Liability Insurance Terms to Know for Mental Health Professionals

Professional liability insurance policies for psychologists or mental health professionals can be confusing, overwhelming, or may even seem unnecessary.

Below is a list of liability insurance coverage terms that you should familiarize yourself with as you research mental health professional insurance options.

Glossary of Common Terms You'll Find in Mental Health Professional Liability Insurance Policies

Assault Upon You – covers expenses which mental health profesionals can incur from a bodily injury or damage to their personal property resulting from an assault while traveling to and from their place of employment

Assets – a resource with economic value, whether that be completely monetary, or a material resource

Biomedical Defense – coverage that protects against claims alleging bodily injury or damage arising from biomedical waste

Counselor or Psychologist Malpractice Insurance – used interchangeably with counselor or psychologist liability insurance, malpractice insurance is designed to protect mental health professionals from claims of negligence or improper treatment

Counselor or Psychologist Professional Liability Insurance – also known as malpractice insurance, provides financial and legal protection from injuries and damages to patients and or property

Damages Incurred – charges or punishment that a mental health professional is obligated to pay as a result of a malpractice dispute before professional insurance benefits are paid out

Deductibles – the amount of money a mental health professional must pay before the insurance company will finance a claim

Deposition Fee Coverage – financial assistance for fees that result from a deposition that the insured mental health professional is required to attend

Employment Practices Liability – a type of liability insurance that covers wrongful acts arising from the employment process, including wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation

Extended Reporting Period – also known as tail coverage, extends coverage for incidents that happened during the time you had your policy, but a claim was not filed until after the policy was expired or cancelled

A – E

F – M

First Aid Coverage – financial help to insured mental health professionals in the event of an emergency that requires immediate attention. Expenses can cover things such as the cost of an ambulance or emergency medical procedures

Good Samaritan Coverage – protects an insured off-duty mental health provider against liability claims who offers help in an emergency situation should an injury or accident occurs.

HIPAA Defense – covers expenses that result from HIPAA infractions

Incident – an event or occurrence that spurred a liability or medical malpractice claim

Insurance Claim – a request for benefit compensation as a result of a covered incident

Liable – legal responsibility for an action

License Defense Coverage – assists insured mental health professionals with expenses incurred from protecting their professional license due to an investigation or proceeding originating from a malpractice claim

Loss of Earnings Coverage – provides assistance for lost wages, costs, and expenses due to an insured mental health professional’s required attendance at a trial, hearing, or arbitration proceeding as a defendant

Medical Payment Coverage – reimburses third parties for medical expenses incurred to treat injuries sustained arising from business activities

Mental Health Professional Insurance Policy – a contract between an insurer and a mental health provider who purchased insurance that details what the insurer is legally obligated to pay if an incident were to arise.

Negligence – the failure to exercise care that is reasonably expected of a mental health professional

Premium – monthly or annual payment amount mental health professionals pay for malpractice insurance

Risk Management – the process of mitigating the chances of something going wrong

Sexual Misconduct Coverage – provides indemnity to insured mental health providers for improper sexual misconduct claims including assault, harassment, defamation, or improper handling of misconduct allegations

Workplace/Premises Liability – protects landowners and tenants when someone gets hurt on their property due to dangerous conditions

N – Z

Do You Need Mental Health Professional Malpractice Insurance?

It is always advised that a psychologist, mental health counselor, or behavioral analyst secure their own individual professional liability insurance policy for minimized risk to personal assets or reputation. Before opting out of an individual malpractice insurance policy, make sure you know exactly what your employer’s policy covers and what your legal obligations are should you have to utilize the coverage under your employer’s policy.

The CM&F Advantage

The Most Comprehensive and Reliable
Malpractice Insurance
on the Market

CM&F was founded over a century ago. Through up and down markets, CM&F’s dedication to mental health industry professionals has never wavered. CM&F remains committed to making it easy and cost-effective to secure vital professional insurance coverage with:
  • A++ Rated Insurance & Lowest Priced Mental Health Professional Liability Insurance Products
  • Outstanding Customer Service with a Direct Contact Line
  • Superior Claims Management
  • Fast Automated Application Process
  • 24/7 Access to Your Personal Online Document Archive

Resources for Mental Health Professionals

At CM&F, we are dedicated to being an educational resource for counselors, psychologists, and behavioral health professionals. To accomplish this we have compiled a vast amount of information from salary figures, to questions to ask your employer, and even blog posts written by fellow healthcare professionals.

CM&F Group