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Dec 17, 2015
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A few questions regarding professional liability insurance for psychological assistants.

Are psychological assistants allowed to work without professional liability insurance?

What are the potential consequences if a psych assistant had professional liability insurance, failed to renew it once it expired, yet still continued to see clients for a month or two?

What are the potential consequences if a future employer finds out that in the past, a psychologist worked for 2 months without professional liability insurance as a psych assistant?

Thank you.


Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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Aug 2, 2010
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You might reach out to your state board or psych association. I might be wrong, but I believe a supervising psychologist can be insured to cover the actions of their extenders/midlevels who are working under their supervision. That would be a good topic to cover in a job interview though!


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Dec 18, 2005
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what the hell is a psych assistant?

1) You should probably read your state's laws. You're starting off on a pretty bad foot here.

2) Insurance panels drop you pretty quickly. Demand a refund for the period you're not covered. If you get sued, pretty much all of your stuff is gone. If you get a board complaint you're paying out of pocket for legal representation unless you're so criminally stupid that you'd go to the board without a lawyer.

3) I would fire them for failing to disclose prior negligent acts and other terms of employment my contracts have. If I was super pissed off, I could consult an attorney to see if a suit is possible.

Let's be honest here: You're cheaping out on a few hundred bucks but there's no way you're not making multiples of that, risking everything you have, and are too lazy to read your state laws because you're just punting while crossing your fingers that nothing bad happens.
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Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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Feb 15, 2009
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A psych assistant is one of the myriad of ridiculous things that CA does to the practice of psychology. I know that they must be registered with CA to legally practice. I am not sure about the insurance aspect though, and what may or may not fall under the supervisors liability insurance. I wouldn't practice in any capacity without liability insurance, outside of maybe some federal gigs.
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Full Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
Liability insurance is required overall, but who needs to cover whom depends. Some employers cover you automatically, but if working under a private practitioner or special circumstances, you may need to provide your own throughout.
I'd talk to the BOP to ask who needs to cover what in your situation; unfortunately, they are TERRIBLE at getting back to psych assistants in my past experience. Be careful about what you share with the board, though; keep it hypothetical.
You could try CPA's counsel if you're a member, as well. Or any local (county) psychological association you're a part of.

Scour the board's website/regulations for more detail if you can...
If your psych registration lapses and you practice, it's grounds for punishment, but I'm not sure about liability insurance lapses.


Clinical Psychologist & Neuropsychologist
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Jun 11, 2017
San Francisco
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As far as I can tell, in California liability insurance is not mandatory for Psychologists or even for psych assistants. However, as a supervisor of psych assistants in the past, I have ALWAYS increased my insurance to cover any illegal acts committed by one of my psych assistants, and have also maximized my board defense coverage as well. Anything that you do as a psych assistant reverts to me as the primary supervisor, and quite honestly, if you screw up, I don't want to lose my license over it or incur huge legal fees.

You, as a psych assistant, may be able to get your own policy, again covering both malpractice and board defense, since you will also be sued individually, and the Board may take away your ability to obtain a license in the future or impose other sanctions. If the happens, you cannot deal with the board without a lawyer. Check with The Trust or American Professional Agency for details.
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