The PLIT-sponsored professional liability insurance
policy provides coverage for the board decisions you make as a veterinarian such
as standard setting, peer evaluation and certification activities. However, the
policy does not afford coverage for administrative responsibilities or
employment-related decisions. A directors and officers (D&O) liability
insurance policy (also referred to as association professional liability) is
designed to cover these exposures. Furthermore, a D&O policy insures the
organization itself and all past, present, and future officers, directors, board
and committee members, volunteers and employees of the organization. Veterinary
professional and directors and officers liability policies are needed to provide
adequate coverage for members who sit on a board for an association, emergency
clinic, or other type of non-profit veterinary organization.
like practicing veterinarians, state associations and specialty organizations
are at risk from allegations of misconduct. How would you respond to a lawsuit
alleging the board or staff was negligent, stifled competition, or discriminated
against current or prospective employees? Are you prepared?
- Participating in legislation and public
- Continuing education offerings
- Referring members
to endorsed resources, especially where there may be a financial relationship
between the association and vendor
- Collecting and spending membership
- Publishing newsletters, websites, resource materials, or other
- Hiring, firing and disciplining employees.
are typical duties performed by an association. Lawsuits can occur from
allegations such as negligent decision-making, misappropriation of funds,
inaccurate or incomplete disclosure, discrimination, and wrongful termination.
Clients, members, the public, competitors or employees can make claims. If the
association is not adequately insured and a judgment is rendered, the courts can
turn to the personal assets of board members. And remember, board members are
not covered by veterinary malpractice or homeowners insurance for this exposure.
Therefore, it is imperative for the organization to carry directors and officers
(D&O) liability insurance (also referred to as association professional
liability) to protect the assets of the association as well as the personal
assets of the directors and officers.