Counsellors provide a wide variety of services. Some deliver relationship counselling. Others help people deal with issues from their past. There are counsellors who specialise in personal development, for instance by helping you develop in your career. Some counsellors operate from their own premises, with clients coming to them for counselling. Others visit their clients, either at their own homes or at their places of work.
But despite the diverse nature of the profession, what these counsellors have in common is that they face risks on a daily basis, and these risks can lead to unexpected losses. Regular contact with third parties means that there’s a risk of a compensation claim being made against the counsellor. There’s also the risk that the counsellor’s property could be damaged or stolen.
This is why anyone involved in counselling should make sure that they have counselling insurance.
Because the counselling profession is very much a people business, the fact that counsellors come into contact with third parties on a regular basis means that they face an increased risk of a compensation claim being made against them.
Compensation claims can be expensive to settle. Even a relatively minor injury, such as a broken arm, will result in a five-figure settlement figure by the time legal fees and other expenses are taken into account. More serious injuries where the victim does not fully recover can easily reach six-figure settlement figures.
The costs of compensation claims can be covered by liability insurance and this is one of the most important types of counselling insurance. This’s also why all counsellors need counselling insurance. Liability insurance comes in a number of forms.
The first type – employers’ liability insurance – covers compensation claims made against you by your employees. This type of insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone.
The second type – public liability insurance – covers compensation claims made against you by third parties. It usually includes products liability insurance, so that you’re covered not just for compensation claims arising from things that you have done or failed to do, but also for compensation claims arising due to defects in products that you have sold or supplied.
It’s important that the public and products liability insurance includes a financial loss extension. This is because standard public and products liability insurance only covers compensation claims that involve an injury to a third party or damage to a third party’s property. The financial loss extension means that compensation claims for purely economic losses are covered.
The third type of liability insurance is malpractice insurance. Malpractice insurance combines public liability and professional indemnity insurance under one cover, and will cover for compensation claims arising from bodily injury, mental and psychological damage from both physical procedures and advice, or a combination of the two.
Stock & equipment insurance
Counsellors, like any other business, run the risk of their business property being damaged or stolen. The cost of repairing or replacing your business property in the event of such an event occurring could mean your business would struggle financially, so this is another reason that counsellors need counselling insurance.
You can cover a range of business property under this insurance, including your:
- Contents, fixtures and fittings
- Computers and other office equipment
- Other business equipment and property
There are a number of other risks that counsellors face, and counselling insurance can be extended via a number of optional extra covers to protect counsellors against these. Two examples are legal expenses insurance and personal accident insurance.
Legal expenses insurance, as the name suggests, protects you against incurring unexpected legal expenses. These could arise from contractual disputes, tax/VAT inspections, employment tribunals and the like.
Personal accident insurance protects your income in the event that you’re unable to work due to an injury or an illness. A weekly benefit is paid so you can continue to pay your bills while you’re unable to work. A lump sum is payable if you will not be able to return to your profession due to permanent disability.