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Professional indemnity
October 23, 2015

Protection for a profession at its peak: Natural Medicine

Protection for the health professional

Natural medicine is at its peak. Health tourism, related to health and wellness, is increasingly in demand and is becoming part of the tourist attraction offered by cities. There are also many patients who, having experienced traditional medicine, look for alternative treatments and for an improvement of their quality of life through natural medicine.

It is a profession that combines ancient knowledge with the most innovative techniques through continuous research.

Like many other professions, natural medicine is not without risks. Human error, technical failures, a dissatisfied patient… could lead to major claims which unfortunately could jeopardise the viability of a project after many years of dedication, effort and training.

We live in an increasingly belligerent society which is used to confronting and resolving conflicts, either judicially or extra-judicially. When the welfare of people comes to the fore, the matter becomes extremely delicate. This is where the protection provided by professional liability insurance comes into play.

A professional indemnity policy is not just a requirement: it is a solution that allows professionals to offer the best service and protection to their clients –humans make mistakes- and therefore it is very important that a policy offers flexibility, specialisation and a capacity for rapid response to a claim. Let us consider a real case…

An outbreak of dermatitis and its consequences

The director of a clinic had practiced his profession during eight years without suffering any incident, until one day a new patient came into his clinic. After completing his personal data form, the professional proceeded to give him the required massage, without realising that he was using an oil with a component to which the patient was allergic. This was expressly stated by the affected patient when filling his record, under “Known allergies” section.

Some days later, the patient claimed compensation from the professional. The mistake had caused a rash on his skin that besides causing health inconveniences had prevented the performance of his work, a public-facing position, for a few days.

The director of the clinic turned to his insurance broker looking for information on how to deal with this situation, and after analysing the case the broker handled an opportune customer compensation for the injuries and damages suffered.

What would have happened if the director of the clinic had not taken out an adequate professional indemnity policy? What if the patient had omitted the data of his allergy, or that information hadn´t been clearly stated? At the very least, the event would have resulted in negotiations, or perhaps would have implied legal defence costs or legal assistance. This is without considering the compensation itself…

A payout surely detrimental to the economy of the business, in addition to the inconvenience of handling the process and loss of professional time on resolving the situation.

The smartest solution

A good professional indemnity insurance for natural medicine should include the following coverage for a reasonable premium:

-Professional faults: errors, omissions, negligences.

-Fraudulent actions or infidelity of employees.

-Rupture of confidentiality.

-Defamation.

-Coverage of legal costs.

Our advice from the experience is that you should always hire the maximum limit of professional indemnity insurance that you can afford. For a small difference in premium, the level of protection varies considerably, and therefore the viability of your business in case of a claim.

The facts are on the agenda: convictions for defective health care, injuries and sequelae caused, therapy … But the best protection is also at hand, for very little.

Click here for further information.

Professional Indemnity
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