Professional Liability Insurance for Telemental Health Providers

man standing uder umbrella

How necessary is professional liability insurance? What if I own my own business? If there is a breach of client data, am I covered? 

To answer these questions and more, we asked for help from CPH and Associates, a professional liability insurance agency specialized in the mental health field since 2001. Below, CPH shares some common questions they hear from their insureds in relation to malpractice insurance and telehealth specifically.

To CPH and Associates:

Why not be self-insured or simply not insured?

Over the course of a career, most therapists will experience this “What should I do?” moment. Even the most ethical practitioner can make mistakes and find themselves in a difficult dilemma in client treatment.  Professional liability insurance is there to protect the clinician and to provide peace of mind in the unfortunate event that a complaint or lawsuit is filed.  Defending yourself can not only be damaging to your career and reputation, but also financially crippling. The low one-time annual payment for professional liability insurance ensures that you will be protected and will receive the necessary help in your time of need.  

What are common claims scenarios?

While subpoenas/depositions are a common occurrence, especially in custody disputes, providers may find themselves also named in a board complaint or lawsuit. Dual relationships, unprofessional conduct and failure to disclose information are common examples of claims that trigger coverage under a professional liability policy.  

What are CPH’s professional liability coverage options and highlights?

Limits of coverage are offered at $1,000,000 per occurrence/$3 million aggregate or $1,000,000 per occurrence/$5 million. 

Coverage highlights include:

  • Occurrence form lifetime coverage
  • State Licensing Board Defense Coverage
  • Unlimited Defense Coverage 
  • Optional General Liability, Business Personal Property and Cyber Liability

What is the difference between coverage for someone individually and their business?

Self-employed providers and W-2 employees who do NOT own an LLC or corporation are insured on an individual basis. Should a provider also own a legal entity (LLC, PLLC, S-corp), a corporate policy protects them individually, as well as their business entity. In the event of a claim, the individual provider can be sued, but so can their business entity. It is important to insure both! 

How are telehealth services covered?

Telehealth services have become a common extension of many providers’ practices, and there are a couple of nuances to keep in mind when assuring you are protected in the event of a claim. The CPH policy will cover telehealth services, if you are providing services legally within the scope of your state license. Should you provide telehealth services to a client residing in another state, confirm with your licensing board and the licensing board in your client’s state that both permit you to provide such services. 

Is there coverage for providing services internationally?

In short, the CPH policy will only cover claims that arise in the US court system. Should you have a client residing in another country for a time, confirm with your state licensing board that you can provide telehealth services in that country. Keep in mind, should the international client sue or file a board complaint, it must be done so in the US court system and services must have been provided legally.  

What are reasons a clinician would not be covered? 

The most common reasons for a denial in coverage is providing services outside the scope of your licensure, intentional acts or illegal/criminal activity. 

What is cyber liability coverage?

With Cyber attacks becoming more prevalent, it is essential to understand the risk and protect yourself. Cyber liability is protection against a data breach of your client’s information. Coverage highlights include:

  • Security Event Costs: Reimbursement for costs that are a result of Security Breach, Privacy Breach or breach of privacy regulations
  • Network Security and Privacy Liability Coverage: Coverage for damages you are legally obligated to pay as a result of a security breach or privacy breach
  • Customer Notification Expense Sublimit: Expenses to notify customers of actual or suspected breach to their non-public information
  • Public Relationship Expenses: Expenses to re-establish your reputation or public image that was damaged as a result of a breach

Cyber liability coverage can be added to an existing CPH professional liability policy.  

What are the consultation options with a lawyer?  What resources/documents/white papers does CPH and associates offer on how to stay out of hot water?

CPH & Associates offers an “Attorney Helpline” for our insureds that have questions regarding ethical dilemmas they may encounter with a client. This benefit allows for up to two hours per policy term for our insureds to speak with a malpractice attorney.  In the event that a lawsuit or complaint is filed, the insurance carrier would provide an attorney in your state to help defend you throughout the entire process. We also have our Avoiding Liability Bulletin published on our website. The bulletin is written by malpractice attorneys and insurance professionals regarding topics in the mental health field.  

Get a quote and apply!

CPH & Associates is a professional liability insurance agency specialized in the mental health field since 2001.  What separates us from our competitors is our efficiency and commitment to customer service. Our online application and customer portal allow our clients to receive coverage instantly and make changes in real time.  And, if our clients ever have questions, our call center is staffed with licensed agents that are happy to help.

 If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to visit our website at www.cphins.com. We’re always a phone call or email away! 

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

I really gained a deeper understanding of Telehealth. I think this course helps pave the way for success in our field. This was very convenient. I am so blessed to take a course like this during the crisis we are facing as a nation. This course really helps me perform at a high level for my job. THANKS!!!!!!!
Jackie Tanna
Therapist / Region One Mental Health
Great, course. Really helped me during this challenging time to connect with students.
Priscilla Robinson
School Counselor / Baltimore County Public Schools
Vey helpful and user friendly. Most importantly informative. Very good information to enhance an individual's practice.
La Keicia Boyd
Licensed Professional Counselor / Private Practice
Thank you for an informational, relevant course to help me obtain my TMH certificate. Excellent presentation.
Tomica Horton
counselor/therapist / Jodi Province Counseling Services
This course is providing me with valuable information that will be helpful in providing competent and effective services for clients.
Nancy Sweet-Holp, LMSW
Therapist / Liberty House of Albany
I took the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider Training Certification Course in 2018, I feel so lucky to have found the TeleHealth Certification Institute. It's a top notch training center which has continued to provide me with tools and the knowledge to grow my private teletherapy practice. I recently participated in the TeleMental Health Preparedness Summit 2020 and was definitely not disappointed. The excitement and enthusiasm from the participants and TeleHealth Certification Institute staff is contagious. I've been inspired, since, to look into taking more courses, and joined their FaceBook group. I will likely join their consultation group in the near future. I don't believe there is another training institute out there that is as good as this one for everything telebehavioral health. Thank you Ray! You are a visionary!
Larissa Golloub, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, solo practitioner / Larissa Golloub, LCSW
This course was very informative and very relevant to today's telehealth practices!
Keith Ayson
Housing Case Manager / Bridgeways
Courses were very informative! Extremely helpful!
Carron D. Alexander
LPC / Premier Counseling Services
The training was well structured and presented by a knowledge individual. Information shared in the training was useful, clear, and concise and can easily be incorporated into future practice techniques.
Dora Falls
LPC, MAC Private Practice - / Private Practice

The course was very detailed and informative. It covered everything that is necessary to work with Tele mental health.

Cynthia Allison
Mental health Counselor / Friendly Therapy LLC
It was one of the best courses I’ve attended; clear, well-structured, creative, transparent and professional! Bravo.
Elizabeth Tramonte, PsyD
Private Practitioner / Elizabeth Tramonte PC
Very informative. I learned things that I wasn't aware of about state laws!
Tamara Coleman
Counselor / Tamara Coleman Counseling LLC
The training was very informative, there was more in-depth information to the details of privacy and HIPAA on an electronic level that I was not aware of. The more technological part of it was new information to me.
Nellie Decker
Therapist II / Yakama Nation Behavioral Health
Amazing and relevant information conveyed over excellent format. This is a professional organization worth joining.
Summer Allan Wilson LCSW-S; Nationally Certified TFCBT
Pediatric Psychotherapist / East Texas Family Guidance Center
Wonderful free training. Helpful discussion on how to aid clients in breaking out of the negative thought trap.
Jaime Wright
Educational and informative content that was easy to follow and comprehend.
Scott Lipp, Ph.D., LMHC, LAC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Adjunct Professor / Greater Things, LLC; Florida Atlantic University
Very informative! Well organized! Takeaway- protect yourself- know your ethical code and standards/ be insured.
Brenda Staerker
Private practice / Thaxton Holistic Wellness
Very informative training, instruction was clear and easy to follow
Jill Bogan-El
Therapist
This course is more comprehensive than all the other HIPAA courses I've taken combined.
Michelle R. Gould, LMHC
Mental Health Counselor
Easily one of the best online or in-person workshops I have ever attended. The information was unbelievably relevant to current practice with our students doing e-learning and having to provide online therapy and support. Thank you so much for this workshop and the information.
Vincent Amador
School Psychologist / Thornridge High School
This course was extremely helpful understanding the legal requirements for interstate telehealth counseling.
Donald Kirk Henderson
Licensed Professional Counselor / Milestone Family Resources
This course was eye opening and highlighted some definite areas for improvement to better address emergency management planning.
Nikkita Scott
Director of Counselling & Student Activities / Bbermuda College
I learned a lot in this course and will put what I learned into practice when I move my home office space.
Raymond Corbo
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor / Redeemer Counseling Services
The course was so informative and I was glued to my screen for the entire duration. I received so much knowledge concerning ethics in telehealth and I am greatly encouraged to read about all the standards and policies that pertain to my practice. Thank you!
Bridgette Nalumu
Public health consultant / Green and Purple Consultancy Network
This course was very interesting and allowing me to understand the way telementalhealth services need to work correctly.
Patricia A Hill
Mental Health Counselor II and LCDC, MAC / Central County Services
Brillant concept and a great way to support counselors as they transition into on-line therapy/services.
Bianca Abrams
License Professional Counselor / The Wellness Institute of Atlanta
Very well done. Encourages active engagement in telemental health process while guiding effectively.
Chris Brotherton
Marriage and Family Therapist / Addiction Counselor / Brotherton Counseling LLC
Necessary technological guidance!
Frances D Murdock
This was quite beneficial. You explained well at a comfortable pace and you provided sufficient details for me to develop an Emergency Management Plan. Thank you!
Dr. STEPHEN KIURI GITONGA