Questions Your Colleagues Frequently Ask


With over 1 million allied health care workers entrusting Affinity Healthcare with their professional liability insurance, we speak with many business owners just like you.


Here are some of the questions your colleagues are asking.

Why buy malpractice insurance?

Perhaps you read about the $12 million settlement in Illinois against a foster care service for failure to monitor the care of three children they had placed into a foster home who were subsequently neglected and abused. Or the North Carolina home health care agency who lost a suit for $400,000 when a patient slipped and fell sustaining a hip fracture and sued for lack of supervision.

Patients often sue just because they’ve had an unsatisfactory experience. Their case may not meet the legal definition of malpractice or result in a settlement, however business owners often do not realize, even if you win in court it could cost a minimum of $25,000 in legal fees . Win or lose, legal fees in malpractice claims average $95,000. And if a jury decides against you, awards today are averaging $425,000.

With Affinity Healthcare, your malpractice insurance pays your legal fees over and above your coverage limits — even if the claim has no merit.

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Do I need coverage for Sexual Abuse and Molestation?

With Affinity Healthcare’s insurance program you don’t have to worry. You can select up to $3 Million limits of Sexual Abuse & Molestation coverage under your professional liability policy.

Most general liability policies include an “intentional acts exclusion” that disallows coverage for claims alleging sexual abuse. If your patients include minors, the elderly or the disabled then Sexual Abuse & Molestation coverage is extremely important.

Keep in mind that a claim need not be legitimate to ruin you financially. Without the proper coverage your insurance will not pay for your legal defense.

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Should I rely on my employees to provide malpractice coverage?

No. A policy of your own provides you with separate limits of liability. You own the policy. You are the named insured. You are provided with a defense attorney in the event of a claim. The attorney looks after your interests alone.

You may have been told that your type of business is not sued. This is not true . Plaintiff attorneys employ a “shotgun” approach and go after anyone connected with the injured party — including the employee’s place of employment and its owner.

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Does hiring independent contractors reduce my liability risk?

Independent contractors that you hire to provide professional services in your practice represent the same risk to your firm as an employee that you hire, because they both provide professional services on behalf of your firm. You are liable for the care that an IC provides the same way that you are responsible for the care than an employee provides.

We often receive inquiries from customers suggesting that if they require ICs to carry their own insurance and list the firm as an additional insured, then they would not be required to pay for coverage for the ICs, ultimately resulting in a reduction in their premium.

Most ICs carry their own insurance, but simply having your practice listed as an additional insured may not adequately protect you and your business. You could be vulnerable in a number of ways, including:

  • The potential for differences in coverage forms, i.e. “claims made” vs. “occurrence”
  • The coverage and limits could vary from one insurance provider to the next
  • ICs could allow their policy to lapse or may cancel it mid-term and neglect to notify you

As your insurance provider, we want to protect you and your practice by educating you regarding the potential risks ICs can create.

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Do I need Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability?

Yes , if you have employees, hire independent contractors or rent vehicles. Considering the high number of auto accidents today, this seemingly small endorsement can be one of the most important coverages in your insurance program.

When your employees use their vehicles to visit or transport patients, if they cause an accident the injured party can name your business in the lawsuit. Similarly, when you are driving a rented vehicle, if you cause an accident on company time the person you hit could go after your business for the “pain and suffering” associated with their injuries.

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Are suits against psychiatrists and physicians excluded from my policy?

Malpractice insurance for psychiatrists and physicians is expensive and can be difficult to obtain. Under some contracts such risks will be excluded.

With Affinity Healthcare’s insurance program, if you or your business are named in a suit due to the negligence of a treating professionals such as a psychiatrist or physician you are fully covered.

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Why place my malpractice insurance with Affinity Healthcare?

Affinity Healthcare is a division of Affinity Insurance Services, Inc., the world’s largest provider of professional liability insurance among allied healthcare workers. Over 1,000,000 nurses, physical therapists, counselors and human service businesses entrust us with their malpractice coverage.

Affinity Insurance Services Inc., is a part of Aon Corporation, rated by A.M. Best as the world’s largest global insurance broker in 2007.

Using our size, experience and market connections Affinity Healthcare shops to find you the best combination of coverage and price with an insurance carrier rated “A” (Excellent) or better by A.M. Best. These insurance companies must demonstrate:

  • Financial stability
  • Commitment to responsive coverage
  • Competitive pricing
  • Exemplary claims management

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Don’t see the question you’re looking for here?

If you have a question you don’t see answered here, please call 1.877.738.3714. Or you can email alliednewbiz@aon.com.