Insurance Market Source regularly taps into its network of experts for insight into key trends and developments across the insurance landscape. Brad Rosgen, Health Care Practice Leader at Burns & Wilcox, breaks down the ins and outs of allied medical risks.
IMS: What types of businesses fall into the Allied Medical category?
BR: An allied medical business is essentially any outpatient medical facility or service. That includes home healthcare providers, pharmacies, medical spas, physical therapy clinics, dialysis centers, surgical centers, medical labs and more. It’s a very broad segment of the healthcare industry and yet many brokers and agents aren’t familiar with its nuances.
IMS: What is one of the top misconceptions you come across when it to comes securing coverage for allied medical risks?
BR: Many brokers and agents think it’s impossible to package general liability and professional liability coverages together for allied medical clients, but a packaged coverage plan is actually highly preferred and will generate better results for your clients. In addition to yielding more affordable premiums, the claim process is much easier when all coverage is written together and covered by the same carrier.
If a claim is filed against piecemeal insurance policies, you can be sure to encounter questions about which policy the claim falls under — is it a general liability or professional liability claim? For example, a physical abuse claim against a home healthcare provider. Would that fall under the general or professional liability policy? Unfortunately, claims are often not black and white, and disputes over claim ownership can cause major delays and snags for your clients. If the coverages are written together through the same carrier, the claim can be handled right away.
IMS: How can allied medical clients avoid coverage gaps?
BR: Providing clients with a packaged insurance plan is one way to avoid coverage gaps. Brokers and agents should also take an all-inclusive approach to assessing the risks of their allied medical clients to ensure they’re providing the broadest coverage plan possible. In today’s highly litigious society, it’s critical that allied medical providers have a robust insurance package. Risk managers must think beyond obvious risks and also evaluate auto transport services, HIPAA risks, data privacy and employee liabilities too.
Because many insureds don’t have a dedicated risk manager on staff, they depend on their insurance broker or agent to recognize all their liabilities and risks and put the right protections for the business in place. Brokers and agents who don’t specialize in healthcare should tap into experts at the wholesale level who are familiar with allied medical nuances and can help them through the process.