Which Types of Veterinarian Insurance Are Available to Veterinarians?
All veterinarian must have veterinarian insurance. As a veterinarian, work hard to make sure the animals under your care remain protected at all times. Yet, with any business caring for pets some unexpected circumstances arise.
While the rewards are high in your industry, so, too are the risks. You’re responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of the creatures in your care at all times. Whether you’re seeing a kitten in your office or tending to livestock at a customer’s farm, you have to be prepared for anything.
That’s why it pays to know the different types of veterinarian insurance available. When you invest in a plan of your own, you can rest assured that you’re always covered, no matter what happens.
Today, we’re divining into the different coverage you can seek, as well as optional plans to consider. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
Business Property Coverage
First, let’s talk about the physical structure that houses your veterinary practice. In addition to the structure itself, you’ll also need to insure the pricey equipment inside of it, including the surgical tools, X-ray machines, computers, exam tables, and more.
What would you do if you experienced a sudden, catastrophic event, such as a theft or a fire, that wiped out these material resources in their entirety? Replacing them could be cost-prohibitive to the point that you’d have to shut your doors, at least temporarily. Then, on top of losing your office and inventory, you’d also lose days without work.
Keep in mind that each policy will have its own guidelines around which types of losses are covered. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the most common (and costly) property claims reported by veterinarians are related to severe weather, including:
- Lightning sparking a fire
Combined, these three perils alone make up 68% of all industry losses. The average claim equals $12,541 for a total of $6 million altogether!
Business property coverage can kick in if you experience a theft, vandalism, or an extreme weather event that compromises the integrity of your building or the resources within it.
Equipment Breakdown Coverage
What happens if your equipment isn’t stolen or damaged by the weather, but simply breaks down? Like any other machines, your mission-critical exam tools and state-of-the-art supplies aren’t immune to malfunctions.
Yet, you can’t exactly shut your doors when your telemetry systems won’t turn on, or your surgical lights flicker out. The same goes for your cleaning equipment, your security system, your electrical and telephone gear, and all of the other components that work together to fulfill your day-to-day obligations.
Your business relies on these solutions to work seamlessly and without fail. When they do, you’ll need equipment breakdown coverage to ensure you can repair or replace them as soon as possible and continue on with business as normal. In the event that you do need to temporarily close in the interim, some plans will even help replace your lost income and other related expenses.
Data Breach Coverage
Another type of emergency in which this coverage can come in handy? A data breach. Most equipment breakdown coverage plans also include optional data compromise coverage.
In October 2019, hackers launched a ransomware attack on a California company that owns more than 700 animal care facilities around the world. The attack affected more than half of those facilities, compromising confidential patient records, as well as payment systems and practice management software solutions.
How would your business respond if the same type of attack happened at your practice?
Any time a data breach occurs, sensitive data, including customer payment information, is at risk of being exposed. If this information is ever lost or stolen, you could face expensive identify theft lawsuits from irate and concerned customers. In addition to costing you money, it could also cost you your good reputation.
It pays to invest in equipment breakdown coverage to help protect your internal employees, as well as your extensive client base.
This coverage can help you pay for the costs incurred to notify patients of a breach. It can also help you offer those patients free credit-monitoring services as well as take important steps to recover your own compromised data.
General Liability Coverage
Next, consider what would happen if someone were injured in your office and you were found liable.
In this case, you would be responsible for covering their medical costs, as well as physical therapy, rehabilitation, and any other post-treatment services they might require. Depending on the extent of their injuries, this can add up quickly. That’s why general liability coverage is so important!
If someone is injured at your practice, this coverage will help pay for the cost of their medical care. The same research from the AMVA reveals that the most common types of injuries at a veterinarian practice that result in a liability claim include:
Moreover, general liability coverage can also help protect you if someone files a charge against you for damages they received to their body or property while on your site. For instance, a customer could sue you if they’re bitten by a dog while sitting in your waiting room. In this case, your insurance coverage could help pay your associated legal fees and other related costs.
Types of Optional Veterinarian Insurance to Consider
The above types of veterinary insurance are suggested as must-haves for any veterinarian at the helm of his or her own practice. However, there are other types of optional insurance that can prove equally beneficial and make wise investments.
It’s important to work with an agency that’s experienced with these areas, such as American Veterinarians Insurance, to make sure you’re making the right decisions for your business.
Let’s take a look at the most common types of add-on, or optional, veterinarian insurance.
Animal Bailee Coverage
Animal bailee coverage applies if an animal is lost, injured or damaged while under your care, custody or control. As these animals are considered the personal property of their owners, this type of coverage can protect your business if it’s held legally liable for those losses.
Business Interruption/Business Income Coverage
If you do have to shut down your practice for an extended amount of time following any type of covered event, such as a fire, business interruption coverage can help you recoup the hit your business income will experience. You’ll need ongoing income to continue to pay rent, pay your employees, and fulfill other financial obligations.
Professional Liability Coverage
You might also see this listed as malpractice coverage. Professional liability coverage protects you in the event that an alleged mistake on your part compromises your work and results in damages or losses to client property.
Do you or any of your employees make house calls or travel at all for work? A commercial auto policy can help pay for claims associated with any automobile accidents that occur while someone is driving an employee vehicle, or driving their personal vehicle on company time.
Employee Practices Liability
Facing a lawsuit after charges of discrimination, wrongful termination, or any form of harassment? These can be costly claims to fight. Employee practices liability coverage can help protect you and cover your associated legal fees.
Valuable Paper and Records
If there’s a fire, flood, break-in or any other type of catastrophic event, it can be expensive to recreate and replace all of your important documents and client records. You can purchase optional valuable paper and records coverage to help you recoup those costs.
Veterinarian offices require instant access to their essential utilities, including lights, water, HVAC and more. If any of these aren’t working as they should, you could be forced to shut your doors until they’re operable again. Utility services coverage can help you recover from any setback related to any service interruption you experience.
Learn More About Veterinarian Insurance Today
You got into this field to help others. Yet, it’s equally important to help and protect yourself. Making sure you’re covered with the most important types of veterinarian insurance is critical to keeping your business open, your clients happy, and your furry friends safe.
Take the time to learn more about all of the different policy options available, and consider which types of optional coverage make the most sense for your practice. Then, you can open your doors with confidence, assured that you’re protected from every angle.
Want to learn more about pet business insurance? You’ve come to the right spot. Keep exploring our website to learn more and get a quote today!