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HPSO and CNA Release Counselor Liability Risk Study: Understanding Counselor Risk Exposure

CHICAGO, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO), a division of Aon Affinity, the affinity business of Aon plc  (NYSE: AON) and  CNA (NYSE: CNA) today announced they have released their first-ever risk study for counselors, Understanding Counselor Liability Risk. The findings were presented at the American Counseling Association Conference & Expo in Honolulu.

"HPSO and CNA are dedicated to educating counselors regarding their risk exposures," stated HPSO President Michael Loughran. "The first of its kind, the new report provides counselors with vital information regarding claims impacting their profession and arms them with risk management recommendations that can help them manage these risks." 

The report contains an analysis of four key areas of risk for counselors; professional liability exposures, defense of licensing board investigations, deposition assistance and record request claims. The findings are based on claims paid by CNA on behalf of HPSO-insured counselors that closed over a 10-year period from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2012.  The report also includes legal case studies, risk management recommendations and selected highlights from the 2013 Qualitative Counselor Work Profile Survey. 

"By sharing claim information, identifying causes of loss, and incorporating recommendations into the report, we can help enhance counselors' risk management and client safety efforts," stated Bruce Dmytrow, vice president, Risk Control, at CNA.   

Key findings:

Dmytrow and Loughran presented the study's key findings, which include:

  • Though the frequency of malpractice claims asserted against counselors was low, the severity of those claims was high. The average total incurred costs, including indemnity paid and legal expenses to defend, was $176,712.
  • More than half (56.7%) of licensing board complaints were successfully defended on behalf of the counselor, resulting in the board rendering no action.
  • Clients most often sought counseling for marital discord (31.7%).
  • Marriage / family counselors accounted for the largest percentage of closed claims.
  • A survey among 3,123 counselors in the HSPO / CNA program found that 71.9% of counselors reporting a professional liability or defense of license claim were 51 years of age or older. 

"We consistently strive to provide relevant resources to our members that assist them in their practice," said ACA Chief Executive Officer, Richard Yep, CAE, FASAE. "The data published by HPSO and CNA in their new report is intended to help counselors prevent incidents and improve client outcomes."

The HPSO/CNA Professional Liability Insurance Program provides coverage to individual counselors and counseling practices.  As of 2013, the HPSO/CNA program insured approximately 75,000 counselors and counseling practices nationwide.

Understanding Counselor Liability Risk is available online at http://www.hpso.com/counselorclaimreport. To obtain hard copies, please contact Jennifer Flynn at 215.773.4513 or [email protected].

Read additional HPSO claims studies: www.hpso.com/resources/claim-studies.jsp
Follow HPSO on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hpsocares

About HPSO
Healthcare Providers Service Organization is a registered trade name of Affinity Insurance Services, Inc.; (AR 244489); in CA & MN, AIS Affinity Insurance Agency, Inc. (CA 0795465); in OK AIS Affinity Insurance Services Inc.; in CA, Aon Affinity Insurance Services, Inc., (0G94493), Aon Direct Insurance Administrators and Berkely Insurance Agency and in NY AIS Affinity Insurance Agency.  HPSO is one of the largest providers of individual professional liability insurance in the U.S., serving over 250,000 health care professionals. They have been answering the insurance needs of health care professionals since 1980. For more information visit http://www.hpso.com.

About Aon Affinity
Aon Affinity is a trade name for Affinity Insurance Services, Inc. Aon Affinity combines the specialized knowledge of affinity program management with the extensive resources of a global company to help clients achieve their goals. With an innovative approach to program strategy, from the design of products and services to the delivery of the marketing message, Affinity offers full-service capabilities; technical expertise and industry knowledge to deliver value to clients. Visit http://www.aon.com/affinity for more information.

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 66,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world's best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

About CNA
Serving businesses and professionals since 1897, CNA is the country's eighth largest commercial insurance writer and the 13th largest property and casualty company. CNA's insurance products include standard commercial lines, specialty lines, surety, marine and other property and casualty coverages. CNA's services include risk management, information services, underwriting, risk control and claims administration. For more information, please visit CNA at www.cna.com. CNA is a registered trademark of CNA Financial Corporation.

One or more of the CNA companies provide the products and/or services described. The information is intended to present a general view for illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to constitute a binding contract. Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice. For more information please visit CNA at www.cna.com. CNA is a registered trademark of CNA Financial Corporation. Copyright © 2014 CNA. All rights reserved.

Follow CNA on: Facebook | Twitter  | LinkedIN

About ACA
The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings. By providing professional development, leadership training, publications, continuing education opportunities, and advocacy services to more than 55,000 members, ACA helps counseling professionals develop their skills and expand their knowledge.


Caroline Rawson 

Jennifer Martinez


+1 312-822-5167

[email protected]

[email protected]



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