Covid-19 Increased Third-Party Consulting in Healthcare & Life Sciences. What’s the Risk?

September 2021

The worlds of Healthcare and Life Sciences are complex. Both are experiencing unprecedented change and innovation due to personalized medicine, emerging technologies, and the surge in telehealth. Medicine is constantly evolving, but there’s presently a public microscope focused on practitioners, scientists, and government agencies due to the ongoing pandemic.


No one could have predicted that the general public would be actively engaged in millions of conversations, across social media, around topics like clinical trials, and Emergency Use Authorizations. Many people have become ‘armchair experts’ at best. Basing their positions on anecdotal evidence or online articles, with no real knowledge or experience in infectious disease, what it takes to launch a vaccine, or manage a hospital’s surge of ill patients.


Healthcare and life science organizations that are saving lives, turn to actual experts – consultants with intimate understandings of the industry’s challenges. These consultants are area-specific professionals who share their experience and expertise as highly-skilled, trusted business partners.


These consultants are hired as solutions to help bring ideas to fruition, meet deadlines, and complete projects. Services can include analysis, proficiently navigating the ‘red tape’ obstacles in rules and regulations, achieving accreditations, assist in reaching/maintaining compliance, building-out a new lab, expert witness services, technical implementations, or optimizing a business model. Simply put, consultants empower businesses to accomplish their toughest goals.


At times, advice can be subjective and interpreted differently. Therefore, companies engage with consultants using contracts, including statements of work to define liabilities, responsibilities, and expectations of performance.


Professional Liability Insurance is a typical contract requirement. Consultants purchase professional liability (Errors & Omissions) insurance in the event it’s needed to help defend against financial loss, bodily injury, equipment damage, or claims of dissatisfaction due to unintentional mistakes.


Mistakes like negligence in failing to perform a task, not completing a job according to the contract, delays, inaccurate advice, an oversight, or judgment errors. Even if the consultant isn’t at fault, a soured relationship or perceived mistake can result in a costly legal battle.


Whether a freelance consultant or a large consulting firm, clients are looking to build a talent pool of agile, specialized support who can assist remotely without sacrificing the human connection of face-to-face relationships. On occasion, consultants are privy to the organization’s sensitive data and/or systems. Remote, online driven services need to include Cyber Liability as part of a consultant’s risk management strategy. This should include a robust IT assessment to help defend against an attack, as well as a cyber liability insurance policy to help put the pieces back together if/when a cyber incident occurs.


This is a quickly changing world with lots of risk – especially in the healthcare and life science arenas. Founders Professional recognizes the important work of consultants and their needed liability protections. We routinely place Errors and Omissions Insurance for Healthcare and Life Sciences consultants with coverages offered on modular policy products which can include PL, GL, Tech, and Cyber. Please reach out if we can help.



About the Author

Kayla Mayhew is a Professional Liability & Management Liability Insurance Broker, as well as the Life Sciences Practice Leader at Founders Professional. Based out of St. Petersburg, FL, Kayla assists retail insurance agents across the Country in finding tailored solutions for their life science clients. Kayla can be reached directly at [email protected]