ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
Professional Services & Product Liability Issues

Malpractice Insurance Covers Professional Services 

You may have heard about a law firm that is fishing around for plaintiffs in a product liability case involving essential oils. It is important to understand that, in general, malpractice insurance does not cover claims from product liability issues. 

What do I mean? 

Products liability is generally not covered in malpractice policies because the policy is designed to cover wrongful acts from professional services – meaning patient care that you are licensed and trained to do and that is within the scope of practice in your state.  

In some cases the policy just restricts coverage only to “professional services” and relies on the definition of what those services are to not cover products you might be selling. 

Malpractice insurance is not intended to cover “retail store” type operations. So the recommendation that someone might benefit from a particular product – say essential oils, Biofreeze or supplements is covered.  But if the patient takes it home, uses or takes it and has an adverse reaction due to a problem with the product i.e. it was tainted, damaged, impure etc – that is Products Liability and is not covered. 

So what does this mean in terms of coverage? 

Two things a chiropractor should do to protect themselves in this area: 

1)    Have a Businessowner or office Comprehensive General Liability policy include what's called "products and completed operations".

2)    Be sure that the manufacturer of whatever products you are selling actually has products liability coverage.  

The maker of the product has the primary liability and the chiropractor should be sure that the liability for those items goes to them.  

As always I look forward to your feedback, questions and comments. 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

drmccoy@chirofutures.org

CEO & Co-Founder

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program

http://www.chirofutures.org