Psychologist Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to purchase the Psychologist Professional Liability insurance?
Professionals in the field of Psychology are eligible to purchase the professional liability insurance providing that you are credentialed as a licensed or certified psychologist or a registered psychological assistant in the state in which you practice. Please contact the psychology department at (800) 421-6694 Ext. 2304 for other eligibility requirements.

Do I need to hold membership in any association in order get an insurance policy?
There is no membership requirement; however, members of the American Psychological Association receive a 20% premium discount every year as well as other applicable discounts.

How do I contact American Psychological Association (APA) about membership?
You may contact the membership department of the American Psychological Association at
(800) 374-2721 or (202) 336-5580 or email membership@apa.org.

Do you know how much it costs to be a member of APA?
There is a special introductory rate of $99 for the first year that you are an APA member. Full APA membership dues will increase gradually over eight years to a base rate of $247.

Who provides the insurance coverage?
American Professional Agency, Inc. is the exclusive Program Administer and sole preferred provider for American Psychological Association’s Professional Liability Insurance program. The program is underwritten by Allied World Insurance Company, a member company of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, GmbH, a Fairfax Company (“Allied World”).

Does the Psychologists professional liability insurance policy have a deductible?
No, there is no deductible applied should a claim arise.

What is Claims-Made coverage?
A claims-made policy will provide professional liability coverage for claims that are reported between the effective date and the expiration date of your policy for incidents that occur after the retroactive date and prior to the expiration date. An Extended Reporting Period Endorsement (ERP), or “tail” coverage (see next question) as it is commonly referred to, is necessary to protect against claims presented when the policy is no longer in force. For a complete explanation you may visit www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists under “Forms & Information” select “Occurrence versus. Claims-made”.

What is an Extended Reporting Period Endorsement or a “tail”?
An Extended Reporting Period Endorsement (ERP) or “tail” allows you to terminate your policy, and still have coverage for future claims that are made based on events that occurred during the time period your policy was in force. The “tail” is only available when the policy is terminated and it may be obtained for a charge of 175% of your expiring premium. The (ERP) may also be obtained without a charge in the event of your death or if you become permanently disabled. It is also offered to you free of charge if you permanently retire, are 55 years or older, have held the policy for 5 continuous years or more and there have been no sexual misconduct claims.

Can I purchase prior acts coverage so to avoid purchasing tail coverage from my current insurance carrier?
“Prior Acts” coverage is available if there is a claims-made policy in force when we issue the policy. We can replace your existing coverage as far back as the retroactive date listed on your current Declarations page, making it unnecessary to purchase tail coverage from your current insurer.

Why do my premium rates increase every year?
The psychologists claims-made liability insurance has gradual rate increases during the first five years that the policy is held. Once the policy matures the premiums will level off and stabilize. There should be no additional rate increases on a mature claims-made policy unless there is a change made to the policy. “Prior acts” coverage is available should you need to replace a current policy and avoid paying your current insurer for “tail coverage”. The cost will vary based on how many previous years of coverage are included. These policies will also mature at the fifth year rate when the policy includes five years of coverage.

How much insurance do I need?
Minimum liability limit requirements vary from state to state so you should first check with your state licensing or regulatory board to determine the appropriate level of coverage to purchase. You may also find that most hospitals, managed-care entities and facilities require you to carry a minimum limit of $1,000,000 per incident and $3,000,000 aggregate. A limit of liability as high as $2,000,000 per claim/ $4,000,000 aggregate is available (higher limits may be available if it is required by your state).

Do you offer a reduced premium rate if I work part-time?
Yes, a 35% premium discount is available provided that your total working hours in all positions including your W2-form employment do not exceed 20 hours a week. You may exclude your activities as a W2 employee and be eligible for the part-time rate though it is recommended to have coverage for all activities. Our rates may be viewed on our website at www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists.

Are there any discounts available other than part-time rate?
Yes, there are several discounts that you may be eligible are:
 20% APA member discount of 20% every year
 35% New Graduate discount for the first year
 10% New Policyholder discount
 5% Risk Management discount for 3 risk management credits
 5% discount for 6 Continuing Education credits
 10% Practice Setting discount (not available in AK, KS, HI)

Do you offer a reduced premium rate to cover for my W-2 form employees?
Yes, the cost to insure a W2-form employee or additional partners is a reduced rate and you may view the rates at www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists.

Will this policy provide coverage if I am an independent contractor or provide volunteer services?
Yes, the policy can be tailored to the manner in which you practice. We offer both part-time and full-time rates which may be viewed on our website www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists.

Do you offer coverage for corporations and groups?
Yes, please call our office at (800) 421-6694 (ext. 2304) to discuss this type of coverage and to obtain a quote. You may also download the application at www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists and fax it to our office for a quote. The fax number is (631) 750-2076.

Do you offer coverage for students who have not yet received their degree?
Yes, students may apply online on our website www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/student. If you prefer to download the application the forms are located on this page as well.

Is there any licensing board hearings or other related proceedings?
Yes, there is a $5000.00 defense reimbursement limit per incident included in the policy; higher limits up to $150,000 are available at an additional charge. You may select the higher limits when you apply for the coverage or submit a request to change the limit at a later date by submitting a form which may be obtained under the “Forms and Information” tab at www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists.

Is there any coverage for information privacy violations (HIPAA)?
Yes, there is Information Privacy Coverage included in the policy with defense limits up to $25,000 for federal and state regulators who investigate you for violations of the privacy protections statute (where allowed by law).

Does this policy provide coverage for my premises such as “slip and fall”?
Premises liability coverage is included in the policy. This coverage is for bodily injury and/or damage to property of patients at your primary location(s).
For additional information on Fire Legal Liability, Medical Payments coverage and many other enhancements included in the Psychologists Professional Liability insurance please visit www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists to view the brochure for a brief explanation or view the entire policy under “Policies” or contact American Professional Agency, Inc. at (800) 421-6694 or (631)691-6400 (Ext. 2304) for assistance.

Are there consultative resources available if I have a question?
Yes, American Professional Agency offers free risk management consultations with claims experts and, upon request, a lawyer, with no appointment required and no time limit on the conversation. American Professional Agency’s team does not share information discussed with Allied World, the insurance company that underwrites the professional liability insurance program.

What happens if I need to change my policy before the renewal date?
Please contact American Professional Agency at (800) 421-6694 or (631)691-6400 (Ext. 2304) for assistance or you may email us at psychology@americanprofessional.com. To obtain forms and applications you may visit our website at www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists. To expedite the process you may fax to (631) 750-2076 or email us.

How can I apply for the coverage?
Our quick online application is available to those applying for an individual policy, solely owned Professional Corporation (PC/PA), a Limited Liability Company (LLC/LLP) or General Business Corporation assuming that there are no legal W-2 employees or more than three independent contractors.

How soon may I obtain proof of coverage?
If requested most policies can be issued on the same day that you apply for the coverage. Once your application has been approved and payment is received a certificate of insurance will be emailed to you usually by the next business day. We accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) online, Vchecks and checks. The Declarations page will be sent to you shortly after processing through regular mail.

Can I get coverage (and a discount) for my group practice?
Yes, American Professional Agency covers individuals and groups. Various discounts can be applied to the individuals in the group so it is best to fax (631) 750-2076 or email psychology@americanprofessional.com your current Declarations page to obtain the most accurate and discounted premium.

Please contact the American Professional Agency at (800) 421-6694 or (631) 691-6400 (Ext. 2304) for assistance or you may email us at psychology@americanprofessional.com. To obtain forms and applications you may visit our website at www.AmericanProfessional.com/covered-professions/psychologists and then email or fax the completed information to (631) 750-2076.

Where do I mail my application and/or check?
If you prefer to mail the application and a check (payable to the American Professional Agency, Inc) please send it to:

American Professional Agency, Inc.
95 Broadway
Amityville, NY 11701

However, for faster processing you may fax your application to (631) 750-2076 or email psychology@americanprofessional.com and we can advise you how to pay by credit card or Vcheck.

Who can I call if I have additional questions?
Our knowledgeable representatives are available and happy to assist you. Please call our live switchboard operator at 800-421-6694 or 631-691-6400 (Ext. 2304). If you prefer you may use our online “chat room” on our website or email us at psychology@americanprofessional.com or send a fax to (631) 750-2076.