As a practising therapist, it's important to choose the right insurance policy to ensure that both you and your clients have adequate protection.
The Ethical Framework commits all BACP members to being “covered by adequate insurance when providing services directly or indirectly to the public” (Good practice point 19).
It's also a requirement of joining the BACP register that you have "adequate, current and ongoing professional indemnity insurance". Registered members selected for audit need to provide proof that they have this insurance in place.
What type of insurance?
If you’re seeing clients in a professional capacity, you must be covered by a professional liability insurance policy.
Employers or placement providers may provide insurance, but if you’re working in private practice you must have your own policy in place. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your insurance cover is appropriate for your practice, taking into account the nature and extent of its risks.
Your policy should include both:
- public liability or third party cover, in case a client is injured while visiting your premises, for example
- professional indemnity cover, in case you are sued by a client for negligence or malpractice
You should also ensure that your car insurance includes business usage to cover you when travelling to a workplace or a business or supervision appointment.
How much does insurance cost?
The price of insurance policies can vary between providers depending on the type and level of cover provided.
How do I find the right policy?
Professional liability insurance is available from a wide range of providers.
If you work from home, you may be able to add public liability cover to your house insurance policy. Your insurer will need to know how many clients you're likely to see at home and your premiums may increase.
Some companies specialise in insuring counselling professionals. It's always advisable to get several quotes and look carefully at the level of cover offered before buying - for example, some companies offer a legal helpline while others don't.
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