Health care organizations are relied on to provide dependable and successful medical services to patients. Unfortunately, accidents and professional errors may occur regardless of how experienced, responsible or diligent you and other providers are. Even a slight miscalculation, lapse in attention or misdiagnosis could have catastrophic consequences for a patient’s short- and long-term health. Medical malpractice insurance is essential given the significant financial losses that may arise from such incidents.
What Is Malpractice Insurance?
Malpractice insurance is a core component of an adequate insurance portfolio for any medical services provider. This coverage, also known as medical malpractice insurance, can generally be considered a specialized form of professional liability insurance for those in the health care industry. If your business is accused of negligence, misrepresentation, omissions or otherwise providing improper services or guidance, this coverage can help pay for resulting losses and legal costs.
There are two primary types of malpractice insurance:
- Occurrence malpractice insurance—These policies can provide financial assistance for malpractice claims brought against your business as long as the alleged incident occurred while coverage was active. This means you may still receive aid even if a lawsuit is filed after your policy lapses.
- Claims-made malpractice insurance—This coverage may only help pay for claims if they are brought while a policy is active and the alleged incident occurred after a specified date, known as a retroactive date. This generally means that lawsuits will not be covered if filed well after your policy has lapsed or its extended reporting period has expired.
How to Choose Your Malpractice Insurance
Any financial decision involving the security and future of your business must be conducted thoroughly. When selecting malpractice insurance, your organization may entrust an insurer with its future. With that in mind, take the following steps when selecting coverage:
1. Check ratings—Research the A.M. Best ratings of insurers you are considering to maximize your security. Insurance companies with ratings in the “A” range may be regarded as capable of providing more reliable coverage.
2. Prioritize experience—Ask about your insurance agent’s specific experience concerning malpractice and professional liability insurance. Experienced professionals may be more capable of offering accurate advice and fulfilling unique coverage needs.
3. Ask around—Enlist the opinions of peers and colleagues when weighing your malpractice insurance options. Experienced physicians and medical professionals may have valuable insight.
4. Consider the details—Malpractice insurance policies can vary significantly in their details. Liability limits, tail coverage and consent to settle clauses should be discussed with a qualified insurance professional.
5. Reassess regularly—Although your business may be happy with its malpractice insurance, you should still re-evaluate your policy and circumstances regularly (e.g., annually) to ensure your coverage remains optimal.
Protect Yourself With the Right Coverage
Operating in the medical industry can be rewarding but may include navigating many risks and exposures. Without suitable insurance, even a single malpractice claim could devastate your company’s financial situation and jeopardize its future.
We’re here to help. At Paris-Kirwan Associates, our agents are dedicated to helping health care professionals in the New York City area understand their coverage needs and fulfill them with optimal insurance policies. Contact us today to get started.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.