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Ed Branam, DVM

Column: Protect and Defend

Dr. Ed Branam is veterinary and animal services program manager for Safehold Special Risk Inc., a division of USI Insurance. He serves on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Legislative Advisory Committee.

Dr. Ed Branam is veterinary and animal services program manager for Safehold Special Risk Inc., a division of USI Insurance. He serves on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Legislative Advisory Committee.

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Protect and Defend

A standard liability policy might not be sufficient for your practice. Consider umbrella coverage to protect against larger or multiple claims.

The number of lawsuits filed and monetary awards handed out have increased in today’s litigious society. As a result, coverage limits in standard commercial general liability policies — typically $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in annual aggregate — are often insufficient for modern veterinary practices. Your liability related to the transmission of zoonotic […]

insurance

Common knowledge

Protect and Defend

What if a client blamed you because her car was dented in your parking lot? Or if the photo you posted on your website violated copyright law? Take the time to understand liability and common conditions in commercial insurance policies.

In the June/July 2019 issue, I discussed Section I: Property of the standard commercial insurance policy. In this issue, I will review sections II and III: Liability and common policy conditions. Section II: Liability A commercial general liability policy protects the identified business against claims for bodily injury and property damage arising out of the […]

business insurance

Insure your property properly

Protect and Defend

Extensions. Deductibles. Exclusions. Not understanding the terms of your commercial policy could leave you short on coverage.

Practice owners view a commercial insurance policy the same way a veterinary textbook appears to a layperson: lots of pages, small type, indecipherable words. One can only hope that in the event of an insurance claim, appropriate coverage is found somewhere within all the verbiage. Though understanding everything in your commercial insurance policy isn’t practical, […]

auto insurance

A crash course on auto insurance

Protect and Defend

Make sure your practice is adequately covered for different types of vehicle classifications and situations.

Does your veterinary practice own a motor vehicle? Regardless of your answer, operating a vehicle on company-related business is unquestionably one of the largest liability exposures that exist for a veterinary services organization. Over 10 million motor vehicle accidents occur each year in the United States. A statistic like that makes a comprehensive auto insurance […]

Brush up on workers’ comp

Protect and Defend

Your practice’s injury history goes a long way in determining insurance costs, but a good risk-management program can pay off down the line.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a form of no-fault coverage developed specifically to provide medical and wage-replacement benefits to employees who are injured or become ill on the job. In addition, injured employees might be eligible for temporary or permanent disability, vocational rehabilitation or death benefits. In exchange, employees surrender their right to bring negligence claims […]

It’s personal

Protect and Defend

Make sure you are adequately covered against medical missteps and that your insurance provider will fight for you during a state license challenge.

Companion animals play an ever-increasing role in society. They have migrated from the barn and backyard to become members of the household, spending their days lounging on our couches and beds. Therefore, it is not surprising that when a pet dies or experiences an adverse event during the delivery of veterinary care, the owner frequently […]

Fear factors

Protect and Defend

All hospital employees should be taught how to react in the face of a physical threat. The principles behind ALICE are a good starting point.

Unprovoked violence against groups of innocent people is frightening. Sometimes random, sometimes retaliatory, the acts are perpetrated against businesses, churches, schools, theaters and even military installations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards. The risks to veterinary practice employees traditionally have focused on bites and scratches, […]

Damage control

Protect and Defend

Animal bailee insurance is a crucial need when you are responsible for the custody, transport or care of patients.

The hospitalization of patients, be it for a few hours or several days, is routine at every veterinary practice. In addition, many hospitals offer grooming and boarding as an extension of their services. From a business liability standpoint, the question then becomes, “What happens if an animal in my possession is injured or dies, is […]

Water coming over the streets during hurricane

Prepare for the unexpected

Protect and Defend

Knowing how to react when an emergency or natural disaster strikes will help safeguard lives and your hospital.

Natural disasters and other perils often strike quickly and with little or no notice. Therefore, a well-planned and communicated emergency action plan is vital to protecting a veterinary practice’s employees, clients, patients and property. Any emergency action plan is only as good as the people who implement it. Proper training and appropriate, highly visible signage […]

Shared responsibility

Protect and Defend

Data breaches involving a third-party vendor can harm a veterinary practice, too, so insist on a detailed contract.

My article “Are You Prepared for a Data Breach?” [December 2017/January 2018] outlined the importance of addressing a veterinary practice’s cyber liability. Simply outsourcing administrative and financial responsibilities such as credit card processing, data storage, and payroll and benefits administration does not eliminate your liability should a breach occur. Now let’s look at how to […]

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