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Thread: Professional Liability Insurance for Opticians

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Apprentice Mark Miller- POF's Avatar
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    Professional Liability Insurance for Opticians

    We get regular requests from our members seeking Professional Liability Insurance, and I have been hard pressed to find an insurance company that will write it, let alone write it reasonable rate.

    Below is part of an email message I just got from an agent that called me earlier this and said that she had a company that would write the policies at competitive rate and I asked her send me information that I could share with our members....

    I’ve learned that Professional Liability for Opticians will start probably at $1500 for one Optician and 2 technicians and go up from there depending on the number of Opticians. This insurance will cover any professional issues they may have up to the liability limit that they choose.
    I was surprised at this rate...

    So is there anyone out there that knows a company that is writing policy that is more affordable and more in line with the risk?

    Are most opticians paying those kinds of rates?

    Or are opticians going without professional liability?

    Any thoughts on this issue?

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    They're on the high side. I have a 2 million in coverage and I'm paying less than half that. My agent found that rate from The Hartford Insurance Company, after my original carrier went up on their rates.
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  3. #3
    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    Should labs have this too??
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    Labs only need it if they are afraid of the opticians lawyers. Or it seems to me that somewhere there is a court ruling (another of those silly liberal judges) that has ruled that the last person to do something in manufacture is the liable party. Or at least I have heard some of my "fellow" contact lens techs use this as an excuse for not personally modifying contact lenses.

    I think I have 2 million (have product, professional and personal liabilty) for about $500.00. Not shure about exact figures though, would have to check with insurance agent and accountant.

    Chip

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    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    I have 2 mill., and it's around $650 from Auto/Owners Ins. (and no, it's not auto insurance.)
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  6. #6
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacqui View Post
    Should labs have this too??
    Jacqui, the reasons optical shops have it is that it is required by third party payers.Its reasonably cheap compared with other professions and the premiums are based somewhat on the history of the profession as a whole, concering liability and awards.
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    Master OptiBoarder
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    Donegal Mutual in Lancaster County, PA has policies for Optical.

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    You could try to get an umbrella policy that would cover you in case of many things but I don't know if the third party carriers would consider it liability. Ask your insurance agent.

  9. #9
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Bronze Supporter mike.elmes's Avatar
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    If Canadian, and a member of the Opticians Association of Canada the rates seem reasonable...


    Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance
    Together with Mitchell & Abbot Group, the Opticians Association of Canada offers members Errors/Omissions Liability Insuranceat the low rate of $75.00/year* for three million dollars of coverage or $90.00/year* for five million dollars. The policy protects members from lawsuits being brought against them as a result of professional negligence. At the moment, most provinces already require you carry Professional Liability Insurance.

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    It's ditto for the province of Ontario. Quite reasonable compared to the US.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Now I See's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcjilson View Post
    They're on the high side. I have a 2 million in coverage and I'm paying less than half that. My agent found that rate from The Hartford Insurance Company, after my original carrier went up on their rates.
    Hi all....I have my liability insurance through Hartford as well, and have been pleased with the rates.

  12. #12
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter rbaker's Avatar
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    Other factors effecting premiums will be the type of practice the optician is working in whether owned by an independent optician or whether the optician is a hired hand in an optometric or medical practice. Additionally rates are effected by the state you are doing business in and whether the business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or corporation.

    I'll second the recommendation of The Hartford. You should be able to find an agent in your local phone book.

  13. #13
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter rbaker's Avatar
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Bronze Supporter mike.elmes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather A View Post
    Hi all....I have my liability insurance through Hartford as well, and have been pleased with the rates.
    What are the rates?

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    OptiBoard Apprentice Mark Miller- POF's Avatar
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    An update and revised quote on the policy

    Thank you to all of you that provided information on professional liability insurance. I consolidated the information and shared it with the insurance agent that had quoted me the original premium of $1500. And amazingly got this response;

    Thank you for the opportunity to clear up the question of the quote I provided to you last week.
    I talked with my underwriter regarding the cost of Opticians Professional Liability and learned that he was quoting for a store that has one Optician and two technicians and may be bringing in more to their operation.
    The cost for one Optician is about $200.00 per year.
    I think this will put us on target for meeting your expectations. I would like to continue to discuss the possibility of working together and will wait to hear from you.
    Maybe, I should not be so amazed that insurance companies play with the numbers. But a $1300 price shift per year is unconscionable, if not concerning if their rates have any integrity at all.

    Thank you again to all of you for your help and insight - it is great to know that there such a great resource available.

    Warmly

  16. #16
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Miller- POF View Post
    Thank you to all of you that provided information on professional liability insurance. I consolidated the information and shared it with the insurance agent that had quoted me the original premium of $1500. And amazingly got this response;
    Thank you for the opportunity to clear up the question of the quote I provided to you last week.
    I talked with my underwriter regarding the cost of Opticians Professional Liability and learned that he was quoting for a store that has one Optician and two technicians and may be bringing in more to their operation.
    The cost for one Optician is about $200.00 per year.
    I think this will put us on target for meeting your expectations. I would like to continue to discuss the possibility of working together and will wait to hear from you.
    Maybe, I should not be so amazed that insurance companies play with the numbers. But a $1300 price shift per year is unconscionable, if not concerning if their rates have any integrity at all.

    Thank you again to all of you for your help and insight - it is great to know that there such a great resource available.

    Warmly
    From the agents response I believe that the "unconscionable" quote was for liability insurance on the entire business. This coverage would include many risks that the individual employee would not be exposed to. That being said the original quote is not out of line. When you are negotiating insurance coverage you should be very explicit with your requirements. Do you want insurance for businesses or individuals?

  17. #17
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Now I See's Avatar
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    Hello..sorry it took so long to respond..been browsing through all the other posts on my down time, and just got around to checking back on this one...ONLY a month late!! Anyway, to answer your question, the rates depend on how you pay...yearly they are around $1,000 (if you pay quarterly or monthly the yearly rate is usually a little higher)

    Not sure if I'm allowed to mention prices or not, please forgive me...new girl, with glasses...what can I say!

    Have a great day!
    Heather

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