Why Does My Treatment Center Need General Liability Insurance?

Written by Amber Harper—Commercial Insurance Advisor

October 31, 2022 · 4 minute read ·

Blog Why Does My Treatment Center Need General Liability Insurance?

Every business needs commercial insurance. Drug and alcohol treatment centers are no exception. Having insurance protects you in case someone files a lawsuit against your facility or one of your employees. Without insurance, you may suffer significant financial loss or legal costs. Therefore, one of the most important insurances for your center to have is General Liability Insurance.

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What Is General Liability Insurance?

Commercial General Liability insurance is a type of insurance most states require businesses to have. The primary purpose of general liability policies is to protect businesses (and their employees) from financial loss due to common liability claims. These common liability claims may arise from your daily operations and may include the following:

  • Libel or slander, or other personal injuries
  • Negligence causing bodily harm or property damage

Without insurance, you may have to pay out of pocket for any damages, legal costs, or other fees.

Types of General Liability Insurance

There are two main types of liability policies for your treatment center: occurrence and claims-made. While both types cover the same things, their policy terms are different.

Occurrence Policy

An occurrence policy covers any claims someone files against you if the damage or injury occurs during the duration of your policy. If someone files a claim after the end of the policy period, an occurrence policy will cover the claim as long as the damage occurred during your policy period.

For example, let's say someone files a lawsuit two years from the date they were injured. Your policy should cover the costs as long as the event occurred when you had an occurrence policy.

Claims-Made Policy

A claims-made policy is different. This policy will only cover claims filed during your policy period. As long as someone files the claim during your policy period, it doesn't matter when the event occurred. For example, if someone got injured at your center two years ago and just filed a claim, your claims-made policy should cover the costs.

What Does This Type of Insurance Cover?

Accidents may happen on your business property. People may injure themselves or be injured due to your services. General liability insurance covers such claims. In addition, this coverage may pay up to your policy limits for other instances, including:

  • Costs associated with settling your claim out of court or defending it in court
  • Damages you are found liable for
  • Court-awarded judgments
  • Attorney fees or investigative costs

Why Does My Treatment Center Need General Liability Insurance?

While you may not think your treatment center needs general liability insurance, you do. Unfortunately, accidents happen. Therefore, it is better to protect yourself in case someone files a lawsuit than risk financial loss if you're not protected.

Your facility is focused on providing the best possible care for your patients. You shouldn't worry about what happens if someone files a claim against you. Whether a visitor accidentally injures themselves by slipping on water or an employee accidentally damages a patient's property, accidents do happen. General liability coverage can provide peace of mind knowing you won't have to pay out of pocket.

For drug and alcohol treatment centers, general liability may provide coverage for the following:

  • Injuries to visitors, patients, volunteers, and other non-employees
  • Patient property damage
  • Any advertising damages, including:
    • Copyright infringement
    • False advertising, whether in print, on social media, or on digital
    • Libel and slander

Risks of Not Being Insured

Not having the proper insurance puts your facility, employees, patients, and volunteers at risk. If someone files a claim, not only do you risk damage to your reputation, but you also risk financial loss. Both of these risks could force your treatment center to close.

With general liability coverage, you can continue your day-to-day operations and treat your patients while your attorneys and insurance broker handle the claims process.

Finding the Right Insurance Coverage

The insurance process is stressful and complicated. You may struggle to balance providing your patients with the best care possible and contacting insurance companies. Luckily, there is a better way. Partnering with an insurance broker can help streamline the insurance process. A broker can analyze your treatment center's risks, compare general liability plans, and find one that offers the best protection at the best price.

In addition, working with an insurance broker ensures your facility and employees are fully protected. Your broker will work with you to find additional types of commercial insurance that may benefit your treatment center. General liability alone won't fully protect your center. However, an added combination of professional liability, umbrella, property, and other types of insurance might.

General liability insurance is essential for every business. Drug and alcohol treatment centers are no exception. However, navigating the process of deciding between occurrences and claims made by insurance can be complicated and steal time and energy away from your patients. Luckily, the team at Leavitt Coastal Valley is here to help treatment centers every step of the way. Our insurance specialists will work with you to learn the ins and outs of your facility. Once we identify where you may be vulnerable to liability suits, we'll work to find the right insurance policy for you. In addition, we can help you find a complete coverage plan that protects you from other claims, including property damage and malpractice claims. Insurance can be complicated. We make it simple, leaving you covered and allowing you to focus on treating your patients. Contact us today at (805) 925-8607 to learn more.

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