General Surgery Medical Malpractice Insurance
In today’s highly litigious society, physicians who perform surgery are at a higher risk of being implicated in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Doctors who specialize in general surgery are no exception. General surgeons will usually experience lower medical malpractice insurance premiums than cardiovascular surgeons or neurosurgeons for example, the cost for coverage of general surgery can still be high. According to the American Medical Association, today roughly 5% of physicians classify themselves as general surgeons.
The limits of liability for general surgeons varies from state-to-state. $1,000,000/$3,000,000 limits are common in most states, but it is important to find out what your state requirements are before purchasing coverage. The eQuoteMD representatives can help you choose the best limits for you depending on your state, practice, and hospital affiliations.
Most general surgery medical malpractice insurance policies can include coverage for prior acts. This means surgeons do not have to purchase tail coverage from their previous insurance company when making a change. Every situation is different, and there are cases where it is not necessary to purchase retroactive coverage, such as physicians new to practice coming out of residency or a fellowship program, physicians previously covered by an occurrence policy, or physicians employed by a hospital or group where a tail has been purchased.
Many studies today suggest the workload for general surgeons will continue to incrementally increase until 2020. Primarily, there has been a decrease in general surgeons per 100,000 citizens in the United States in the last 25 years. Some estimates based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ numbers suggest that the ratio of general surgeons per 100,000 residents has dropped nearly 25% since the 1980’s. Coupled with this fact is the increasing age of the population. As the baby boomers age, they will require an increased amount of medical attention. One study concludes that the workload of general surgeons will increase another 15% in the next 10 years.
Due to the high premiums surgical physician classes experience with their medical malpractice insurance coverage, it is important to find the lowest premiums while still having adequate and secure coverage. The physician is ultimately responsible to ensure their practice is protected. General surgeons applying for medical malpractice insurance must completely disclose the full scope of procedures they will perform during an insurance policy period. Additionally, the number of procedures and the proportion of their time performing them must be relatively accurate on the application.
If the type or amount of procedures general surgeons perform dramatically changes during a policy period, they must let their insurance company know. Your personal independent broker will ensure your coverage has been changed accordingly and that you are able to maintain adequate coverage for your medical practice.