What is professional liability insurance?
Sometimes called malpractice insurance, Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) is a policy that covers individuals who provide professional services such as licensed athletic trainers. The coverage offers protection from losses that may result from being held responsible for the losses of patients/clients. This could be a result of claims of malpractice, error, or mistake committed or alleged to have been committed by the AT in a professional capacity.
Professional liability insurance is one form of protection for professionals and for patients/clients. PLI shields personal assets and may help maintain a good reputation by defense of allegations of wrongdoing which might be frivolous or false. For the patient/client who has damages through the actions of a professional, liability insurance provides funds available to make amends for the wrong that has been done. Often times when the professional is an employee of an organization, the employer is responsible for the actions of the employee. However, a court of law may find a professional personally responsible for an incident.
Do I need PLI to practice in Illinois?
The Illinois Practice Act does not mandate that ATs obtain PLI. However, certain employers may require that individual ATs maintain PLI. Additionally, it is strongly recommended to carry PLI when working as an independently contracted AT. It is best to consult your employer or a legal advisor on these issues.
For more resources on PLI, check out Risk and Liability from the NATA. NATA members can login to access the Liability Toolkit, also. Furthermore, NATA partners with a liability insurance company to offer discounted products to its members. If you're interested in reading about legal concerns in athletic training and how having PLI protects practicing ATs, check out the Sports Medicine Legal Digest.