ASI offers new liability program

NASW Assurance Services Inc. recently announced a liability insurance program for NASW members that offers new discounts, enhanced benefits and extended customer service.

Tony Benedetto, executive vice president of ASI, said the program is designed to meet the needs and challenges unique to social work. It is intended to protect members from parties who might seek damages or hold the social workers in question accountable for malpractice.

Social workers who already have coverage under the liability policy of their employer, agency or school are encouraged to purchase their own individual coverage as well, he said.

“Having the right malpractice insurance will help our members to have the right people in place to support them,” Benedetto said. “The coverage we offer is the best in the industry. Because of our role, we look to control costs so we can offer the most affordable price to members.”

The program is the only malpractice insurance that NASW endorses. Some highlights include a simplified application process, access to expert claims managers for assistance, a risk-management helpline and free prior acts coverage (also known as “tail coverage”) for social workers without a pending claim.

“The NASW board asked ASI to review and suggest improvements to the professional liability insurance program,” said NASW CEO Elizabeth J. Clark. “NASW is extremely pleased with the new product offerings they’ve selected, which meet the high standards that our association demands for its members. For more than 40 years, NASW has been providing a liability insurance plan created with the specific needs and challenges of social workers in mind.”

Benefits include:

  • New discounts, including a 5 percent rate reduction for applying online and a 10 percent discount for completing a risk-management workshop or online training course sponsored by NASW and ASI.
  • A waiver of the $5 NASW purchasing group fee.
  • At no extra cost, expanded benefits can include an automatic increase in licensing board coverage up to $35,000, new HIPPA privacy coverage, emergency first aid coverage, medical payments and first-party assault coverage.
  • Online quoting and enrollment.
  • Customer service representatives ready to assist members during extended evening and weekend hours.
  • Subpoena and student practicum coverage.

Policyholders of the NASW-endorsed professional liability program must be NASW members. Membership creates a group program that allows ASI to manage all aspects of the program, to make sure the benefits stay current to meet the needs of the profession, and to help keep costs low.

It also means that ASI is able to advocate on behalf of NASW members if they are unfairly denied coverage or renewal, a benefit not available in other companies’ programs.

NASW members will receive communications from NASW and ASI with details on how to enroll in the new program. Current policyholders should look for these communications at renewal time, or contact NASW member services at 800-742-4089 or the ASI call center at 855-385-2160. For more information, visit ASI’s website at NASW Assurance.