Students who provide professional services to the public as part of their education and training should strongly consider buying student malpractice insurance. Before purchasing insurance, it is a good idea for the student to consult with both his school as well as his work site so that he can determine whether student malpractice insurance is already provided. If it is, he may still want to review the coverage offered and may, in some circumstances, want to look into obtaining additional coverage if he believes his situation requires such protection.
Student malpractice insurance, a type of professional liability insurance, protects students, schools, and employers in cases where a student trainee is the target of an accusation of wrongdoing and a lawsuit by a client or her family. This type of insurance is often made available to students who are preparing for health care careers, but may also be suitable for those who are undergoing training or apprenticeship in other professions and trades. Depending on the laws and practices in the area where the student is obtaining his training, student malpractice insurance may cover the costs of legal counsel, expenses related to attending or preparing for a trial, as well as any money or settlement awarded to a plaintiff. If a student has a significant amount of personal wealth, she may want to inquire about obtaining a policy with a higher cap than that obtained by her fellow students.
Reputable schools and supervisors will not permit a student to begin an internship, practicum, or other training without first obtaining sufficient malpractice insurance coverage. Medical schools, for example, may actually take out coverage for their own students. This coverage is activated as the students begin working directly with patients. Schools that prepare students for mental health careers may likewise take out this insurance, but may also direct students to insurance provided by professional associations. These schools may then require proof of student malpractice insurance before students can begin to work in various field placements.
Students or apprentices in other trades may want to look into getting liability insurance for themselves, even if it is not required by a training program or, if they are apprenticing under a professional, their supervisor. They may want to talk to an insurance agent or lawyer about their options, or they may want to inquire about insurance provided by a membership association. Many trade groups offer student memberships that may include some form of liability insurance.