Helpful Info for Home Instead Franchisees

Helpful Info for Home Instead Franchisees

Non-owned auto webinar

Webinar: Understanding the Risks When Employees Drive

Many companies may not realize they have an auto liability exposure when employees drive their own vehicles for company business. Companies may be charged with negligent entrustment if they do not follow good driver selection procedures. This webinar provides an in-depth understanding of negligent entrustment and non-owned auto exposures, and how you can minimize your exposure to such claims. View webinar: Understanding Negligent Entrustment and Your Non-owned Automobile Exposures (PDF)

How To Handle A Workplace Incident

In your profession, your clients’ health and safety are in your hands. And because of the standards established for your business, you’re responsible for providing the best client interactions possible, both in expertise and ethical conduct. Unfortunately, regardless of you and your employees’ work ethic and commitment to providing excellent service to each and every client, sometimes unexpected things happen. If a client is unhappy with their experience, or they claim someone acted inappropriately during their visit, they could file a claim against your business, whether warranted or not.

Even seemingly minor incidents or frivolous comments can turn into a claim down the road. No one expects to be in a situation where their company’s expertise and professional judgment are in question, but allegations and claims of negligence are quite common, so it’s best to be prepared.

Below are the recommended steps you should take to properly handle an incident if you are made aware of an incident that could potentially lead to a professional liability claim:

Provide Immediate Medical Help

Always administer first aid to an injured person and call 911 immediately if the injury warrants emergency assistance. Encourage the injured person to seek additional medical treatment to help ensure the injury doesn’t cause other medical problems in the future.

Don’t Admit Guilt or Liability

You should never admit to any wrongdoing or declare your responsibility for an injury or accusation. Don’t commit to “making things right” to the injured party (i.e., offering to pay for medical bills) but rather, tell the client that you will contact your insurance company. Do not discuss details of your insurance coverage with the injured party or anyone else.

Contact Your Insurance Agent/Administrator

When you notify the insurance agent of an incident as soon as you are made aware of a serious client complaint, it allows for the claim, or potential claim, to be managed in the most efficient way possible, saving time and money for both you and the insurance company. Often the insurance company can intervene and, in many cases, prevent a lawsuit from ever going to trial.

Document the Incident Immediately

Part of your professional best practices should be to keep precise documentation of all your client interactions. If an incident occurs during a client visit, write down your detailed interpretation of what happened, and do so immediately to help ensure accurate reporting of what happened. A delay in recording the facts could make it difficult for you or your employees to clearly recall the details later on. If any witnesses were present at the time of the incident, ask them to make a report from their viewpoint as well. Make sure this type of documentation is part of your employee training.

Retain Copies

If you’ve followed protocol and taken detailed notes of your client appointments, you’ll have copies available to provide to your insurance agent/administrator. Do not give copies of any documentation to any party other than your insurance and legal representatives. Likewise, do not discuss a claim with anyone else.

Keep in Touch

Perhaps the most important step in handling an incident is to stay in contact with the client. If your company is associated with an accusation of malpractice, negligence or misconduct, don’t ignore the situation. Staying in appropriate contact with the client will go a long way in showing your concern for them and their recovery, and can help to diffuse their desire to lay blame.

Your industry is full of challenges. High standards of training and hands-on experience, coupled with professional certification, will guide you and your staff in providing outstanding service to your clients and help to prevent unforeseen incidents. But if one does occur, knowing how to properly handle the situation will be to your advantage in the long run.

The best protection against unexpected claims is a Professional Liability Insurance policy for your business. A Professional Liability Insurance policy from Lockton Affinity is tailored for the specific needs of your profession, and provides the comprehensive coverage you need to protect your business assets and reputation.

What Should You Look For in a Professional Liability Insurance Policy?

Buying a Professional Liability Insurance policy is essential for anyone operating a business that provides a professional service. No matter what services your business provides, a Professional Liability policy is designed to cover you if an allegation of negligence is brought against you for actions resulting from your work.

So how do you find a policy that’s best for you? The key to finding the best coverage is to work with a trusted agent who can find you the best solutions for your needs.

Here are some questions you can ask to help you find a policy that’s a good match for you:

  • What has to happen before coverage is activated under the policy?
  • Am I covered for a simple allegation, or does a formal complaint need to be filed?
  • Are administrative and disciplinary proceedings with legal counsel (including the discovery process) covered?
  • If my time running my company is disrupted by legal proceedings such as a deposition and/or trial, will I be able to recoup lost revenue?
  • Does the policy have a deductible? Does the deductible apply to defense costs?
  • What if I am found guilty? Are defense costs still covered? Are judgments or settlements I owe to the plaintiff covered?

Most insurance policies vary in their coverage and limits, so it’s important to understand the coverage that is offered before you buy. Each industry has its own intricacies and unique liabilities. Doing your due diligence and research now, with the help of your agent, will save you the frustration of later learning that your policy doesn’t provide the coverage you thought it did.

Professional Liability Insurance from Lockton Affinity is tailored for your specific industry and coverage is provided by an Insurance Company rated “Excellent” or higher by A.M. Best for financial stability. Explore Professional Liability Insurance coverage from Lockton Affinity for your business today.

What Is Professional Liability Insurance?

Professional Liability Insurance protects your business assets and interests from obligations you may incur from allegations of negligence stemming from the professional service and advice provided by you or your employees. Depending on your industry, you may be required by your state government to carry a Professional Liability Insurance policy.

In any professional setting, a client can become dissatisfied with the services being rendered or the advice being given. Even a seemingly trivial incident can spark a complaint, and whether an accusation of negligence is legitimate or not, it’s essential to be prepared to defend your business finances and good name. Professional Liability Insurance helps you do just that.

What does Professional Liability Insurance do?

Also called Malpractice Insurance or Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O Insurance), Professional Liability Insurance provides a financial buffer against claims made by a client or customer who alleges negligence. It covers the costs associated with legal action and any judgments deemed payable to your client, up to your policy limit.

Like any type of insurance, it’s a safeguard against the unexpected.

What is negligence?

Negligence refers to the unintentional failure to provide the standard of care, knowledge or skill of the average professional peer in good standing, under similar circumstances. Any business that provides professional advice or service based on the expertise of its employees can be charged with negligence.

The good news is that there are protective measures you can take to minimize your risk of negligence. Accurately recording employee/client interactions and guidance plans for each client, mandating staff licensing and continuing education requirements, and keeping a safe and professional atmosphere on your business premises can all help you provide a high standard of care for your clients. But despite your best practices, nothing can fully insulate you from an accusation of misconduct. Professional Liability Insurance protects you in that instance.

When buying insurance, it’s important to explore the options available to you, as costs and coverage can vary from one provider to the next. By doing your due diligence, you’ll ensure the best insurance coverage for your specific business needs.

Explore Professional Liability Insurance coverage from Lockton Affinity today.

Why You Need Professional Liability Insurance for Your Business

Professional Liability Insurance is insurance coverage that’s made to protect your business assets and interests against injuries and damages suffered by a client, visitor or other third party as a result of the negligence of you or one of your employees. In today’s litigious society, every business needs this type of insurance coverage.

How likely is my business to get sued?

Even if you and your staff are vigilant in the services you provide, have healthy client relationships and would never intentionally harm a client, the reality is that any dissatisfied client can make a claim that someone in your company was negligent in their advice or treatment or otherwise harmed them. The sad truth is, anyone can allege virtually anything—and proceed to sue. Sometimes being careful just isn’t enough—all it takes is for a client to feel they weren’t given the attention they wanted and suing becomes their means of retribution.

You don’t even have to be the primary defendant to be pulled in to a legal suit. When people sue, they often name anyone they believe was involved in the situation—whether truly warranted or not. This could include you, your business and your associates.

Does my coverage include my employees?

Depending on the scope of services being rendered, some businesses may name their employees on the facility’s Professional Liability Insurance policy. However, this coverage may fall short in fully protecting an individual accused of negligence in their work. It is strongly recommended that your employees secure Professional Liability policies in their own names in addition to any coverage you may provide them.

What’s at risk for you and your business?

Time. Regardless of guilt or innocence, legal proceedings can take months, if not years, to settle. That can mean time away from your work in discovery and court—time not spent running your business. A Professional Liability policy will help provide professional support so that you do not have to take time away from running your business todeal with litigation.

Money. Even if you are absolved of any wrongdoing, defense costs can be significant. From discovery to settlement, legal fees may cost thousands, consuming your company’s working capital and racking up debt. With Professional Liability Insurance you can choose a limit that suits your needs to cover these expenses.

Reputation. In business, reputation can mean everything. Defending a case of negligence can seriously tarnish your business’ reputation and the image you’ve worked hard to build. By securing Professional Liability Insurance, you’re showing thatyou take your profession seriously and you stand ready to protect your good name.

Coverage you can count on.

Sometimes you or your employees may make mistakes in the care or advice you provide to a client. When errors are made that are not intentional or criminal in nature, Professional Liability Insurance will be there to protect your business.

Ensuring that you and your staff follow the strict protocols of your discipline is essential for success, and is your best defense against unwarranted accusations. Buying a Professional Liability Insurance policy helps you be prepared and protected if a claim is made against your business.

Professional Liability Insurance from Lockton Affinity is tailored for your specific industry. It’s coverage you hope to never use, but can’t afford not to have.