Having some liability or financial concerns about getting the wheels on your practice turning again? What happens if a patient or staff member contracts the illness behind your doors? How do we navigate wages during a two-week absence? What if we doctors get really sick and it takes months to recover?
Insurance guru, Kyle Wallace shares our concerns. Fortunately, Kyle has worked to protect dentists’ assets and wealth for over 25 years through his expertise in areas of professional liability, disability, office insurance, workers comp, and other essential coverages. He’s gotten me out of a few jams myself and is now working to put many of these new fears to rest.
At the end of the day, we can only control what we can control. Kyle has been working to debunk misinformation about what our policies will and will not cover during his open office-hours since the initial shutdowns.
If you have anxieties about whether it was right to take on emergency patients during the beginning of the pandemic, Kyle insists that doing the opposite would make a much stronger malpractice claim for patients. Having worked in the malpractice arena for so long, Kyle believes that seeing patients for emergencies ensures that nothing develops into a much worse situation, working against any malpractice claims.
If for some reason a malpractice claim was filed and your practice was guilty of breaking a mandate or something similar, this type of COVID-19-related malpractice claim will be covered.
Kyle has been prodded with any questions about business overhead insurance. Unfortunately, business interruption coverage does not cover pandemic-related closures, as the clauses cite physical damage to the practice’s building or geographic area.
However, workers’ compensation insurance is a remedy for staff members that contract diseases or illnesses at work. It’s possible to prove that your staff member contracted a disease at your practice, and therefore, qualifies for workers’ comp. Furthermore, you can avoid any lawsuits by staff members by giving your staff the option to stay home without pay.
Finally, Kyle and I discussed some of the most expensive, but important types of insurance: Short-term and long-term disability coverage. For those of us that already have this type of insurance, short-term disability insurance can cover staff members that have contracted an illness and must remain quarantined. Long-term disability insurance is designed for doctors who have been exposed to the virus and who suffer from it for an extended period of time. This type of insurance ensures that no wages are missed.
If you do not already have short-term and long-term insurance, you may want to consider it. Kyle says that if you have the budget, it’s not a bad idea in the long run. It’s important to note that an investment like this may have up to a 60-day waiting period for long-term insurance and an intensive application process for both short and long-term policies.
In the meantime, take advantage of the policies that you do have, and if you’re a client of the Wallace Speciality Insurance Group, keep a lookout for email updates as things continue to play out.
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