General Liability & Professional Liability – Why Do I Need Both?

I get asked from veterinarians why do they need two different forms of liability insurance? It sure seems like a lot of insurance, especially those with small practices.

The answer is that each form of liability insurance performs a different function.

General Liability is the most well known and primarily protects the business with a package of insurance coverage’s for accidents that lead to the injury of animals and humans while at your business premises. In addition to providing protection for accidents there is coverage for written and verbal communication that can lead to a lawsuit due to inaccuracies or defamation. If you rent your business location there is also coverage for fire legal liability in the event that you damage the premises by accident and the owners insurance company wants you to pay. And, finally the general liability package has a small no fault medical payments to others coverage that provides coverage to your clients who need to have stitches or other limited injuries. Generally these are minor accidents where the client has no intention of suing you they just want the injury and the treatment paid for.

Professional Liability provides insurance coverage for the actions of the doctor. Think of it this way, where general liability protects the business the professional liability protects the doctor. The decisions and actions that you make that lead to the injury or death of a patient are covered under professional liability. This coverage is also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) coverage

Both general liability and professional liability can often be found as part of a veterinary insurance package. Several insurance carriers offer the veterinary package at a discount as opposed to purchasing them separately. Think of it similarly to a home and auto discount where when you combine you can save money.

If you have questions about general liability and professional liability give me a call at (805)238-1818 or send me an email at chris@tedhamminsurance.com and I would be happy to help


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