Nursing Home Insurance
Nursing homes provide an important and singular role . These healthcare facilities provide our aging citizens – one of our most vulnerable populations – with not only the often-specialized health care they need but also with a home and everything that this entails. It’s a lot. Nursing homes provide a valuable service, but they are also businesses that must carefully assess their risk and manage it wisely via the implementation of appropriate insurance coverage.
If you own, run, or manage a nursing home, there is a wide range of considerations specific to your business that require your careful attention. The commercial insurance experts at Western Elite understand the complications that are unique to nursing home insurance , and we have the skill necessary to effectively address these complications with the acumen and clarity that come from our vast breadth of experience.
Your General Liability Coverage
General liability insurance is usually the first step in compiling comprehensive coverage that helps you protect your business while you focus on providing your aging residents with the care and the quality of life they deserve. Your general liability policy is intended to cover the majority of any non-employee claims that arise as a result of your nursing home’s daily business activities . There are several general liability issues that are unique to nursing homes, including:
- Nursing home residents are more vulnerable to serious injuries in any kind of accident, which means that nursing home facilities must be hyper-alert to all tripping hazards – and to all other threats related to premises liability. What might be considered reasonably safe within the general context of other kinds of businesses may not be within the context of a nursing home.
- Residents of nursing homes naturally receive many visitors. The nursing home is, after all, their home, and their loved ones – of all ages – may be inclined to visit regularly. This increases your risk related to liability.
Accidents like slip and falls come under your nursing home’s general liability policy.
Your Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance refers to coverage for your property itself . The buildings in which your nursing home is housed, the equipment you use to run it, the supplies you keep on hand, and your fixtures and furniture are all covered under your commercial property policy. This is the coverage that will be initiated in the event that the property associated with your nursing home is damaged in a covered event (or is stolen). In fact, because nursing homes serve aging citizens, commercial property insurance is critical.
If your building or the equipment and supplies you use to care for your residents is damaged, rectifying the situation as effectively and efficiently as possible is obviously paramount. While a younger, healthier group of people may be able to adapt to such losses in the short-term, those who require nursing home care are unlikely to be capable of doing so. Western Elite’s experts in nursing home insurance have the experience and vision to help you obtain the nursing home coverage that’s right for you.
Your Workers’ Compensation Coverage
If you’re running a nursing home , your employees are obviously the backbone of your facility. They’re the ones who provide your residents with the care they need to live their most rewarding lives, and you couldn’t have a successful nursing home without them. While every business is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, nursing homes have a very specific need for this coverage for all of the following important reasons:
- Your employees help your residents perform multiple tasks – some of which require considerable physical exertion – throughout their shifts, and this can lead to serious injuries that are related to overexertion, which are not uncommon.
- Nursing home staff must be prepared to address whatever issue comes their way – in the moment. And because they provide critical care for the weakest and most vulnerable among us, they are sometimes required to perform tricky physical maneuvers that can lead to dangerous falls.
- The fact is that providing nursing home care is challenging physical work, and this can contribute to high turnover rates. When turnover is high, it means that you’re more likely to be short-staffed, which can leave your remaining employees overworked and more accident and injury-prone. It also, however, can leave you with less experienced employees (hired in a pinch) who are more likely to be injured.
- Residents of nursing homes are typically more vulnerable to the ravages of illnesses coursing through the community at large, and the trying times we currently find ourselves living through succinctly highlight this point. The COVID-19 pandemic hit nursing home facilities hardest of all – endangering not only residents but also staff – and it’s difficult to imagine a more cogent example of the need for comprehensive workers’ compensation coverage.
Workers’ compensation insurance not only protects your business , but also covers your employees’ medical expenses and lost wages.
Your Employee Benefits Liability Coverage
As discussed, nursing homes often experience a high turnover rate, which leaves owners and managers vulnerable to liabilities related to employee benefits. Errors and omissions related to employee benefits packages can lead to serious financial difficulties, and when employee turnover is high, it makes such errors far more likely.
Your Professional Liability Coverage
Nursing homes provide medical care to vulnerable residents all day, every day, and errors can happen. While you only hire competent and experienced staff, this doesn’t mean that your nursing home will never face a claim related to a medical incident. This makes having robust professional liability insurance essential to running your facility as efficiently and safely as possible. Claims covered by professional liability insurance can include any of the following:
- Damages associated with the administration of the wrong medication or the wrong dosage to a resident
- Damages associated with providing the wrong treatment to a resident
- Damages associated with failing to ascertain a resident’s medical needs in a timely manner
It is especially important to discuss the issue of professional liability insurance. While healthcare facilities like nursing homes were especially hit hard, the medical profession was at something of a loss regarding how best to adequately confront the issue. In fact, there were few, if any, ironclad protocols to follow, and the issue of liability remains a question mark. In other words, when it comes to professional liability, maintaining vigorous coverage is key.
You can’t consider professional liability without factoring in the possibility of negligence and abuse. Nursing home negligence refers to failing to provide a resident with care that is adequate to allowing that resident to live his or her fullest life, including such things as adequate hydration, adequate nutrition, adequate personal hygiene, adequate opportunities to interact socially, and more. Nursing home negligence refers to a lapse in care while nursing home abuse refers to actions that are intended to harm the resident in question. Although your nursing home is dedicated to providing the best possible care to your residents, false allegations can happen.
Further, although you naturally hire those employees who are best suited to your facility and who are well qualified to do the important work – including having the appropriate skills and experience – one negligent or ill-intentioned employee can become a serious liability. The dedicated commercial insurance professionals at Western Elite understand your individual nursing home insurance needs and are here to help you tackle them head-on.
Your Commercial Auto Liability Coverage
Nursing homes have a lot going on, and some of this involves your employees and your residents leaving the facility. Whether an employee drives a resident or residents to a prearranged outing, to a medical visit, or to anything else, you’re going to need commercial coverage to protect all involved in the event of an accident. Even if an employee causes an accident while driving his or her own vehicle – and performing a job-related task – you will need to have commercial auto liability coverage.
Some smaller facilities believe they can forgo this important coverage, but if your staff drives your residents in any capacity or are ever required to drive while on the job (even if it's just to pick up supplies), you need to discuss commercial automobile liability coverage with an experienced commercial insurance professional.
The Issue of Sexual Misconduct
Unfortunately, the issue of sexual misconduct on the part of your employees must be considered. These abuses can happen even with the most robust policies and procedures in place, and most general liability policies specifically exclude such claims. In other words, in spite of the fact that sexual misconduct in a nursing home is especially reprehensible, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed in your comprehensive insurance coverage.
Discuss Nursing Home Insurance with Western Elite Today
Nursing homes provide essential services to our aging populations , and they face a variety of unique liability concerns that the dedicated insurance professionals at Western Elite have the expertise and experience to skillfully address. The residents of nursing homes are especially vulnerable and often require round-the-clock care, which increases the liability these healthcare facilities face to a considerable degree. Having the right insurance coverage for your nursing home is key to maintaining a smoothly running facility that offers your residents the home they deserve – while protecting yourself, your business, and your employees.