Professional Liability – Pharmacists you need it too!

Pharmacists should rejoice at the The Ontario College of Pharmacists’ new rule requires individual pharmacists to carry professional liability insurance effective January 1, 2008. So what does this mean for you? This is a unique opportunity to add extra protection to your practice with a price – more paper work!

Your professional liability policy will help to protect you from errors and omissions that you may make (perhaps due to a stressful day). Now most people would cringe at the though of having to buy more insurance, but the insurance companies are responding rather quickly to this. Packages and plans are in place to suit your custom needs at premiums that are pretty reasonable some start at $95 per year.

The professional liability policy must be separate from the property and liability policy for the actual premises and be portable as well. Portability is a key factor with this new professional liability policy because if you or your employed pharmacists leave a go to another pharmacy, the coverage can and will follow.

Here are a few things to note about the new policy:

  • Flexibility of coverage:
    • you can have a claims made or occurrence based coverage: This means that the liability policy can cover when a claim is made or when a claim occurred. The one that is chosen will directly reflect your unique situation and how long you have been in the business – speak to a broker (or yours truly) about it.
  • Defense costs – will be included as part of your limit of insurance – so plan ahead!
    • you will have to raise your limit to cover for the cost of legal defense – Limit options start at a min $2,000,000 to $5,000,000
    • This means that if you have a $1,000,000 lawsuit, you would have room in your insurance coverage limit (if you choose the min) for $1,000,000 in defense costs
  • Limit of Liability:
    • Minimum Requirements: $2,000,000 limit with a $4,000,000 aggregate
      • The aggregate is the amount of liability that you have before you have to buy more – in essence, you can be sued for up to $2,000,000 (which includes legal costs) twice in 1 year before you have top up your policy.
  • Application:
    • Each pharmacist in the practice will have to submit their own individual application and carry their own policies.

In an age of specialization, people will become more and more accountable for their professional opinion. Professional liability insurance policies are no longer reserved for doctors, lawyers, accountants and insurance professionals.

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