Experiencing a serious professional complaint is the last thing any mental health professional wants to face during their professional career. This was the case for one social worker in 2017 who found herself having to defend her work to the North Carolina Supreme Court in a lawsuit brought by a client’s family member. The importance of having a strong professional liability insurance policy was clearly illustrated in this case. Liability insurance is a necessity for all mental health professionals as anyone can find themselves in the same situation. Luckily, the social worker was insured by the NASW Risk Retention Group (NASW RRG), the premier insurance company for social workers.
What is a Risk Retention Group (RRG)? It’s a mutual insurance company that offers a stronger solution for professionals as the coverage benefits are suited toward the group of professionals that it insures and its policyholders become owners of the RRG. The NASW RRG, endorsed by the National Association of Social Workers, has been insuring the social work profession with liability insurance for many years and has now expanded beyond social workers to insure a broad range of behavioral health professionals. The NASW RRG is committed to developing products and services uniquely designed for its policyholder owners. “Our priority remains focused on exceeding the needs of our policyholders, delivering high-quality products and services and creating long-term solutions for the profession” says Richard L. Jones, Ph.D., President, NASW Risk Retention Group Board of Directors.
And who better to oversee a program for the profession but the experts themselves? That’s why the NASW RRG is uniquely overseen by board members comprised of social workers, behavioral health professionals and association insurance experts voted on and approved by the policyholder owners every year.
It is rated among the highest in the nation by A.M. Best Company, the world’s largest, most authoritative company issuing financial strength ratings to insurance companies, with an “Excellent” financial strength rating and includes additional financial backing from Swiss Re, the premier reinsurance company. Why is this important? Because it affirms that the company is growing, stable, and solid, exemplifying its commitment to high-quality, customized products for its owners.
How They Are Different from Traditional Insurance Companies
So what makes Risk Retention Groups different from traditional insurance companies? To start with, all policyholder’s become owners, unlike traditional insurance companies who are independently owned and operated. It has complete control and flexibility to develop industry-specific products and coverage options, specifically tailored to benefit policyholders, compared to the general insurance market.
How They Advocate for their Policyholders
Unlike many insurance companies that focus on creating profits for corporate shareholders, the NASW RRG’s priority is to focus on what’s best for its policyholders, supporting them professionally. “The NASW RRG is committed to being there for our policyholders, especially when they need us the most, providing peace of mind with the most comprehensive liability protection to fit their specific professional needs” says Joseph T. Monahan, JD, ACSW, Past President, NASW Risk Retention Group Board of Directors. The organization advocates for the benefit of policyholders by keeping expenses low and passing the savings to its policyholders through low premiums, focusing on long-term price stability, added custom policy benefits and reinvests resources back into the program for the benefit of the policyholders to stay current with professional needs.
The board members overseeing the program are advocates for the policyholders through product coverage, underwriting and legal defense against claims. As highlighted in the NC Supreme Court case earlier, the NASW RRG invested extensive legal defense resources on behalf of the profession to win as the case held legal precedence surrounding client documentation standards on a case that may have otherwise experienced settlement pressure for the policyholder with other insurance companies.
NASW RRG knows that risk management is paramount to avoid malpractice lawsuits and licensing board complaints. One of the most crucial aspects of the organization is helping policyholders avoid risk before it happens, therefore, policyholders are armed with invaluable risk management resources like a helpline staffed by experienced risk management specialists, and an attorney if needed, ready to guide policyholders with questions related to work risk concerns.
The NASW RRG is committed to protecting its policyholders and helping them continue to help others. Visit them today to learn more.