Medical Malpractice Insurance Q&A

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Medical Malpractice Insurance protects healthcare professionals in the event they are sued fraudulently, or not fraudulently for damages they caused to a patient with a procedure they administered, medication they prescribed or a surgery they recommended / performed and more. This coverage will cover the costs associated with litigation and pay settlement claims. Above is just the very basics on what Medical Malpractice really is. Here are some commonly asked question on this ever-green topic.

Q1: What insurance products do I need as a physician who own my practice?

A1: If you are a physician and own your own practice, it would be in your best interest to get:

  • Medical Malpractice Insurance
  • A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)
  • Worker’s Compensation – To handle any work-related injuries your employees might suffer on the job.
  • Cyber Insurance – This will protection you if your business is a victim of a cyber attack and you lose client data which you could be sued over. Click here to read more about Cyber Insurance.

Q2: If I were to purchase Medical Malpractice Insurance, who would it cover?

A2: There is a slight misconception about Medical Malpractice Insurance. Most healthcare professionals that do not have it yet, think it will only cover them. This is not true. Medical Malpractice Insurance will also cover your business as an entity and also cover your employees. After all, not every time a physician is sued he or she was the one that caused the damage to a patient.

Q3: What are the “recommended” Limits of Liability I should purchase?

A3: No insurance agent can tell you what Liability Limits to choose. This has to be determined by you. But, as a rule of thumb, the generally accepted standard limits are $1,000,000 / $3,000,000. This means you will have a maximum of $1 million per claim and $3 million for all claims during the policy period or term. It is wise to run those numbers by your insurance agent to make sure you are protected under all circumstances.

Q4: What is an Occurrence and a Claims Made Policy?

A4: These policies are the two main policy types that a Medical Malpractice Insurance policy can cover a healthcare professional for. Let’s take a deeper dive:

An Occurrence Policy: Occurrence is the most popular of the Medical Malpractice Insurance coverage forms. However, it is not available in all states. This policy covers you from claims that occurred during the policy period regardless of when the claim is filed. For example, if you had this policy from 2005-2010 and a claim occurred within that time frame, you’d be covered. This is even if the claim was filed in 2015 for the incident that occurred back in 2005-2010.

A Claims Made Policy: Will cover you as long as you continue to make your premiums payments for the initial policy and any subsequent renewals. How it works – If you had a Claims Made policy for four years and quit paying the premium, the coverage will cease at a time in the future the insurance will email you with. At this point, you’d want to call that same insurance carrier and tell them you’d like to purchase Tail coverage. Even though you will not be with this company anymore because you aren’t going to pay the premium anymore, this coverage, with the purchase of the Tail coverage, will cover you for any Medical Malpractice claims that may come in from four years back. Tail coverage is an amazing feature. Sometimes you will not have to buy Tail coverage from your former company. Your new carrier can sometimes provide this for you as a courtesy for going with them. However, purchasing Tail coverage can be very expensive.

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