As a social worker, you are responsible for ensuring the well-being of your clients. However, sometimes things can go wrong, and you may find yourself facing a lawsuit. This is where NASW liability insurance comes in. In this article, we will discuss what NASW liability insurance is, why you need it, and how to get it.
What is NASW Liability Insurance?
NASW liability insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage to social workers in the event of a lawsuit. It is designed to protect social workers from the financial consequences of a lawsuit, such as legal fees and damages awarded to the plaintiff.
NASW liability insurance is offered by the National Association of Social Workers, which is the largest professional organization for social workers in the United States. The insurance policy is underwritten by NASW Assurance Services, which is a subsidiary of the NASW.
What does NASW Liability Insurance Cover?
NASW liability insurance covers a wide range of legal claims that may be brought against social workers. Some of the most common claims include:
Up to $1 million per claim and $3 million annual aggregate
Breach of confidentiality
Up to $25,000 per claim and $50,000 annual aggregate
Up to $1 million per claim and $3 million annual aggregate
Up to $100,000 per claim and $300,000 annual aggregate
Note that these coverage limits are subject to change, and you should always consult your policy documents for the most up-to-date information.
What is the Cost of NASW Liability Insurance?
The cost of NASW liability insurance varies depending on a number of factors, such as your location, the type of social work you do, and the amount of coverage you need. As of 2021, the annual cost of NASW liability insurance ranges from $163 to $529, with most policies falling in the $200-$300 range.
It is important to note that the cost of NASW liability insurance is tax-deductible as a business expense. This means that you can deduct the cost of your insurance premiums from your taxable income, reducing your tax liability.
Why do You Need NASW Liability Insurance?
As a social worker, you work with vulnerable populations who may be prone to filing lawsuits. Even if you provide the best possible care, there is always a chance that something could go wrong and a client could file a claim against you.
Without liability insurance, defending yourself against a lawsuit can be financially devastating. Legal fees alone can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and if you are found liable, you could be responsible for paying damages to the plaintiff. Having NASW liability insurance can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you are protected in the event of a lawsuit.
Who Needs NASW Liability Insurance?
All social workers should consider getting NASW liability insurance. This includes both clinical and non-clinical social workers, as well as those who work in private practice or for an agency. Students who are currently enrolled in a social work program may also be eligible for coverage.
It is important to note that some employers may provide liability insurance as part of their employment benefits package. However, this coverage is often limited and may not provide adequate protection in the event of a lawsuit. If you are unsure whether your employer provides liability insurance, it is always best to check with your HR department.
How to Get NASW Liability Insurance?
Getting NASW liability insurance is a simple and straightforward process. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Check Eligibility
To be eligible for NASW liability insurance, you must be a member of the National Association of Social Workers. If you are not already a member, you can join online at the NASW website.
Step 2: Choose Coverage
Once you are a member, you can choose the type and amount of coverage that you need. NASW offers several different policy options, including individual and group coverage.
Step 3: Apply Online
You can apply for NASW liability insurance online through the NASW Assurance Services website. The application process is quick and easy, and you can usually get coverage within a few days of submitting your application.
Step 4: Pay Premiums
Once you are approved for coverage, you will need to pay your insurance premiums. You can choose to pay your premiums monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Step 5: Review Policy Documents
Make sure to carefully review your policy documents to ensure that you understand what is covered and what is not. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact NASW Assurance Services for assistance.
What is the difference between occurrence-based and claims-made coverage?
Occurrence-based coverage provides coverage for claims that arise from incidents that occurred during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed. Claims-made coverage provides coverage only for claims that are filed during the policy period, regardless of when the incident occurred. NASW liability insurance provides occurrence-based coverage.
Can I cancel my NASW liability insurance policy?
Yes, you can cancel your policy at any time by contacting NASW Assurance Services. However, keep in mind that if you cancel your policy, you will not be covered for any claims that arise after the cancellation date.
Does NASW liability insurance cover claims made outside of the United States?
No, NASW liability insurance only provides coverage for claims made within the United States, its territories, and its possessions.
Yes, NASW offers group coverage for agencies and organizations that provide social work services. Contact NASW Assurance Services for more information about group coverage.
What is the difference between NASW liability insurance and malpractice insurance?
NASW liability insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for a wide range of legal claims that may be brought against social workers. Malpractice insurance is a type of liability insurance that specifically provides coverage for claims of professional negligence or misconduct. NASW liability insurance includes malpractice coverage.
NASW liability insurance is an essential form of protection for social workers. It provides coverage for a wide range of legal claims that may be brought against you, including malpractice, breach of confidentiality, personal injury, and property damage. By getting NASW liability insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are protected in the event of a lawsuit.