Insurance Basics for Your Business: Part 1
We’re all well acquainted with bio-individuality. It applies not only to our work, but to all aspects of life. Insurance is no exception.
Everyone’s practice is different, and everyone’s risks are different. In this article, we will look at these risk aspects to help you obtain the protection you need so you can return your focus to your clients.
Most of us are familiar with insurance from purchasing auto insurance. It is understood that there are state mandated minimum limits and that collision coverage is needed when you have an outstanding loan on your car. Insurance also applies to homeowners, who are required by mortgage lenders to carry insurance to protect the lender’s investment in the property. Additionally, an employer could require certain types of insurance as a condition of employment, and landlords could require rental insurance to protect their property.
Did you know that there are other types of insurance which are optional? And if they are optional, why would you want to incur the expense?
When we talk of risk, it is necessary to look at what could go wrong. This is similar to writing your will―get that done, and then get on with the business of living―or in this case, the business of your practice.
Risk refers to the possibility of an event occurring that could impact you and your practice. Here are some examples of events that could affect Nutritional Therapy Practitioners or Nutritional Therapy Consultants:
- – Your professional judgment could be called into question.
- – Someone may claim that there is a defect in a supplement.
- – If you rent or own office space, there are even more events possible:
- – Clients may injure themselves while at your office.
- – Business equipment or personal items of a client could be stolen.
- – A fire could destroy your own business property and that of your landlord.
- – Your computer could be hacked.
- – A fire down the street may make it difficult or impossible to conduct business at your location.
- – The power may be out for an extended period of time.
What would happen to your business if one or more of these events occurred?
In the remainder of this article, we’ll look specifically at the types of insurance that protect you and your business in the event a claim is made against you.
It has been said that insurance is trading a known dollar payment now in exchange for an unknown possible future event leading to a monetary loss. With the insurance company on your side, they investigate all allegations and pay or deny claims based on what is revealed in the investigation. With the insurance company handling the claim, your time is free to continue serving your clients. Following is a selection of the types of insurance you may need.
First is Professional Liability insurance. As professionals, our clients depend on us to advise them on their nutritional situation. In the unlikely event that your professional judgment is called into question, including recommending a specific supplement, professional liability insurance responds to the claim and pays only if the claim is deemed valid.
Next is Products Liability insurance, which is important if you stock supplements and use the LNT process during Functional Clinical Assessment with your clients. The types of claims covered here are specific to the quality and condition of the supplement itself. While you would most likely not be alone in such a claim, nor would you be held responsible for faulty manufacture (unless you’re selling your own product – lip balm? bone broth?), you could easily be drawn in by allegations such as improper storage of the supplements leading to damage or deterioration. However, if you never personally stock or use supplements in your practice, such as in the LNT process, you would not need this type of insurance. (Remember, using your professional judgment to recommend a supplement falls under Professional Liability insurance.)
Finally, General Liability insurance covers the day-to-day types of occurrences inherent in running any business. This is the coverage that most closely resembles homeowner’s liability insurance. With exceptions and exclusions, it covers claims based on injury to a person that occurs while on your premises, damage to the property of others, allegations of libel or slander, false advertising, and more.
Finding a Provider
There are several sources available to NTPs/NTCs for these types of insurance through national group insurance plans. While there may be others, the following are the most popular as of this writing. Since prices may vary from region to region, and change from year to year, I’ll let you shop and compare!
This company specifically covers Health, Beauty, and Wellness Professionals like NTPs/NTCs, including students, under their Plan B. This is an all-in-one policy that includes Professional Liability, General Liability and some Products Liability. The Products Liability coverage excludes coverage for any products you personally manufacture or you have relabeled with your business name.
CPH & ASSOCIATES
This company doesn’t cover standalone NTPs/NTCs. If you are licensed with another modality that they insure, you may be able to also cover your NTP/NTC practice as an add-on. They offer Professional Liability only.
HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS SERVICE ORGANIZATION (HPSO)
This company does not specifically list NTPs/NTCs as a certification they cover. That said, they are willing to consider NTPs/NTCs under the Nutritionist category. They offer Professional Liability coverage, as well as Business Owner’s policies (which may or may not cover Products Liability), and other business insurances you may need as your practice grows.
LOCKTON AFFINITY, LLC
This company was unclear when asked specifically whether they cover NTPs/NTCs. From their response, it does appear they may cover NTPs/ NTCs as an add-on to another covered modality. They offer Professional Liability only.
For the NTP/NTC who works from home, you can check with your homeowner insurance carrier to see if there is any add-on General Liability coverage for a home business. You may also ask your agent or broker about a Small Business Owner’s policy. However, a Business Owner’s Policy will not cover you for Professional Liability.
In our next installment in this series, we will provide a broader review of business insurance, including the types of coverage available for your own property and equipment. In the next installment, we will discuss how to read a policy.
About Resolute Michaels, NTP, BCHN
Resolute Michaels, NTP, BCHN® is the owner of Primal Perspectives. She is certified in nutrition by the Nutritional Therapy Association and the BioIndividual Nutrition Institute, and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®. She and has a private clinical practice in Burien, WA and Federal Way, WA. Prior to becoming an NTP, Resolute spent 30 years as an insurance claims adjuster, handling bodily injury claims, as well as litigation involving policy language interpretation. She has earned the prestigious Certified Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Senior Claims Law Associate (SCLA) designations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org