malpractice insurance

Average Cost of Malpractice Insurance for Athletic Trainers

Being an athletic trainer is one of the many blessings in a career choice. Not only do you get to pursue a healthy work lifestyle but you can help people in more ways than imaginable. You have the ability to encourage people while helping them get in shape, heal from injuries, and cater to their mental and emotional well-being as they find a groove with your suggestions.

Liability insurance, otherwise known as malpractice insurance is important in any job. However, when you’re working with the public and introducing them to unique injury and treatment challenges, you’re at a higher risk and need to be protected.

crossfit gym trainer

FACTORS THAT IMPACT YOUR MALPRACTICE INSURANCE PREMIUM

When you’re looking at insurance coverage, take into account things that may make your premium rise. A few factors to consider are as follows:

Location – It may not seem like prime real estate will cause providers to raise or lower your malpractice insurance, but they use your location to gauge your business and follow state laws that require specific limits. Each state has a set of recommended or required limits regarding physician’s coverage so that you’re protected but also paying for that protection.

Specialty AT – Since specialty practices come with a higher risk of insurance claims, being a specialty athletic trainer will typically raise your annual premium. This is most often seen with patients or clients that have more severe injuries that may have required surgery.

Working Hours – Many providers will offer discounts depending on whether you’re practicing full time or part-time. If you’re working part-time then a carrier might see you as a lower risk client and lower your annual premium based on the belief you’ll have fewer claims.

Speaking of claims, your claims history may be able to help you out in the long run. Nearly all carriers offer some type of loss-free or claims-free discounts, giving you up to a 20% lower rate if your claims history is favorable.

Now that you know a little about how to save money with your annual premium, let’s focus on your policy options and the average costs of malpractice insurance.

CONSIDERING DIFFERENT PLANS

There are many policies out there, and choosing which one is the best for you might seem a little stressful at first. One of the first details you need to look at might be whether you’re starting your own practice or you’re going to be working under somebody else as an employee. If you’re working under a practice, your annual premium will more than likely be grouped into their pre-existing policy. This means that your carrier has already been chosen and the policy details are already set. However, you should still review your coverage to have an understanding of what happens if a suit is filed or if you leave that group.

Pros vs Cons

Some positives and negatives come with both options when it comes to a group premium or independent coverage, and reviewing some of the pros and cons might help you make a decision based on your needs and desires.

Solo Work – With having an independent plan, you can easily manage your policy and pay for the coverage that you personally want. This is great because it allows you to have control over your plan, choose your premium expenses, and adjust it to meet any specialty coverage you might need.

The downside to working solo is that your malpractice insurance is solely your responsibility. For somebody just starting out, this might seem expensive and add stress to the job. However, don’t let it discourage you and do what’s best for your practice personally.

Working Under Another Practice – When you work under a group policy, expenses are often cheaper and easier to manage. This is fantastic when it comes to looking at the money side of things, but could be risky since you may not have control of the exact coverage you have.

In addition to deciding whether you’d like to work with a group or tackle the expenses alone, deciding what type of coverage you’ll need can help you understand your potential expenses. Things you might want to consider when comparing policies are as follows:

  • Will you need any specialty coverage for higher risk treatment?
  • Do you plan to bring in additional partners that’ll work under you?
  • Are you looking for an occurrence or claims-made policy?

Claims-made policies only cover incidents that occur and are reported while you’re insured with that carrier, while occurrence claims provide lifetime coverage for incidents that occurred while the policy is in effect. Occurrence claims allow you to file a claim later if needed. The main selling point between having an occurrence policy and a claims-made policy is the money. Claims-made policies tend to be inexpensive and much lower than occurrence policies.

trainers doing crossfit

WHAT WOULD MY AVERAGE COST BE?

Now that you understand the different things that might raise or lower your policy, it’s time to get an idea of what you’re looking at spending. Depending on which type of policy you go with, whether you’re working under a group policy or paying for an independent policy, the costs are pretty easy to understand.

Different carriers will offer you different prices on malpractice insurance, and some may give you competitive rates, but you can look at spending as low as $195 and as high as $550 on your premium. With group policies, you may spend lower depending on the specific coverage provided. With full coverage or specialty coverage, your premium may go up on the higher end but will offer you better protection for that higher price.

On average, you can expect to spend between $195 and $300 for the very basics of a policy.

When you’re weighing your insurance options, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We’ll discuss what you’re looking for in a policy and help you determine what coverage is going to provide you with the best malpractice insurance as an athletic trainer.