Running a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) exposes you to the risk of litigation. Your residents can bring legal action against you if they get hurt on your property or deem your care negligent. But your risk doesn’t stop there. Their friends and family can also take you to court for mistakes your staff makes, accidents that happen at your facility, and more.
This is precisely why it’s so important for RCFEs to have liability insurance. This protects you against some of the legal risks you face, including lawsuits resulting from an accidental injury to one of your residents.
But what about other types of lawsuits? For those, you need legal expenses coverage.
Understanding this Critical Coverage
Under the overarching umbrella of legal protection insurance (LPI), you’ll find legal expense insurance (LEI). As its name suggests, this coverage helps to pay for legal costs if you find yourself in court. It pays your lawyer’s legal fees if you get sued for any reason covered by your policy — and those are generally far-reaching.
Many LEI policies will also step in to cover your legal costs if you decide to bring legal action against another party, too.
Beyond covering the cost of a lawyer, legal expenses coverage can also pay out for other legal expenses like court fees and the cost of hiring an expert witness. In other words, all of the costs that can arise when you find yourself in court could be covered by your policy (up to its limits).
LEI policies come in two forms: before the event (BTE) and after the event (ATE) coverage. You can explore buying a policy once your legal action is already underway, but this makes it much more expensive. Cost-conscious RCFEs are best served by locking in a BTE legal expense insurance policy before an incident occurs.
Use Cases for Legal Expenses Coverage
LEI can cover costs if you find yourself in court for a wide range of reasons, making it an effective way to minimize your legal risk well beyond what’s offered by your liability insurance policy.
You could likely use your legal expenses coverage if you wind up legally defending yourself against any of the following situations:
- Claims of elder abuse
- Medication errors
- Failure to comply with state licensing requirements
- Employment issues like discrimination or wrongful termination
- Contract disputes with residents, vendors, service providers, etc.
- Claims of a violation of a resident’s rights
- Property damage
Without sufficient coverage, you might have to choose between strong legal representation and a lawyer who’s budget-friendly. If you want your RCFE to be able to hold its own should it ever find itself in court, legal expenses coverage goes a long way.
The right LEI policy depends on your facility — from its location to its number of residents — plus other risk factors like your employees, services you provide, your state’s regulatory requirements, and more. Our team can help you find the right level of coverage for your specific facility.
To talk with an RCFE insurance expert about putting this kind of protection in place, call our team at (805) 413-5668.