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The Right Insurance Representative

Kevin Quinley August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
a senior male executive

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Medical spa owners, operators and managers believe in investing in health, or else they wouldn't be in the spa business. But with all this healthy concern, who is looking after the financial health of your medical spa? One of the most likely answers is a savvy insurance representative. A major key to your medical spa’s financial strength and solvency is having a knowledgeable insurance advisor to provide you with needed financial protection from accidents and forces of nature, and heightening this need is the fact that the insurance coverage needs of medical spas are quite unique.

Many—if not most—medical spas have a medical director who may be at least a partial owner. Some people think medical directors can simply bring their own insurance or malpractice coverage in to cover the medical spa, but sadly, this may not always be the case. The reason is a medical malpractice policy may cover the medical director, but most policies will exclude coverage for so-called “aesthetic services,” and such services are often at the forefront of medical spa offerings and operations.

So where do you go from here? Getting the right coverage and even the right insurance representative can be tricky, but here are 12 questions and answers that will guide you in making a wise selection.

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Insurance Terms for Medical Spas

Use this handy primer to get familiar with the terms you’ll need to know for insuring your medical spa.

Agent—an insurance intermediary who represents the seller of insurance, typically an insurance company.

Broker—an insurance intermediary who typically represents the buyer of an insurance policy, usually the insurance policyholder.

Certificate of insurance—a document issued by an insurance company certifying that an insurance policy has been purchased. It usually also sets forth a summary of the most important insurance policy contract provisions. However, it is not an insurance policy or a substitute for one.

General liability coverage—insurance protection that covers you from claims by clients and customers who claim they suffered bodily injury or property damage due to your alleged negligence. Typical claims include slips, trips and falls on your premises.

Medical malpractice coverage—insurance that covers you from claims by clients or customers alleging bodily injury due to a medical professional deviating from the relevant standard of care in a medical procedure.

Non-admitted paper—term used to refer to insurance policies underwritten by insurance companies who are not licensed to do business in a particular state. Admitted carriers are licensed to do business in your state and are subject to the rules, regulations and supervision of your state’s insurance department. If you have a problem or complaint, you can write to this insurance department, and they will likely intervene. Companies’ policy forms have also been approved or are on file with the same insurance department. Non-admitted companies have more flexibility and are more willing to be creative in their underwriting. They will frequently write what are perceived to be higher risk accounts.

Quote—a price proposal from an insurance company for a certain amount of insurance coverage.

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