I remember reading somewhere quite some time ago (I honestly cannot remember the source so I stand to be corrected) that Canadians are one of the most (over) insured citizens on the planet.  Really, when you think about it, the average Canadian has home insurance, which likely includes fire, theft, water, earthquake?, flooding? and liability insurance in case someone gets hurt on your property.  They may also have car insurance, life insurance, critical illness insurance, long-term illness protection and so on. 

Most naturopaths also have professional liability insurance (aka errors and omissions or medical malpractice), general liability insurance (slip and fall), and business insurance (theft, fire, loss of business).  Perhaps there is more…

We know it can get more than a little bit expensive and, at times, tempting to let some of it go.  Apart from the legal requirements which are set out in Regulation and the College’s by-laws, professional liability insurance is really one of those instances where everyone’s interest aligns.

In the public interest (the interests of patients) PLI insurance allows a patient who is unfortunately harmed, or the family of a patient in the unlikely event a patient dies, to access funds to either support the injured patient or the family in a situation where they no longer have a breadwinner in the family.  If a patient or their family need to access funds, insurance provides that funding.  If there is no insurance, the patient has to seek funds from the practitioner and their assets.

In the Members’ interest, PLI insurance offers protection.  If a patient is hurt or dies as a result of treatment, insurance ensures that your own personal assets are protected because the insurer will respond to any claim that is awarded.  In the absence of insurance, your own personal assets (life savings, home, car etc.) might be at risk.

In the profession’s interest, PLI provides for a level of respectability (“as a group, they do the right thing to protect the public”) and credibility (“as a group, they are able to obtain insurance for what they do so the profession must be known and understood”).

Practice can be difficult and expensive and everyone is looking for that edge to increase patient service and reduce expenses.  There are an untold number of approaches to both; however, when the planets align the way they do surrounding professional liability insurance, it wouldn’t seem to be in anyone’s interest that it is an expense that you cut out of your practice.