful, thorough person can be sued for employment practices.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance will protect you from damage to your property, its contents, and signage in the event that you are the victim of theft, fire, or other disasters that may damage your office, office equipment, computer, and the personal property of your employees or anyone else who lost personal property as a result of the event.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption protects you in case of loss of income after any sort of disaster which causes you to close or to have to temporarily rent a place to do business until repairs or replacement of your office is complete. It can also pay for a loss of profit as if the loss had not happened.
There are doctors who believe that if they are conscientious, thorough, and careful they can avoid malpractice lawsuits. But that is, unfortunately, not the case at all, and that belief has gotten more than one doctor into financial hot water!
Even malpractice suits which have no merit cost the optometrist legal fees to defend against malpractice.
Another fact of life is that most lawyers will name everyone associated in the patient's care, and even if you did everything right, you could still end up in court. Malpractice insurance will pay your legal fees for any malpractice suits as well as any judgment against you, should you be found responsible.