Professional Liability Insurance for Telemental Health Providers

How necessary is professional liability insurance? What if I own my own business? If there is a breach of client data, am I covered? 

To answer these questions and more, we asked for help from CPH and Associates, a professional liability insurance agency specialized in the mental health field since 2001. Below, CPH shares some common questions they hear from their insureds in relation to malpractice insurance and telehealth specifically.

To CPH and Associates:

Why not be self-insured or simply not insured?

Over the course of a career, most therapists will experience this “What should I do?” moment. Even the most ethical practitioner can make mistakes and find themselves in a difficult dilemma in client treatment.  Professional liability insurance is there to protect the clinician and to provide peace of mind in the unfortunate event that a complaint or lawsuit is filed.  Defending yourself can not only be damaging to your career and reputation, but also financially crippling. The low one-time annual payment for professional liability insurance ensures that you will be protected and will receive the necessary help in your time of need.  

What are common claims scenarios?

While subpoenas/depositions are a common occurrence, especially in custody disputes, providers may find themselves also named in a board complaint or lawsuit. Dual relationships, unprofessional conduct and failure to disclose information are common examples of claims that trigger coverage under a professional liability policy.  

What are CPH’s professional liability coverage options and highlights?

Limits of coverage are offered at $1,000,000 per occurrence/$3 million aggregate or $1,000,000 per occurrence/$5 million. 

Coverage highlights include:

  • Occurrence form lifetime coverage
  • State Licensing Board Defense Coverage
  • Unlimited Defense Coverage 
  • Optional General Liability, Business Personal Property and Cyber Liability

What is the difference between coverage for someone individually and their business?

Self-employed providers and W-2 employees who do NOT own an LLC or corporation are insured on an individual basis. Should a provider also own a legal entity (LLC, PLLC, S-corp), a corporate policy protects them individually, as well as their business entity. In the event of a claim, the individual provider can be sued, but so can their business entity. It is important to insure both! 

How are telehealth services covered?

Telehealth services have become a common extension of many providers’ practices, and there are a couple of nuances to keep in mind when assuring you are protected in the event of a claim. The CPH policy will cover telehealth services, if you are providing services legally within the scope of your state license. Should you provide telehealth services to a client residing in another state, confirm with your licensing board and the licensing board in your client’s state that both permit you to provide such services. 

Is there coverage for providing services internationally?

In short, the CPH policy will only cover claims that arise in the US court system. Should you have a client residing in another country for a time, confirm with your state licensing board that you can provide telehealth services in that country. Keep in mind, should the international client sue or file a board complaint, it must be done so in the US court system and services must have been provided legally.  

What are reasons a clinician would not be covered? 

The most common reasons for a denial in coverage is providing services outside the scope of your licensure, intentional acts or illegal/criminal activity. 

What is cyber liability coverage?

With Cyber attacks becoming more prevalent, it is essential to understand the risk and protect yourself. Cyber liability is protection against a data breach of your client’s information. Coverage highlights include:

  • Security Event Costs: Reimbursement for costs that are a result of Security Breach, Privacy Breach or breach of privacy regulations
  • Network Security and Privacy Liability Coverage: Coverage for damages you are legally obligated to pay as a result of a security breach or privacy breach
  • Customer Notification Expense Sublimit: Expenses to notify customers of actual or suspected breach to their non-public information
  • Public Relationship Expenses: Expenses to re-establish your reputation or public image that was damaged as a result of a breach

Cyber liability coverage can be added to an existing CPH professional liability policy.  

What are the consultation options with a lawyer?  What resources/documents/white papers does CPH and associates offer on how to stay out of hot water?

CPH & Associates offers an “Attorney Helpline” for our insureds that have questions regarding ethical dilemmas they may encounter with a client. This benefit allows for up to two hours per policy term for our insureds to speak with a malpractice attorney.  In the event that a lawsuit or complaint is filed, the insurance carrier would provide an attorney in your state to help defend you throughout the entire process. We also have our Avoiding Liability Bulletin published on our website. The bulletin is written by malpractice attorneys and insurance professionals regarding topics in the mental health field.  

Get a quote and apply!

CPH & Associates is a professional liability insurance agency specialized in the mental health field since 2001.  What separates us from our competitors is our efficiency and commitment to customer service. Our online application and customer portal allow our clients to receive coverage instantly and make changes in real time.  And, if our clients ever have questions, our call center is staffed with licensed agents that are happy to help.

 If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to visit our website at www.cphins.com. We’re always a phone call or email away! 

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2 comments

  • Comment Link Beth Vanbeek Tuesday, 07 September 2021 09:29 posted by Beth Vanbeek

    Hi Dianne Merin,
    TeleHealth Certification INstitute does not provide liability insurance. We provide continuing education training for elemental health professionals.
    I have included the link to CPH and Associates below:
    https://www.cphins.com/

  • Comment Link Diane Merin Thursday, 02 September 2021 15:42 posted by Diane Merin

    I am inquiring about professional Liability coverage. I am a speech language pathologist who has an LLC (Speakwell Int. LLC) I have no employees or contracted people other than my remote biller. I offer teletherapy only - no face-to-face in the US and Internationally. Can I get a quote on an annual Liability Policy

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