How To Evaluate Your Malpractice Insurance Options
Medical malpractice insurance protects doctors and other healthcare workers from responsibility for patient harm or death. Throughout their careers, the majority of physicians will face at least one medical malpractice lawsuit.
It’s not like any life insurance. Purchasing this kind of insurance is required for physicians. It’s mandated by law in the majority of states. Most hospitals need physicians to have this insurance before granting them admitting privileges.
When the time comes that you have to evaluate your malpractice insurance, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of making critical choices in a short period. You still have patients to look after and a life outside of medicine to maintain. The following are some pointers for assessing medical malpractice insurance policies:
- Understand The Policy In Malpractice Insurance
Perhaps, the most critical aspect to consider when assessing medical malpractice insurance is whether the plans are occurrence-based or claim-based. This assists you in determining whether an event is covered by a policy, mainly when insurance coverage changes.
- Occurrence Policy
An occurrence insurance covers claimed injuries that occur in the policy year, irrespective of when the claim is submitted to the carrier. This type of insurance is currently restricted to a few providers.
Because it’s more difficult for providers to properly allocate premiums to risk exposure with occurrence, most carriers either don’t provide it or offer it at a higher price than claims-made, making it less appealing to the prospective policyholder.
Suppose a patient files a claim for anything that happens while your policy covers you. In that case, you’ll be covered even if you stop paying for the insurance. Because the event occurs while you’re paying for the insurance, you’ll be covered under the policy. Therefore, if you’re presently protected by occurrence insurance and are considering changing employment, you’re not required to cover your tail.
- Claims-Made Policy
A claims-made policy offers coverage for the duration of the premium payment period. It would help if you’re protected by the insurance both during an occurrence and when a malpractice claim is filed. In the United States, the most prevalent form of medical malpractice insurance is claims-made.
When terminating a claims-made policy, you must either:
- Buy tail from the current provider
- Purchase a standalone tail from a competitive provider
- Acquire nose coverage retroactive to your existing retroactive date when obtaining a new claims-made policy
This kind of malpractice insurance coverage protects you only if both the claim and the event occur while you’re covered. In contrast to occurrence insurance, if the policy is terminated, any retroactive coverage is lost.
- Know Which Are Included And Excluded In The Coverage
Medical malpractice insurance covers various costs involved with defending and resolving malpractice claims. It also compensates you for any damage award. Among the expenses covered are the following:
- Costs of settlement
- Medical expenses
- Damages for both punitive and compensating purposes
- Fees for attorneys and court expenses
- Arbitration free
Medical malpractice doesn’t include responsibility for sexual misbehavior, criminal actions, or unauthorized changes to medical data. Note that every malpractice policy has exclusions. Also, an addition to the policy states that the insurer won’t pay damages incurred due to specific actions. It would help if you examine the policy to verify that you’re not prohibited from doing particular operations.
- Choose Your Insurance Options
Medical malpractice insurance may come in various forms, depending on the location and type of medical business.
A private insurer may buy an insurance policy for an individual or a group in its simplest form. A medical risk retention group (RRG) may also purchase individual or group insurance. The RRG is a group of medical experts that have come together to provide malpractice insurance. Another way to acquire malpractice insurance is through an employer’s coverage plan, such as a hospital.
Individuals employed by the government as medical practitioners aren’t required to acquire malpractice insurance since the federal government protects them against liability claims. Insurance may often be acquired through state and municipal authorities as well if the circumstance warrants it.
- Research For A Stable Provider
If you choose an insurance company, look for its reputation and stability. While most insurers would, at best, not remain in business without a good reputation, you must know how they’re rated by clients. When you look for your reputation and information about business, you can also check for discounts or promotions, and save you money in the long term.
After all the evaluation, the next thing is making a sound decision. Make a comparison list and go with an insurance provider you trust the most. Suppose you wish to have another coverage in the future; in that case, you may either seek to raise your rates or discover better alternatives elsewhere.