Having adequate insurance, including professional indemnity and public liability, is vitally important to provide protection for disability workers while they are helping clients to live their best lives.
After all, your clients are relying on you to provide a specialist and professional service that is lawful and sustainable.
It is advisable to take our insurance whether you are a sole trader, contractor or carer under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), so you re not exposed to the risks of people making claims against you.
With the introduction of the NDIS, more people living with a disability are now receiving the funding they need and more of them are engaging the services of support workers.
Under the terms of business for registered providers under the NDIS, participants are required to maintain an adequate level of insurance including public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.
As a minimum, disability support workers should take out these two types of cover and also consider whether personal accident insurance or motor insurance could also apply to them.
This type of insurance protects you against claims for alleged negligence or breach of duty arising from an act, error or omission in the performance of your duties.
Professional indemnity claims could be caused by your negligence, errors or omission in the provision of your services such as a failure to follow emergency procedures.
Professional indemnity insurance will cover matters such as:
· An award or settlement of compensation payable to a third party; and
· Defence costs (such as legal fees, investigation costs, expert fees).
Professional indemnity insurance is a ‘claims made’ type of insurance, meaning your current professional indemnity policy will only respond to claims made against you in the policy period, even if those claims concern your past work. Should you decide to stop working as a disability support worker, there is an option to include what is commonly referred to as ‘run-off cover’. This type of insurance is designed to provide protection from professional negligence claims even after you have stopped working.
For example, if you give the wrong amount of medication to a client which results in them requiring medical care, this could result in a claim of negligence, malpractice or even professional misconduct. Professional indemnity insurance can protect you against claims of professional misconduct.
Because you’re always in close contact with your clients, their families and members of the public, you are also exposed to the possibility of injuring someone or causing damage to their property.
Public liability insurance is designed to provide protection for you and your disability services business in the event a patient, supplier or a member of the public is injured or sustains property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.
Even the most careful support workers run the risk of injuring someone or damaging something whilst performing their duties.
When you are at work or out and about and a third party suffers an injury or property damage as a result of your negligence, your insurance cover protects you in the event of a claim.
A public liability claim could arise from forgetting to clean a spill on the floor, causing someone to slip and injure themselves or damaging your client’s property while it is in your care.
You may place a wheelchair or mobility device in such a way that someone trips over them and is injured. You could be held liable for the cost of compensation and any medical treatment they may require.
Public liability insurance will protect you against such claims by covering your legal and defence costs, court attendance costs, medical costs of the person who was injured and compensation awarded to them.
Personal Accident (optional)
Personal accident cover or otherwise known as ‘income protection’ cover is especially relevant if you have no other form of income and are running your own small business. If you are ill or injured, personal accident cover will ensure you have an income to cover your running expenses until you are well again.
Just contact us to discuss your insurance options today.
General Advice Warning: The content of this article is general advice only and should not be acted upon without first consulting an industry specialist as it does not take into consideration your personal needs, objectives or financial circumstances.