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The Importance of Professional Liability Insurance for Retail Pharmacists

Like all medical professionals, pharmacists are dedicated to putting their patients’ health above all else. However, in order to take care of your many patients as well as you possibly can, you’re going to have to look out for yourself, too!

This is where professional liability insurance comes into play. Professional liability insurance helps to ensure that you can carry out all the necessary actions to help your patients without fear.

So do pharmacists need liability insurance? Definitely! Here are the basics you should know about professional liability insurance as a retail pharmacist.

What Is Professional Liability Insurance?

Put simply, professional liability insurance (also referred to as PLI) is insurance that protects professionals against negligence claims and various other claims that could be initiated by unsatisfied clients.

You may have heard of general liability insurance before. This is useful for individuals in many fields, as it protects against claims for injury, illness, and property damage. However, it isn’t sufficient for individuals working in specialized fields that could face claims of malpractice, negligence, or misrepresentation. For these cases, professional liability insurance is essential.

Professional liability insurance protects countless professionals, ranging from physicians to accountants, lawyers, and more. For medical professionals like pharmacists, liability insurance provides an essential protection that enables you to work and use your best judgment without fear.

As a pharmacist, you do your work under the potential threat of facing a lawsuit for medical malpractice (which could occur if the treatment you recommend or provide falls below the standard of care or results in the injury or death of a patient). If you ever face this situation, your professional liability insurance will cover legal expenses, medical expenses, settlements, and reimbursements, protecting you from significant financial responsibility.

Employer-Provided vs. Independent Insurance Policies

Typically, insurance policies for individual pharmacists are provided by their employers. 

If an employer does cover professional liability insurance for you, you may not require an additional policy.

Retail pharmacies should hold several insurance policies, including a general liability policy, workers’ compensation, and more. When an institution adds professional liability coverage for their employees, they are serving their best interests by protecting the business as a whole while also providing employees with crucial coverage.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that when the policy is in an employer’s name, it still may not provide all the coverage you need. In the unfortunate event that you do find yourself facing a claim from a patient, any ensuing action taken by your employer’s chosen insurance company could serve your employer’s best interests and leave you in a less-than-ideal position.

Workplace disputes and lawsuits could also take place between more than just you and a patient. You may find that incidents involve you and other members of the healthcare team you’re working with. If your insurance is managed by your employer, you may find that, without independent insurance protection, your individual interests are poorly served in such a situation.

For these reasons, an increasing number of pharmacists are taking out their own professional liability insurance policies, independent of their employer. If you take this route, it will ensure that you have an insurance company that will prioritize you and your best interests at all times.

Choosing a Pharmaceutical Professional Liability Policy

When choosing professional liability insurance, you need to ensure that you choose the right policy to suit your specific needs and requirements. It’s always advised that you thoroughly read the terms and conditions of the policy you’re considering taking out.

The right policy for you will depend on several factors:

  • the practice areas you work in
  • the services you provide to patients
  • the specific risks involved with your practice

No one policy will be appropriate for every pharmacist. Coverage that is sufficient for one pharmacist may not fully meet the needs and requirements of another. Therefore, rather than relying solely on recommendations, you need to fully research your options to ensure that your chosen policy covers every claim that could potentially be made against you.

Professional pharmaceutical liability insurance is something that all pharmacists should take into serious consideration. Even if your employer provides you with indemnity, you may still greatly benefit from taking out an additional policy of your own. With the information provided here, you can weigh the risks associated with your position and find the right policy to protect you against potential liabilities.