insures you against claims
Medical malpractice insurance is a critical part of practicing medicine, making it essential for physicians beginning their practices to understand the types of policies available.
why coverage is needed
Occurrence policies provide coverage for events insured during the specified policy period. Medical malpractice insurance insures against claims of medical negligence. Most policies cover your conduct as a member of a peer review panel as well. This feature protects against lawsuits claiming that an adverse peer review decision made by the insured was inappropriate and caused a loss of income. Liability Corporation, Partnership, etc.) and your employees.
Coverage is needed for yourself because you are rendering the professional services. If you have a corporation or other entity, it can usually be reached in a malpractice suit because employers are held liable for the acts of their employees. It is important to protect the entity because it holds your business assets such as equipment and accounts receivable. It is important to cover your employees or to require that they maintain their own coverage to assure that their assets are protected.
In solo practice situations, insurance companies generally offer entity coverage sharing policy limits with the health care professional at no extra charge. If there is more than one health care professional in a group, coverage for the entity is usually given its own policy limits and the premium charge is usually about 10% of what all of the insureds in the group are paying.
On physician policies, employee coverage is usually available for nurses and other staff, sharing limits with the employer at no additional premium. However, some employees such as Midwives, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Certified Nurse Anesthetists require individual coverage at an additional premium. Any application completed for Malpractice insurance coverage should detail your employees and you should determine if all you employees are covered.
Policies specify the most that will be paid for any one claim, the “individual limit,” and the most that will be paid in any policy year for all claims, the “aggregate limit.” For example a policy with limits of $1,000,000/$3,000,000 will provide a maximum of $1M per claim and $3M for all claims during a policy term. The limits that are needed should be discussed with the insurer or your representative. In some states, insureds carry limits are low as $100,000/$300,000. The limits generally taken across the country are $1,000,000/$3,000,000.
The best way to buy insurance is through an independent broker that sells the products of a number of companies. This assures that you are getting more than one perspective on the products that are available. That’s why we supply many options.