Why do social workers need insurance?
Social workers require insurance in order to comply with contractual and regulatory obligations. Your profession involves the noble responsibility of safeguarding and assisting vulnerable individuals, but it also carries inherent risks.
Compensation demands for being negligent
Clients trust you to provide them with advice and expertise that improves their lives. If you fail to meet their expectations, they may feel justified in seeking compensation.
Claims of causing an injury
As a social worker, there is a risk of facing lawsuits from clients if the assistance you provide results in an accident.
Something you said is taken out of context
During your one-on-one sessions, it's important to be mindful of what you say and how it may be interpreted by your clients. Any discriminatory or inappropriate remarks could lead to legal action.
Accusations of failing duty of care
Despite your best efforts, there may be instances where your actions are perceived as inadequate, resulting in a case of failing to fulfil your duty of care.
Professional indemnity insurance for social workers
Professional indemnity insurance protects social workers from the risks implicit in your work. During your day, you give advice or make recommendations to clients that can have significant real-life impacts.
If a client claims that they followed your advice, and it went on to negatively affect them, you could find yourself facing significant legal problems. Therefore, professional indemnity cover is a must-have backup plan for an independent social worker.
If, despite your best efforts, you may face a legal demand for compensation, your professional indemnity insurance will provide legal representation and take care of any payouts if you are found liable.
What does social worker professional indemnity insurance cover?
In your role as a social worker, it is important to be aware of potential risks that may have negative consequences on your career, financial stability, and overall livelihood.
Professional indemnity insurance exists to respond to legal accusations made against you by dissatisfied clients.
- Failing your duty of care
- Acting negligently
- Giving the wrong advice or recommendation
- Failing your responsibilities as a social worker
- A client claims your professional advice caused them harm
- You were unable to give the correct advice when you should have
- You shared a client's confidential information with an unauthorised party
- You acted in a discriminatory manner
- You caused offence
Switching professional indemnity insurance
Typically, in the UK, if you cancel a professional indemnity policy, you can no longer claim against it.
Therefore, if you switch your social work insurance provider, be sure your new policy covers your past work; this is called “retroactive cover”.
Should I keep professional indemnity insurance if I pause my social working activities?
It’s wise to keep your professional indemnity if you’re taking a break or retiring from social working. Claims against professional misconduct can surface months or years after you delivered the work.
Remember: If you cancel your policy, your insurance coverage will end, including coverage for any previous work.
How long you keep your cover in place is up to you. Consider the type of social work you did and the likelihood that a client might bring a claim against you.
Public liability insurance for social workers
Public liability insurance protects social workers against accusations of causing an accidental injury, death or property damage.
As a social worker, you meet your clients face-to-face in various settings. If you work independently, you are unlikely to have the chance to think about the implications of who might be at fault if an accident happens.
What does social worker public liability insurance cover?
Public liability insurance protects you against legal accusations and compensation demands when either your client or a third party alleges that you have caused.
- accidental injury or death
- accidental property damage
- During a social work visit, someone may claim you bumped the desk and caused damage to an expensive electronic device
- Your decision to intervene led to an accidental injury or death
Other insurance social workers buy
As a social worker, other insurance you might need will depend on your circumstances. Are you capable of replacing your computer equipment in case it gets lost, damaged or stolen? Would you be able to handle a legal dispute if it arises? Can you manage an HMRC tax audit?
Commercial legal expenses insurance
Most commercial legal expenses insurance will protect social workers against various tax and legal issues you may encounter due to your profession, which are not covered by professional indemnity or public liability.
At Suited, we combined £100,000 of commercial legal expenses insurance with helplines and other tools to better assist social works in dealing with these issues. We call this Business Legal Protect, and it’s part of your subscription.
Business Legal Protect offers qualified advice and assistance with:
- Legal and tax matters concerning your business
- Criminal prosecution
- Compliance & regulation issues
- HMRC flags you for an IR35 investigation
- You need legal help chasing a major unpaid invoice
- You need guidance on compliance issues for your business
Business equipment insurance
As a social worker, you may need to collect notes and evidence to support your cases. This may require you to carry specialised equipment.
If your work relies heavily on electronic business equipment, it may be beneficial to consider electronic business equipment insurance. This can help ease the financial burden of repairing or replacing essential equipment if it's lost or stolen.
Social workers we insure
Suited offers comprehensive insurance policies that cater to the needs of a wide range of social workers, including:
- Adult carers
- Best interest assessors
- Care managers
- Carers for older people
- Child and youth carers
- Drugs & alcohol workers
- Family social workers
- Grants and benefits assessors
- Mental health workers
- Occupational therapy workers
- and more..
Shopping for social work liability insurance
Regardless of your decision to use Suited as an insurance provider for your social worker business, it is important to keep the following considerations in mind:
Cheap social worker insurance
Don't just look at price when it comes to social worker insurance. Make sure your provider offers quality after-sales service and is easily accessible for any inquiries or concerns. Suited offers multiple communication options and responds promptly.
The reputation of the insurer is important
You want to make sure you have good coverage when you need it most. That's why it's important to choose an insurer with a good reputation for payouts. At Suited, we only work with financially stable insurers that have an A+ rating.
Many providers charge fees to amend or cancel
Be cautious of low initial prices from other providers, as they may hide additional fees for monthly payments or policy amendments and cancellations. At Suited, we don't charge any extra fees, and you can cancel anytime without any further payments.
Watch for non-refundable deals
Some insurers offer annual packages at attractive prices, but be sure to read the fine print. Policies under £100 are often non-refundable. With Suited, you only pay for the insurance you use.