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The Basics: The Lowdown on Veterinary Insurance

Posted in The Basics - Managing Your Veter @ Sep 7th 2020 - By Leanne Pilpott, Pet Professional
The Basics The Lowdown On Veterinary Insurance

When you become a vet you face special risks, which is why it pays to know which type of veterinary insurance plan best suits your business.

Every business needs to get the basics right in order to be successful. From employing people with the correct skill set and having the necessary systems in place to organising your finances and ensuring you have appropriate insurance, getting things in order from the get-go, is going to make life a lot easier in the long run.

Certainly, vet practices like most businesses are required to have insurance in place to protect their practice. However, having insurance that is appropriate for a veterinary practice not only protects your business, it can also help safeguard your reputation and assets.

What to consider when taking out veterinary insurance

Whether you have your own veterinary practice or you intend to work as a consultant vet, there is a whole gamut of things that could potentially go wrong. Unfortunately, not only do accidents and unexpected events happen, they can also result in a claim being made against you or your practice.

Understanding the type of protection you need to shield your business, not to mention your reputation, against a damage claim or financial loss is vital.

Of course, first things first, it’s essential to recognise that every business is different. As such, it’s important to consider (and ideally write down) the nature or your business and the scope of your practices. This will help you decide which type of veterinary insurance you might require.

Veterinary insurance explained

In order to make an informed decision on the best insurance for you or your business, it’s important to know which types of policies are available and what they cover. Here’s an overview.

Professional Indemnity — to help protect you against legal action

Vets can work with animals in a wide range of settings, which can expose you to greater risks. A key insurance policy for all veterinarians is Professional Indemnity.

This can help protect you against claims of negligence relating to advice given or action taken. Considerations include failing to diagnose or correctly treat an illness or injury, providing incorrect or misleading advice or information, administering inappropriate medicine or failing to advise on or provide protective measures. While none of these actions may be intentional, an alleged or actual breach of your duty of care could result in a client making a claim against you. Having Professional Indemnity insurance in place offers protection against legal action.

Public Liability — to protect your business against personal injury or property damage claims

Alongside Professional Indemnity insurance, Public Liability will reduce the risks associated with claims for third-party personal injury and/or property damage. It provides cover against financial liability when someone is injured or has their property damaged and you or your business is at fault.

Business Insurance — to protect your premises and contents against loss, damage or theft

Business insurance can be personalised to meet your individual needs. Typically, this type of policy will provide protection against damage or theft of office contents or stock, damage to the building, as well as the breakdown of machinery or equipment. Essentially, it gives you peace of mind that your important contents and equipment are safe and that in the event of theft, loss or damage you will avoid financial stress.

Business Interruption Cover — to protect against lost revenue or income if your business is interrupted

While other policies offer protection against property damage and the financial strain of claims being made against you, what happens if a flood or fire devastates your practice? Business Interruption insurance can help cover the cost of lost income due to an interruption to your business. In some instances it might pay for the relocation and set up of a temporary practice facility.  

Management Liability — protects businesses and directors against allegations of unlawful activity

Having Management Liability insurance in place allows you to run your business without the worry of financial loss from allegations of wrong-doing. It offers protection against legal costs associated with allegations of mismanagement, misconduct or legislative breaches.

Tax Audit — covers expenses related to an audit conducted by the ATO

Any business that has ever endured a tax audit will know the financial burden it can bring. After all, having to employ the services of accountants, bookkeepers, lawyers and other financial advisors can result in hefty fees. Tax Audit insurance covers the expenses incurred during an audit to help lessen the financial stress.

Before taking out an insurance plan

Having the right insurance in place is paramount. It will help protect your business and safeguard its future success. However, before taking out an insurance policy it’s important to take the following actions.

1. Describe your business and its activities. 

When taking out an insurance policy it’s likely that you’re going to be asked about your business. Be geared up by having a description of your business and a thorough list of your services. Being prepared will help ensure you end up with the right insurance plan and the greatest protection.

2. Consider all the potential risks your business faces.

It’s important to be honest with yourself when taking out insurance to protect your business. What could you potentially be held liable for? What events or disaster could strike and who or what might be affected? It’s vital to ask yourself these questions to fully understand the type of insurance cover you need.

3. Note the different types of insurance that address the risks associated with your individual business.

Here you might consider the likelihood of the risk occurring, the potential extent of damage and associated costs, as well as the bigger-picture financial damage it could pose to your business operations.

4. Evaluate multiple policies.

Before deciding on an insurance policy it’s essential to compare plans. After all, you want the best veterinary insurance cover at the right price. Aside from the premium and what is covered, make certain you look at what is excluded too. Note the sum of money insured, any limits, as well as the claim process. Also, don’t forget to check the excess amount you will need to pay in the event of making a claim.

Click here to visit the Pet Professional Business Directory Page for more information about the right insurance for your veterinary business

About Leanne

Leanne is a professional writer who works alongside her fur pal Chewie, delivering information that is accurate and relevant to the readers of the Pet Professional Blog.



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