Pet dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits all end up spending time at the local veterinarian’s office. Whether it is a routine visit for grooming or claw clipping, to get spayed or neutered, or because an animal has been hit by a car, veterinarians nurture, heal, and care for pet owner’s companions. In the course of offering veterinary services to pets and livestock, veterinarians are subject to certain risks. A puppy could fall off of an examination table and break its leg, a cat could die during surgery, or a pet snake could get loose at a clinic and disappear. To make sure that they are legally and financially covered while providing professional services to their animal patients, they need to have professional liability insurance for veterinary businesses and possibly bailee coverage. A local independent insurance agent can help them choose the policy (or policies).
Like others in the medical field, veterinarians can protect themselves from personal legal liability, and expenses, in the event of a claim stemming from their professional conduct by purchasing adequate professional liability insurance. Besides having ordinary commercial general liability insurance for their practice, veterinarians need professional liability insurance. This can cover an injury or harm arising out of an act or omission, which is typically excluded from coverage under a CGL policy. As an independent insurance agent can explain, depending on a number of factors, commercial general liability coverage and professional liability insurance can often be provided to veterinarians under the same policy, or at least through the same insurance company.
Usually, professional liability coverage for a veterinarian is given by a special endorsement to a physician or dentist policy. An independent insurance agent can clarify how professional liability insurance for a veterinarian differs from liability insurance for other medical professionals, and discuss how coverage is required for vets who own their own practice or work at a clinic, and even for those who work for the government, or in a research position.
To recommend a professional liability insurance policy suited to a particular veterinarian, a licensed independent insurance agent will likely want to meet with that vet in order to discuss available options for coverage. An independent commercial insurance agent can describe how veterinary professional liability insurance often covers activities related to providing veterinary services, such as consulting, instructing at a clinic, or serving as a member of a veterinary licensing committee or board, and how it can also cover vets while they are providing emergency care, or part-time services, or working as a volunteer.
An independent insurance agent will provide comprehensive advice to veterinarians interested in purchasing a professional liability insurance policy. She will discuss how a policy generally provides coverage for legal costs incurred by veterinarians that are subject to a professional negligence claim, and she might mention that conduct by veterinary staff can also be covered, although workers may also require their own commercial insurance. She can explain liability limits included in policies from various insurers, and describe how having professional liability coverage in place can affect a veterinarian’s ability to retain his license during the pendency of a legal dispute. She might also mention that veterinary students can be covered by a policy if they are working at a veterinarian’s office.
By working with a local independent insurance professional to secure veterinarian liability insurance, vets can get answers to their questions about what may or may not be covered under a policy. They can learn about the value of having professional liability coverage in case of an injury or property damage that occurs in the course of caring for their animal-patients, and receive guidance in selecting sufficient coverage. With professional liability insurance through a licensed independent insurance agent, veterinarians know that in case of malpractice allegations, their policy can keep them covered.
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