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Professional Liability Insurance

Last updated in February 2013 

1. What is Professional Liability Insurance?

The phrase “professional liability” is generally understood to be a responsibility to your patients or others for your acts as a pharmacist. Professional liability insurance is coverage for a pharmacist that provides protection in the event a claim is made against a pharmacist involving an actual or alleged error or omission while carrying out his or her duties that are within the "scope of practice" for a pharmacist. Scope of practice is defined by your respective state statute and state licensing board.

2. Does my employer’s Professional Liability Insurance cover me?

While many employers’ policies extend coverage to employees while acting within the scope of their duties as such, you may not be protected under your employer’s insurance to the same extent or in the same manner as you would be if you purchased your own standalone coverage. Your employer’s coverage is in place primarily to protect the institution for your actions when you are acting on behalf of your employer. Here are some things to think about:

  • Are the policy limits high enough to protect you and all of your co-workers?
  • Are you provided with coverage for lost wage reimbursement, licensing board hearing reimbursement and defense costs?
  • Are you covered outside of the workplace, such as when you engage in volunteer or part-time work?
  • Are you covered for suits filed after you have terminated your employment?

3. What would purchasing a Professional Liability Insurance Plan mean for me?

In the event of a covered lawsuit, your own professional liability insurance policy would:

  • Provide you with your own attorney.
  • Pay all reasonable costs incurred in the defense or investigation of a covered claim.
  • Pay you for lost wages.
  • Provide reimbursement for attorney fees or investigative costs for inquiries before any body such as the pharmacy licensing board that regulates professional conduct of pharmacists. It will also cover certain costs incurred if you are required to give a deposition or testimony in a case.
  • Pay certain court costs.

4. I have a part-time pharmacy job in addition to my full time employment. Would this policy provide coverage for these activities?

Individual professional liability insurance covers you for your professional pharmacy services outside of your employer’s setting as long as they are within the regular duties and activities or “scope of practice” for a pharmacist. It is fairly common that your employer’s coverage may have limitations for activities that are not related to your employment with the institution.

5. Why should I consider an individual Professional Liability Insurance Plan from Mercer?

This insurance plan was specifically created for ASHP members that practice in hospitals and health systems. Mercer has been our affinity partner for more than 35 years. They are a trusted name in the Professional Liability marketplace. Mercer was able to negotiate a reduction in the premium rate for pharmacists, which was implemented in 2012.

6. What limit of liability does ASHP recommend?

While ASHP is not in a licensed agent/agency and therefore cannot make specific coverage recommendations, we invite our members to review their current coverage in detail and to take advantage of the availability of Mercer Consumer’s experienced personnel should there be any questions or concerns regarding this important member benefit. Individual professional liability insurance protects you, the individual, when your employer’s policy may have limitations in coverage for your activities as a pharmacist.

7. How do I apply for this insurance?

Get an instant quote and apply online to secure your own personalized professional liability policy right away by visiting You may also call 1-800-503-9230 to speak to a professional liability representative.

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