As a veterinarian, your chosen profession is truly a noble one. Providing care to animals while providing direction, support, and comfort to their owners. You own complex medical equipment and have numerous medications stored on site. It’s important to provide direction, support, and protection for your clinic and its employees through a good veterinary insurance plan.
Whether your practice consists of house pets, large animals, or a specialty clinic, you need to have the proper coverage in place. It’s important to work with your licensed agent to customize a business insurance package for your specific practice. It is crucial that those who run veterinary practices know what insurance is needed in order to protect you in your small animal veterinary practice. So what does veterinarian insurance need to encompass?
Types of Business Insurance Coverage For a Veterinarian
There are some types of business insurance that a veterinarian needs to invest in to protect their license and their business:
Consider a Business Owners Policy
A Business Owners Policy (BOP) is a package of multiple policies at a more affordable price for a small business. It typically consists of:
General Liability Insurance: The general liability policy within your business owner’s policy will cover your clinic’s liability for third-party personal injury or property damage while at your clinic. If a customer slips on a puddle in your building and gets injured, this policy covers their medical expenses.
Commercial Property Insurance: A commercial property insurance policy covers damage to the veterinarian's building, office, clinics, or mobile veterinary units as well as tools which are specific to veterinarians, such as veterinary anesthesia machines, radiographic equipment, and animal scales. The property insurance will insure the equipment and furnishing in the event of a disaster such as a fire.
Business Interruption Insurance: This policy, sometimes referred to as business income insurance can be added to the business owner’s policy for additional protection. This helps pay for lost profit and other operating expenses if your building or property is damaged and being repaired.
Malpractice Insurance for Veterinarians
Malpractice insurance, sometimes more widely know as Professional Liability Insurance, will protect you if you make any professional errors which hurt or result in a loss to your pets or their owners. Your veterinary malpractice insurance will protect you and your staff should an animal die or contract an illness in your care and the owner brings a lawsuit against you. Your veterinary malpractice insurance will cover legal fees, and any damages awarded up to the limit of the policy. A Professional Liability Insurance Policy is one of the best ways to protect your livelihood.
Animal Bailee's Coverage
A veterinary clinic needs to obtain Animal Bailee's Coverage to go above and beyond their liability insurance. Animal Bailee's applies if an animal is lost, runs away, or becomes injured or ill while in your care. It covers costs such as medical expenses if the pet is harmed and potential costs related to lawsuits (such as a lawyers expenses and settlements).
Other Business Insurance Policies to Consider
Backup of Sewers and drains: Most vet clinics clean and wash pets and animals when being treated. If dog hair clogs the drains in your clinic fixing the resulting backup can be costly. This endorsement can help cover those repair costs.
Workers Compensation Insurance: Any vet clinic that hires employees will need to obtain workers' compensation to protect their employees if they become ill or injured on the job. It helps cover their lost wages and medical expenses.
Commercial Auto Insurance: If you use a business vehicle to make house calls you need commercial auto to protect you and others in the case of an auto accident.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance: This protects you as the small business owner and management from claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, etc.
Employee Dishonesty Coverage: This helps cover losses if an employee steals from your business.
Scenarios of How Business Insurance Can Protect You
Let's look at a couple of scenarios that could impact your bottom-line:
Scenario #1: Your kennels are close to full and have been for several days. At 9:00 am, Mrs. Phillips brings in her young white toy poodle, Scaramoosh, to be spayed. At 9:30, Mr. Johnson brings in his puppy, a white toy poodle, Esmerelda who has Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease and will undergo surgery to remedy the situation.
It's time for you to spay Scaramoosh, and your assistant brings the pup in. You finish the procedure with no problems or complications at all, and off she goes to recover. You see a couple of other patients, and it's time to begin Esmeralda's surgery, and the assistant comes hurrying in to tell you that you just spayed Esmeralda!
Mr. Johnson, who wanted to breed Esmeralda, is going to be livid. It is not improbable that he will secure a lawyer and sue for malpractice. Your errors and omissions coverage will step in to help cover the costs of the lawsuit.
Scenario #2: Obadiah, an Abyssian kitty with psychogenic alopecia is here for his regular checkup while his owner is running errands. Due to his early childhood history, he is skittish. Your assistant scoops Obadiah out of the kennel just as the front door opens. Obadiah leaps out of her arms and out the door before anyone knows what's happening. While the cat is caught rather quickly, she's managed to hurt her paw and requires surgery. Animal Bailee's Coverage will step in to cover potential medical costs and other damages incurred.
How Much Does Veterinarian Insurance Cost?
The cost of veterinarian insurance will vary depending on the type of policies you need (general and professional liability coverage16237038, property damage coverage, animal bailee's, etc.) and will be impacted by a few other variables:
- Size of the business
- Number of employees
- Size of the building/property
- Specialty of the veterinarian
- Policy deductibles and limits chosen
Speak with an agent to make sure you're purchasing the correct policies with the right insurance company to suit your small business needs. Be ready to provide some basic information to obtain the proper coverage.
Get a Free Veterinarian Insurance Quote
Your professional associations, the state department of insurance, and your licensed insurance professional is available to help determine what coverage is needed for your veterinary clinic and practice specialty. Take some time to determine the level and type of coverage needed for your peace of mind. Whether you simply need liability insurance, professional liability, or basic property damage coverage—we've got you covered. At CommercialInsurance.Net, our goal is to get you an affordable commercial insurance quote. Simply complete the form above and one of our specialists will contact you soon.
Related Posts: General Liability Insurance, Commercial Property Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance