EMT Liability Insurance for First Responders & Paramedics

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Firefighters, police officers, and EMTs all perform a duty to society that can never be repaid for, especially when you consider that they’re putting themselves in legal and physical danger. 

Every EMT needs business insurance to make sure that he or she doesn’t end up in financial and career-related problems. In this guide, we’re going to cover what you need to know about EMT insurance, including how much does it cost you and the best companies to get it from.

EMT Liability Insurance

When a patient or another person suffers from an injury because of the circumstances you caused, a lawsuit soon follows. If this doesn’t happen to you now, it will happen to you soon. To protect yourself from the worst, get general liability insurance because it will shield you from liability claims. 

We don’t want to convince you by simply giving theoretical examples, which sound fallacious and out of the blue. That’s why we looked at numerous online databases having records of cases where paramedics faced liability claims.

An ambulance was en route to rush a patient to the hospital. The patient was accompanied by his two friends. While in transit, the driver suddenly braked and caused the chaperones to fall from their seats and sustain shoulder, wrist, and arm pain. The patient’s friend each sued for $1,000,000.A total of $52,000 was paid for the liability claim.
EMTs found a patient unconscious and lying on the ground after jumping from a height of 15 - 20 feet. Attending medical personnel then delivered the patient to the hospital with a police officer accompanying them. While on the way, the ambulance got involved in an accident and caused the police officer to fall on the patient as he didn’t have his seatbelts on. Upon recovering, the patient proceeded to file a lawsuit against the EMT’s claiming that the police officer’s falling on them caused the injuries and not the jumping from a considerable height.  The court favored the claim, and $80,000 was awarded to the plaintiff.
EMTs attended to a man named Robert Morley after getting involved in a tractor accident. Medical personnel decided to bring the man to the hospital via airlift. While loading the patient, it turned out that the stretcher was defective and caused further head injuries. Because of this, the patient filed a claim against the EMTs requesting a payment of $300,000.The court dismissed the case without prejudice
While in transit, the patient suddenly grabbed the steering wheel, resulting in an accident. The patient, who the EMTs were delivering to the hospital, was a paranoid schizophrenic, but this fact was not privy to anyone other than him. The patient then sued the EMTs saying that they were liable for the accident as they failed to see his mental condition.The court dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit.
The patient fell off a horse and suffered from a dislocated right shoulder, as was evident by the onset of pain.  The patient filed a lawsuit against one of the attending EMTs stating that her right shoulder was forcefully fitted back into place, causing extreme agony. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit.
A patient, who went by the name of Ruby Yan Chen, died while EMTs were rushing her to the hospital. Upon autopsy, the court found out that the air bubbles that entered the heart and jugular vein were the cause of death. The court held the cause of air embolism was the practice of the EMTS of reusing an IV bag while attending to the patient.  Unknown
The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the EMTs stating that they failed to take her wife to the hospital immediately after she reported being unable to get out of the bathtub on her own.The court dismissed the lawsuit against the defendants
A patient filed a lawsuit against a senior EMT, accusing him of verbal abuseThe senior emt received a two-day suspension as a penalty which resulted in lost income 
An EMT was accused of sexually harassing a 12-year old patient. The defendant stated he touched the patient's genitals to see if he suffered abdominal pain.The court dismissed the EMT’s excuse and charged the court with sexual harassment. The cost of the penalty is unknown. 


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Car Insurance for First Responders

Road accidents commonly happen to first responders, and first responder car insurance will provide coverage. The most basic coverage offered in first responder insurance packages is a commercial vehicle insurance policy that takes care of the costs of accidents an ambulance causes. 

According to the National Highway and Travel Safety Association, a total of 4,500 ambulance road accidents happen in the United States, and these result in 33 deaths on average. The majority of the deaths are caused by being unrestrained while the ambulance is in transit. Contributing factors to ambulance crashes on the highway are:

  • Fatigue

  • Speeding

  • Defective ambulance components (sirens, vehicular beacons, brake system, etc.)

  • Driving through intersections

  • Miscommunication with other drivers

Again, we want to give you concrete examples of ambulance-related accidents wherein third parties filed a claim for the damages they sustained. To do so, we looked at legal records and compilations of related literature.


An ambulance got involved in an accident while on the way to respond to an emergency call.Plaintiff sued the ambulance $5,000 for the damages his car sustained.
An ambulance struck the car it was following after another car suddenly pulled up. The plaintiff sued the ambulance for $5,000,000 for physical injuries. Another lawsuit was filed by the plaintiff’s wife demanding $5,000,000 from the driver.
Ambulance collided with a car that suddenly pulled out from the parking area.  The driver of the car complained of rib pain after the collision happened.Unknown
While responding to an emergency assignment, the ambulance (Vehicle 1) entered an intersection. Vehicle 2 was traveling on the intersecting road and struck the ambulance causing it to flip upside down. The ambulance came to rest approximately 30 feet from the impact zone. The first responding ambulances and fire personnel found the two medics hanging upside down from their seatbelts. They were alert and without complaint, although their predicament was causing them some distress.The driver of vehicle 2 filed a lawsuit and demanded $25,000 for the damage his car sustained.


Ambulance accidents don't only end up with third parties sustaining damages. Numerous studies have already established the fact that most injuries EMTs experience while working are caused by road accidents. CDC provides the clearest information about this. According to the organization, 27 on-duty EMS workers were killed by ambulance accidents, and they made up 33% of all fatalities recorded from 1991 - 2000.

And so, aside from commercial car insurance, you might also want to add personal injury protection coverage to your first responder car insurance. It takes care of medical fees in case you get involved in car accidents.  This insurance policy will take care of common injuries dealt with EMTs such as:

  • Cuts and lacerations

  • Neck injuries

  • Spinal injuries

  • Internal Injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Burns

  • Paralysis

In addition, here are some related cases we found online:

  • July 2001 - a 27-year old EMT was pronounced dead after her ambulance struck an elevated train-track support column.  The cause of death was severe head trauma which happened by being flung to the front bulkhead of the ambulance compartment when the crash happened. 

  • March 2001 - A paramedic suffered from minor injuries after the ambulance collided with an incoming truck. The injuries resulted when the paramedic hit the interior cabinets and shelves of the ambulance compartment. 

So how can EMTs avoid injuries in case a vehicular accident happens? The first thing to do is to have ample rest and engage in effective stress management. Research has already proven that fatigue is the leading cause of ambulance-related accidents on the road. Also, EMTs shouldn't disregard how effective restrainers are in saving lives. The failure to wear seatbelts is the most prevalent feature of ambulance accidents where EMTs died. 

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Paramedic Indemnity Insurance

Paramedic indemnity insurance mitigates financial responsibility if a patient accuses you of committing negligent actions and causing damage. According to a study published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, negligence comprised 35% of all claims filed against EMTs and paramedics between 1883 - 1993. You might be wondering how EMTs can injure people and be found negligent when they’re the first in line to save lives. The bullet outlines some negligent and harmful acts paramedics can commit::

  • Arriving at the scene in an inappropriate time frame 

  • Improper use of medical devices and use of defective medical devices

  • Administration of the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage

  • Negligent driving behavior

  • Discrimination or refusal to treat a patient

  • Misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment of the patient

  • Airway mismanagement

  • Failure to attend to a patient at the accident scene or leaving a patient at the accident scene

Just like the previous sections, here are some real-life examples of how paramedics were sued for negligence and their result.

Paramedics, who attended to a woman having a miscarriage, pronounced the fetus dead without doing the necessary steps to ascertain if the prematurely born child was lifeless indeed. Because of this, the woman filed a claim grounded on the reason that the paramedics didn’t follow the standard procedures imposed by the state of Massachusetts.Paramedics ended up settling the matter with $1 million. 
Paramedics faced lawsuits accusing them of negligence after making a patient walk down the stairs to the ambulance while suffering from an early onset of a heart attack.Ordered by the court to hand $1 million to the plaintiff
Paramedics were charged with gross negligence for the death of a 16-year old boy after leaving the scene without doing a full assessment.The court charged the paramedics with:
1. $2,593,750 for loss of society;
2. 1,556,220 for loss of money, goods, and services;
3. $778,125 for loss of normal life;
4. $259,375 for pain and suffering
Paramedics and their hospital got sued after allegedly failing to provide adequate medical assistance to a patient who was on life support.The lawsuit demanded $1 million in payment for grief, anguish, emotional distress, medical and burial costs, loss of society and companionship, and other damages


Claims for professional negligence of paramedics fall under medical malpractice claims, and the average cost of settlement for medical malpractice is an interesting point of inquiry that we have to find answers for. Luckily enough, we accessed the report published by the Office of Insurance Commissioner of Washington. We found two interesting things from it, and they are:

  • From 2015 - 2019, 1873 medical malpractice claims were raised and each costs $405,025 on average.

  • The average cost for the legal defense of medical malpractice is $67,618 per claim which totals $251.1 million if an estimated 3,000 claims are made.

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First Responder Insurance Discounts

First responders have access to all of the usual discounts that others can access when buying insurance, such as bundling multiple policies together for a flat rate decrease. However, paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and police officers also have access to special discounts for their insurance, as well.

One of the more popular discounts available is the car insurance first responder discount. Many companies will offer a discount of between 3% and 10% for car insurance, provided you can show your credentials that prove that you work as a first responder. 

Let's have a look at some of the first responder discounts offered by some of the top insurance companies in the industry.

Geico First Responder Discount

Geico doesn’t offer a specific discount for first responders as a policy, though they do offer a discount for federal employees. To qualify for Geico’s discount, you’ll need to be ranked GS-7 or higher, and if you are a part of a government organization that doesn’t use the GS system, you’ll need to be the equivalent of GS-11.

State Farm First Responder Discount

State Farm offers automatic discounts on insurance to individuals who can show their first responder credentials. They offer a maximum discount of 10% to first responders, though you’ll have to discuss the actual percentage with your own State Farm agent.

Progressive First Responder Discount

While Progressive doesn’t include first responder discounts in their list of auto insurance discounts, you may be able to arrange something with your insurance agent. As always, you’ll need to present proof that you’re an EMT or a first responder if you want to be eligible, though this may not always work.

Allstate First Responder Discount

Allstate is similar to Progressive in that they don’t list first responder discounts as one of the eligible forms of auto insurance discounts available to their customers. However, Allstate does offer a discount for trained drivers, so if you’ve been trained to drive as a first responder, you may be eligible.

Liberty Mutual First Responder Discount

Liberty Mutual offers one of the largest discounts on insurance to first responders, including firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and paramedics. If you present proof of you being a first responder to your Liberty Mutual agent, you’ll be eligible for up to a 12% discount on insurance.

Farmers Insurance First Responder Discount

Farmers offers discounts to their auto insurance customers that range between 5% and 15%, but they don’t specify whether or not they offer discounts to first responders, so you’ll need to speak to your agent about it.

Nationwide First Responder Discount

Nationwide offers discounts to first responders under their PoliceOne program. However, it is unclear whether they have discounts for firefighters and EMTs as well.

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