Laboratories are run by human beings and inspite of all the precautions and adherence to recommended guidelines errors in communication of results do creep in. Cross-checking helps minimize such errors but total elimination cannot be ruled out. Such errors and omissions can at times be serious enough and can lead to significant financial loss or loss of reputation.
Professional Indemnity Insurance also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance,covers the lab or any individual/s on its behalf. The policy comes in handy when a client holds the lab or individual/s responsible for a service provided, or not provided, leading to inconsistent results. The policy indemnifies the lab / individual/s against the loss incurred by their client, material, financial or physical and directly attributable to negligence on the part of the lab / individual/s.
Features of the policy
- Claims relating to the period when the policy first came into force but preferred in a subsequently renewed period will be settled by the insurer, provided the insurance has remained in force all along (without any break), through prompt renewals.
- The sum insured, called the limit of indemnity, is defined for each accident (called any one accident limit or AOA) and for each policy period (called any one year limit or AOY)
- The AOA limitis are computed on the basis of number of people that could be affected and the damage that could occur to property, in a worst case scenario accident at the lab.
- The policy covers all the liabilities that the insured professionals of the lab incur by way of damages towards a third party resulting from an error and/or omission committed by them while rendering a professional service. Legal cost and expenses incurred by the professionals to defend themselves are reimbursed by the insurer provided the insurer’s prior consent has been obtained. It is subject to the overall limit of the indemnity bought. Liabilities of a civil nature alone are covered.
It is important to go into the terms offered by the insurer because the terms and conditions should not leave scope for ambiguity.