The work of an optometrist is not just about giving out prescriptions for eyeglasses. They also diagnose and treat various eye ailments and injuries.

Optometrists recommend medications and refer patients – in situations that they deem complex. In other words, optometrists do a lot of work when it comes to treating eye-related problems.

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As such, they are exposed to the risk of making mistakes while attending to patients. It is no surprise that the number of lawsuits against optometrists has risen in the past few years.

That explains why every optometrist requires proper malpractice insurance cover. The insurance cover is to caution them against any possible lawsuits associated with their work.

The good thing is that several insurance companies offer special insurance covers for optometrists. All you need to do is to talk to an independent insurance agent and discuss with them what you exactly want.

The insurance company will show you the different insurance policies they have and propose the best malpractice insurance for you.

Why is optometrist professional insurance liability necessary?

Regardless of how long you have been working as an optometrist, there is always room for mistakes. If such mistakes lead to serious injuries to your patients, you will likely face a medical negligence lawsuit.

There’s no doubt that any medical officer can be accused of professional negligence for any reason at any time.

As much as you would try to follow all the health regulations and guidelines, it is still possible to do something that can lead to a legal battle between you and your patients.

Whether the allegations are true or unfounded, you will still need to defend yourself in a court of law. This means spending a considerable among of money on something that you had not planned for.

The main objective of an optometrist’s professional liability cover protects you against the risks of being sued for professional malpractice. There are several situations where optometrists can get sued for malpractice.

They include the following:

  • Failing or refusing to refer a patient or follow-up – resulting in incorrect or delayed diagnosis
  • Failure to recommend lenses to patients who require greater eye protection, such as children, police officers, athletes, among others.
  • Failing to carry out regular eye check for patients using glasses
  • Failure to adequately explain to a patient how to uses medication – resulting in serious side effects.

Even if you will win a malpractice case, assembling a team of lawyers to battle it out in court is an expensive affair. You will have to pay expenses such as expert witness fees, legal counsel fees, settlement claims (in case you lose the case), among other expenses.

However, if you have an optometrist professional liability insurance in place, the insurance company will take care of almost all those expenses. For example, if your policy is worth $1 million, the insurance company will cover the cost up to that amount.

What is covered by the optometrist professional liability policy?

Having an optometrist liability insurance gives you peace of mind to work or run your business. You don’t have to be in constant fear about the possibility of getting sued by one of your clients or patients.

Besides protecting business, professional liability insurance is normally a prerequisite for anyone who wants to be affiliated with medical plans and visions.

It is important to closely cooperate with an insurance agent to get an insurance cover in line with your needs. Remember that not all forms of medical insurance needs require a similar amount of coverage.

That’s why you should ensure that the professional liability insurance you purchase is distinct from the risk you are exposed to in your optometrist business or career.

In other words, the optometrist insurance cover should protect you from any liability claims resulting from the intentional or negligent treatment of patients.

What is not covered by optometrist liability insurance?

Most insurance companies don’t offer protection for negligence that arises from sexual improprieties, illegal conduct, administrative errors, factual misinterpretations, or alteration of medical records.

Additionally, insurance companies also specify the limit amount they will pay in case of a malpractice lawsuit. They usually pay per claim.

For example, if your coverage limit is $1 million, then the insurance company will only pay up to that amount. If the total amount of the lawsuit claim exceeds $1 million, then you will have to pay it from your pocket.

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What is the cost of optometrist liability insurance?

One major advantage of optometrist liability insurance is that it is less expensive than professional malpractice insurance in most other medical disciplines.

The average cost of an optometrist insurance cover is between $500 and $800 per year. However, you can pay less or more that amount, depending on the state you come from.

Another factor that may determine the cost is the limit of the coverage. The higher the limit, the more you are likely to pay in terms of insurance premiums.

How do you get the best prices?

Optometrist liability insurance is different from other forms of insurance covers. As such, you need an experienced insurance agent to help you shop for the right insurance cover at reasonable prices.

One of the best ways of doing that is to get several insurance companies and compare their quotations. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t only be driven by lower prices.

Advantages of using independent insurance agents

The good thing about working with independent insurance agents is that they have a lot of experience concerning different types of insurance covers. They also have a host of tools that can help match your needs with appropriate insurance coverage.

Bottom line

Optometrist liability insurance is essential for anyone with a business working in a private or public facility. This is because of the significant increase in the number of lawsuits being filed against optometrists.

It is better to have liability insurance to help settle any expenses incurred in a legal claim.