Liability Products FAQs

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance protects social workers if sued for malpractice. Social workers need protection from legal action due to negligent acts, errors, and omissions on the job and from frivolous lawsuits that can be brought even years later.

Without coverage, you could spend precious time and resources defending yourself, regardless of whether there is any merit to the claim. Professional liability insurance provides you with experienced legal defense and coverage for settlements or damages.

The NASW-Endorsed Professional Liability Insurance Program covers you for other specific risks, including supplemental liability for clients tripping and falling in your private office during a private session, and legal counsel for a licensing board complaint or administrative hearing.

There are many good reasons to purchase your liability insurance through NASW Assurance Services. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of NASW, our mission is to improve the lives of social workers. NASW Assurance Services manages all aspects of the professional liability program, from making sure that benefits stay current, to meeting the needs of our profession, to keeping program costs low. In fact, through our efforts, premium costs have held steady for sixteen years.

Unlike many insurance companies that focus on creating profits for corporate shareholders, our goal is to pay program expenses, then we invest in programs that benefit NASW members and the profession of social work.

Our NASW-Endorsed Professional Liability Insurance Program was designed by social workers with the specific needs of social workers in mind, and with unique benefits that can best protect members. This program provides you with the best possible professional liability insurance at the most competitive rates for the value you receive.

You can have peace of mind knowing that your coverage is provided by an organization that you trust and that cares about you.

Social workers covered under the professional liability policy of their employer, agency, or school also need their own individual coverage. Employer coverage does not necessarily protect you individually from risk and you may be liable for your own negligence. Depending on the situation, employer insurance may be inadequate when considering individual professional defense needs and will not apply if an employer is required to report professional allegations against you.

Like it or not, large organizations such as schools and agencies may find it necessary to focus on their organizational needs first, and not on the needs of the individual social worker. For example, social workers covered by organizational policies are unlikely to be provided their own defense team to look out for their careers. Your employer may also have the right to consent to a settlement rather than defend your individual professional interests.

Also, if you leave your employer, it may be questionable whether you would still be covered under their policy. Purchasing your own professional liability insurance means you’ll still be covered, even if you change jobs.

NASW Assurance Services launched the NASW-Endorsed program in September 2012. It includes enhanced benefits at lower costs, with the continued advocacy and oversight of NASW Assurance Services.

The NASW-Endorsed program offers exceptional benefits at low costs, including:

  • $45,000 Automatic Licensing Board Defense Coverage for current members of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • $35,000 Automatic Licensing Board Defense Coverage for non-member social work policyholders
  • $50,000 Medical Payments to others, should injury impact a client during a session
  • $25,000 Health Information — HIPAA Privacy Coverage
  • $15,000 First Party Assault Coverage
  • $15,000 Emergency First Aid Coverage

NASW members can also benefit from a 15% membership discount.

The NASW-Endorsed liability program is structured as a Risk Retention Group (RRG), which is a liability insurance company created for the benefit of NASW members and owned by its insured members.

There are a number of advantages to the NASW RRG, including:

  • Oversight by a Board of Directors which is comprised of social workers and association insurance experts who always keep members’ interests in mind
  • Fully transparent finances and operations
  • Greater control on how the program is structured, permitting quick improvements

For more details, see our NASW RRG Frequently Asked Questions or visit the NASW Risk Retention Group website.

There are many variables that impact insurance cost, including the amount of liability coverage you choose and whether you work full-time or part-time. NASW Assurance Services works hard to ensure social workers are provided with the best possible professional liability insurance at the most competitive rates.

For specific information or to obtain a rate quote online, you can access the online application by visiting the Enroll Today page on our website. Or, you may contact the NASW RRG Plan Administrator at 888-278-0038 to speak with a knowledgeable insurance licensed representative.

NASW Assurance Services’ staff has done the research and legwork needed to develop a high-quality, affordable program. We also manage the program to ensure that members receive excellent, caring customer service.

Importantly, we will advocate on your behalf if you’re unfairly denied coverage or renewal. The management and advocacy efforts of NASW Assurance Services might not always be apparent if you haven’t experienced issues in obtaining coverage or renewal directly through a big insurance company that reports to Wall Street and its corporate shareholders, but it can make a real difference. We also advocate on behalf of policyholders to prevent premium increases.

NASW Assurance Services also develops and provides in-person and online risk management workshops, tools, and resources to help our policyholders reduce their risk from lawsuits. Our Board members also offer risk management workshops at NASW Chapter meetings and other professional conferences.

Our NASW RRG Plan Administrator allows NASW Assurance Services to ensure excellent customer service for all policyholders:

  • Personal service from knowledgeable, insurance licensed representatives when you have a question or request;
  • State-of-the-art system offering an easy, fast process for applying for and renewing coverage;
  • Real-time online applications with Proof of Coverage Certificate available for immediate download;
  • 24-hour online access to applications, policy documents and legal resources.
  • To get a quote or apply over the phone call 888-278-0038

Yes, the NASW-Endorsed program is extensively reinsured and financially protected by top, “A” rated reinsurance companies, which currently include Swiss Re.

The NASW RRG is an insurance company that meets all regulatory requirements of insurance regulators and is registered in all states. It is not self-insurance.

Our administrator will direct your concern to our claims adjudication professionals at Gallagher Bassett/GB Healthcare, formerly Western Litigation, Inc., as the program’s legal partner and is a Fortune 300 litigation and risk management company. They staff our free Legal and Risk Management Helpline, a benefit of our program that allows you to get confidential legal advice based on your particular circumstances. Utilizing this support is not considered a claim, and your confidential conversation will not be shared with anyone else.

Should a claim arise, policyholders will have access to GB Healthcare’s national panel of lawyers and staff, who provide legal defense, claims management, and general litigation oversight for incidents covered by the professional liability insurance policy.

  • Enroll online. It only takes 5 minutes and you’ll only have a few simple questions to answer.
  • To apply, go online or call 888-278-0038 during customer service hours to speak with a knowledgeable insurance licensed representative.
  • To get a quote call 888-278-0038.

Yes. Visit our NASW-Endorsed Professional Liability Program website. You can also manage your policy there as well.

If you have additional questions not covered on this website – call 855-385-2160 to speak with a knowledgeable insurance licensed representative or contact us by submitting a question using our online form. We’ll respond to you by email from [email protected].

Reach out to our NASW RRG Administrator at 888-278-0038 to outline your service model and with it includes. From there, they can provide pricing and coverage information empowering you to insure your services with confidence.

Also, many insurance policies require that you pay a deductible. No deductibles are required under any NASW RRG insurance policies.

Not at all because it covers you no matter how many employment relationships you hold as long as you are providing social work services. You are not required to report employers or worksites, and you are covered 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Please contact the licensed insurance team at the NASW RRG Plan administrator at 888-278-0038. They can consider your individual situation and provide options to meet your current needs.

Do not assume or ask a friend, as professional liability insurance, as with any insurance policy, must be informed of any changes. If the policy runs out without notification or efforts to make the proper changes, future circumstances for coverage could be denied. (See question #19)

In most situations, yes. However, not all social workers need a license in their home state to practice in a specific field. Please call for more information if you are unlicensed.

A Claims-Made policy will cover you for alleged incidents that happen between the enrollment date and expiration of your policy, but claims must be reported while the policy is in force. Extended Reporting Endorsement, or Tail Coverage, is necessary to protect you against claims reports presented after the policy expires.

An extended reporting rider or “tail” allows you to stop your policy, but still, have coverage for future claims that are made based on events that occurred during the time period your policy was in force. A “tail” protects you from practice activities during the time that your policy was in force. If you retire or become disabled, the “tail” is offered to you at no cost, and our administration teams are to be notified of this event; a tail is not automatic. Please call 888-278-0038.

If you have questions about professional liability insurance or need to make changes to your professional liability insurance policy, please call our NASW RRG Plan Administrator at 888-278-0038. If you have comments, concerns or further needs, please call 855-385-2160. We will be happy to answer all your questions.