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Business Insurance For Physiotherapists

Compare business insurance quotes with Savvy to find the best policy for physiotherapists 

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, updated on July 27th, 2023       

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Just like many other allied health professionals, physiotherapists work very closely with their patients to help alleviate and treat a wide range of ailments. Because a physiotherapist’s work involves so much close contact with patients, the risk of something going wrong is always present. This is why liability insurance is so important and indeed compulsory in Australia for those working in the industry.  

You can compare quotes for many types of business insurance here with Savvy. Just answer a few simple questions about your business and the insurance you need and you’ll have multiple quotes from a range of respected insurers to consider instantly. Use our quick and easy comparison service to make sure you get the best value insurance today. 

What types of insurance should I buy for my physiotherapy business?

There are several types of insurance you should consider if you run a physiotherapy business, including the following: 

Professional indemnity insurance 

Professional indemnity insurance (also known as malpractice insurance) covers you against claims that the advice, recommendations or physio service you provided were either wrong or negligent. All physiotherapists are legally required by the Physiotherapy Board of Australia to have this type of insurance. Professional indemnity cover can offer you protection against many types of claims, including: 

  • Allegations the therapy you provided was not suitable, didn’t achieve the desired results or was ineffective 
  • Claims your therapy caused personal injury 
  • Claims the advice you offered was negligent, misleading or contrary to professional standards in your industry 

Cover starts at $250,000 and can go up to $10 million or more. It's compulsory for all physiotherapists and is also a requirement to join many professional associations. Practitioners who are union members may have this malpractice liability cover provided through their union fees, but if you’re a business owner or don’t belong to a union, you’ll need to arrange this insurance yourself.  

What it covers 

  • Payment of compensation if there’s a successful claim against you 
  • Payment of court-awarded damages to the litigant 
  • Cover for your legal defence costs 
  • Cover for the cost of disciplinary proceedings or investigations 

Public liability insurance 

Public liability insurance is also essential for anyone working with members of the public as patients and clients. It will cover you against claims that your activity caused injury to a member of the public or damaged their property. This insurance can offer between $5 million and $20 million worth of cover.  

What it covers:  

  • Third-party personal injury claims 
  • Damage to a third party’s property 
  • Legal fees to defend yourself 

General business insurance 

General business insurance may also be worthwhile if you own a physiotherapy business and have portable equipment and tools which you wish to protect in addition to your office or clinic building. Commercial vehicles aren’t included as part of general business insurance, so if you provide a mobile service or have a work vehicle you may need separate commercial vehicle protection. 

What it covers: 

  • Fire, storms, theft, vandalism and collision which cause damage to your business assets 
  • Specialist cover for electronic equipment and other portable equipment  
  • Limited business interruption insurance 

Cyber liability insurance 

Cyber liability insurance is another form of insurance that physiotherapists and other allied health professionals (including nurses) will need if clients’ financial or medical records are kept on a computer or laptop. This type of insurance will protect you from the effects of cybercrime in an age when many bad actors are trying to get hold of sensitive information. 

What it covers 

  • Data breaches including theft of client information 
  • The cost of forensic investigation into the cause of the breach 
  • Data recovery costs 
  • Cyber extortion and denial of service threats 
  • Crisis management costs 
  • Advertising and communicating with customers 
  • Legal costs including any fines and penalties imposed 

What isn’t covered under business liability insurance for physiotherapists?  

The most common exclusions for the above types of insurance include:  

  • Injury to yourself or your employees 
  • Flood damage 
  • Unlawful activity or criminal negligence 
  • Prior known circumstances or risks 
  • Intentional or fraudulent acts 
  • Reckless behaviour or intentional damage 
  • Anything to do with asbestos 
  • The effects of pollution caused by your business activity 
  • Damage to computer hardware 
  • Upgrading of a system not related to cybercrime 
  • Power outages or failure of satellite or telecommunication services 
  • Prior known circumstances or risks 

How much will my physiotherapy business insurance policy cost? 

There is no set cost for an insurance policy, as each applicant is different and faces unique risks. Many factors influence the cost of business insurance, including the following:  

  • The state you’re in  
  • Whether you live in a rural or urban area 
  • Whether you’re a sole trader, are in a partnership or run a larger business 
  • Your business size and turnover  
  • If you have any employees 
  • Your credit history  
  • Your insurance history 
  • Whether you’ve made an insurance claim in the past five years 

The main factor which will affect the cost of your insurance is the industry you’re in. All businesses in Australia are classified according to the risk their industry poses, and are allocated a risk ratio. These ratios are used by insurers to calculate the comparative risk of any one business compared to another.  

However, the cost of insurance also varies depending on where you live. For example, public liability insurance in Victoria for a physiotherapist won’t necessarily cost the same as for an identical professional in Sydney. 

There are many more variables which will affect the cost of your public liability insurance, so the best way to find out exactly how much your insurance will be is to get a free, no-obligation quote through Savvy. Whether you’re employed in a hospital or private practice or run your own business, you’ll have a great chance of finding a top policy for your needs right here. 

Why do I need business liability or malpractice insurance as a physiotherapist?

You worked hard to get qualified and may have spent plenty of time setting up your own business too, so it makes sense to want protection in case things go wrong. Because we’re all human, mistakes can happen, so you want to know you’re protected just in case you’re the subject of a legal claim. In addition, public liability insurance is compulsory for physiotherapists in Australia, so you do need to have this insurance in place in order to work. 

Business insurance offers protection if a covered event takes place and can give you peace of mind knowing you’re protected for a range of incidents. If you do have adequate insurance, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting back on your feet quickly if an issue does arise. 

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Frequently asked questions about business insurance for physiotherapists

What is professional indemnity run-off cover for physiotherapists?

This is insurance which covers you for a period after you’ve sold your business, moved to another business or retired. It provides liability cover for any claims made a long time after treatment was originally provided. 

 

Is professional indemnity run-off cover compulsory for physiotherapists?

Yes – the Physiotherapy Board of Australia states that run-off cover is compulsory for physiotherapists. The length of time you’re required to have such cover will depend on your personal situation, but it’s often recommended for six to eight years after retirement. Seek specific advice from the Board if you’re considering selling your physio business or retiring. 

Does professional indemnity insurance cover physiotherapy treatment for friends or family at home?

No – you won’t be covered by your professional indemnity insurance if you provide treatment for family or friends on an informal basis at home, so it’s best to check the details of your insurance policy to confirm exactly when your insurance cover applies. 

If I volunteer as a physio at a sports club, will my professional indemnity insurance still cover me?

No – your professional indemnity insurance is intended to protect you at your workplace during normal consultation hours. It almost certainly won’t cover you if you volunteer your services to a sports club. However, there is additional insurance which is available for such circumstances, so ask your insurance company if they can give you details about liability cover for volunteer roles. 

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