Do CBE's need liability insurance? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-21-2008, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really considering becoming a CBE through ALACE, but this issue makes me nervous.
Would I need liability insurance to run my own classes? I live in PA, if that makes any difference.

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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I live in PA and I am about to begin teaching Hypnobabies. The only precaution I plan to take is to establish an LLC to protect my family and my DH's business. If you are speaking of malpractice insurance, that is issued through the state and is only for medical professionals (I think it is called MCare or something). If you have classes in your home, you may want to call your insurance agent to be sure that your homeowners or renters insurance will cover someone who is at your home for business. Many insurance companies require that you purchase separate insurance in case of an incident in your home. HTH!

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Old 05-22-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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I have insurance that covers me as a labor doula, postpartum doula and childbirth educator. It really isn't that expensive. I pay less then $100 a year

Like the other person said if you plan on teaching from your home make sure you check with your insurance as they often don't cover injuries or issues associated with running a business from your home (ie if a mom falls down while walking into your home for a class - they wouldn't cover her injuries because she is paying you for services).

In all honesty you need to decide what works best for you. I know a lot of educators who don't care insurance and they are perfectly at peace with that. I feel that our world is too sue happy and therefore want to be protected (even if that protection is just a little bit).
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tlcdoula View Post
I have insurance that covers me as a labor doula, postpartum doula and childbirth educator. It really isn't that expensive. I pay less then $100 a year
...What insurance do you use?
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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Talk to ALACE (if you can get them to call you back! ). They have info about a company that provides insurance to childbirth professionals. They also will give you info concerning the fact that you are actually MORE likely to be sued if you carry said insurance...but that's just so you know! THey are all about informed consent.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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Old 05-25-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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Talk to ALACE (if you can get them to call you back! ). They have info about a company that provides insurance to childbirth professionals. They also will give you info concerning the fact that you are actually MORE likely to be sued if you carry said insurance...but that's just so you know! THey are all about informed consent.
I'd really love to see this info. And I'd really like to see the information that pertains to doulas and educators not to medical professionals. Because you can't apply statistics from med professionals to doulas and educators.

I'd really love to know how simply having insurance makes you more likely to get sued, especially as an educator.

If I have insurance or not isn't something I advertise to clients, so how would they know if I have "deep pockets" or not?

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Old 05-26-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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I established my business as a Limited Liability Company, but other than that, I do not plan on purchasing any kind of insurance.

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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It is through CM&F.
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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I'd really love to see this info. And I'd really like to see the information that pertains to doulas and educators not to medical professionals. Because you can't apply statistics from med professionals to doulas and educators.

I'd really love to know how simply having insurance makes you more likely to get sued, especially as an educator.

If I have insurance or not isn't something I advertise to clients, so how would they know if I have "deep pockets" or not?
I agree!! No one that I teach knows I carry insurance. It isn't something I tell them, and don't see why I would need to share that information with them.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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I'd really love to know how simply having insurance makes you more likely to get sued, especially as an educator.

If I have insurance or not isn't something I advertise to clients, so how would they know if I have "deep pockets" or not?
I read about this in a general "starting your own business" book (Small Time Operator), I think, thought it might have been someone else. It makes you more likely to be sued simply because you are a "riper" target and it makes it more worth the lawyer's while to take on a lawsuit against you (if you don't have insurance and someone wants to sue you over CBE classes, the lawyer would probably just laugh at them!). The best way to protect your assets is not to have any, LOL! (this is not my actual recommendation, but a comment I've read in various articles about liability.) When I was researching liability insurance for my other business (now closed) I cam across an article on Nolo.com about the best candidates to sue--it had a list of "qualities" the sued person should have before you take on a case. They were: has liability insurance, high personal assets, low debt, close-knit family, and things like that. Lawyers can check into whether you have insurance or not before they decide whether you are worth suing.

I include a really short contract on my CBE class registration form that has a disclaimer of responsibility on it (along the lines of, "we are enrolling in these classes of our own free will and understand that we are still responsible for our own choices for birth. We will not hold the educator responsible for birth outcomes or how we choose to use and apply information," etc...) That feels sufficient for me. ALACE does have a good explanation in their manual that explores the issue more and concludes that there is no reason for a CBE to be sued (I don't think one ever has been...).

Editing to add: if you are teaching out of your home, it would make sense to add some personal liability to your homeowners policy. This is different than professional liability insurance which is what I was talking about above.

Best wishes,

Molly

Molly--mama to two sons (9/03 and 5/06), one tiny son forever in my heart (14w5d, 11/09), and one early m/c 2/10. Gave birth to my rainbow baby girl in 2011 and surprised to welcome another rainbow in October, 2014!
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mollycce View Post
I read about this in a general "starting your own business" book (Small Time Operator), I think, thought it might have been someone else. It makes you more likely to be sued simply because you are a "riper" target and it makes it more worth the lawyer's while to take on a lawsuit against you (if you don't have insurance and someone wants to sue you over CBE classes, the lawyer would probably just laugh at them!). The best way to protect your assets is not to have any, LOL! (this is not my actual recommendation, but a comment I've read in various articles about liability.) When I was researching liability insurance for my other business (now closed) I cam across an article on Nolo.com about the best candidates to sue--it had a list of "qualities" the sued person should have before you take on a case. They were: has liability insurance, high personal assets, low debt, close-knit family, and things like that. Lawyers can check into whether you have insurance or not before they decide whether you are worth suing.

I include a really short contract on my CBE class registration form that has a disclaimer of responsibility on it (along the lines of, "we are enrolling in these classes of our own free will and understand that we are still responsible for our own choices for birth. We will not hold the educator responsible for birth outcomes or how we choose to use and apply information," etc...) That feels sufficient for me. ALACE does have a good explanation in their manual that explores the issue more and concludes that there is no reason for a CBE to be sued (I don't think one ever has been...).

Editing to add: if you are teaching out of your home, it would make sense to add some personal liability to your homeowners policy. This is different than professional liability insurance which is what I was talking about above.

Best wishes,

Molly
You are aware that hold harmless clauses in contracts mean exactly nothing, right?

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Old 05-26-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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Nothing but letting their lawyer know that you haven't got insurance and aren't worth their billable hours.

The lawyer may feel differently, but there it is, they don't have to look very hard to find out if there are deep pockets involved.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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Old 05-27-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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Nothing but letting their lawyer know that you haven't got insurance and aren't worth their billable hours.

The lawyer may feel differently, but there it is, they don't have to look very hard to find out if there are deep pockets involved.
I find it hard to believe that there's some central database for those who have malpractice insurance.

And I find it even harder to believe that the insurance companies that offer malpractice insurance to doulas,cbes, etc would offer up that a certain doula, cbe has a policy with them to anyone who calls to inquire. Anyone want to call CM&F tomorrow and ask them their policy?

So again I need to ask, how would a lawyer know you have liability insurance unless you're advertising it?

Also, depending on your state you can only be sued to the degree that you are medically responsible for the outcome. So for doulas who are following a well defined scope of practice and for educators who are teaching evidence based care there's not a lot to worry about long term in a lawsuit. Other than the obvious of how you're going to afford legal representation to get to the point where the lawsuit would be dismissed. Which is one of the perks of actually having a liability policy in the first place.

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Old 05-27-2008, 01:42 AM
 
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has any CBE or doula anywhere ever been sued?

I think it's silly, I've been in business for years and years and I've never even come across anyone whos ever considered it.

I don't know if it makes you more of a target or not.

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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has any CBE or doula anywhere ever been sued?

I think it's silly, I've been in business for years and years and I've never even come across anyone whos ever considered it.

I don't know if it makes you more of a target or not.
Yep, doula sued for burning a client with a hot pack, client was a friend and suffered 2nd degree burns because doula used a hot pack on her while she had an epidural.

I know another doula sued for breach of contract. Another sued for battery.

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Old 05-27-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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I find it hard to believe that there's some central database for those who have malpractice insurance.
in the state of PA, where the OP lives, MP insurance is only available through the state... I believe it is called Mcare. And this insurance is only available to medical professionals. There is a database that is publically available to see if your dcotor is covered. Since it is required to be licensed, you can assume you doctor has it.

As a non-medical childbirth professional, I believe the only your could have is general liability insurance... an "umbrella" policy as it is sometimes referred to. I think that during the exploratory phase of a lawsuit, after the suit is filed and fact-finding begins, it is required that you disclose assets. If you have the insurance you would have to disclose at that point.

I'm not a lawyer, but I have this basic understanding from Biz Law 101 in B-school. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is how it works in my state, PA, which is also the state that the OP is in.

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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in the state of PA, where the OP lives, MP insurance is only available through the state... I believe it is called Mcare. And this insurance is only available to medical professionals. There is a database that is publically available to see if your dcotor is covered. Since it is required to be licensed, you can assume you doctor has it.

As a non-medical childbirth professional, I believe the only your could have is general liability insurance... an "umbrella" policy as it is sometimes referred to. I think that during the exploratory phase of a lawsuit, after the suit is filed and fact-finding begins, it is required that you disclose assets. If you have the insurance you would have to disclose at that point.

I'm not a lawyer, but I have this basic understanding from Biz Law 101 in B-school. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is how it works in my state, PA, which is also the state that the OP is in.

Which only bolsters that you're not more likely to be sued because you have liability insurance, since the suit is already been filed.

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Old 05-28-2008, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the interesting discussion!

I was just curious, because I did a google search and found a ruling online concerning a lawsuit (in PA) against a bunch of people, including one who appeared to be a CBE. I just wanted to see what your thoughts were on the subject.

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Old 05-29-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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Thanks for the interesting discussion!

I was just curious, because I did a google search and found a ruling online concerning a lawsuit (in PA) against a bunch of people, including one who appeared to be a CBE. I just wanted to see what your thoughts were on the subject.

can you post the link? i'm interested and i'm in PA, too.

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