As a dedicated, caring, and busy healthcare professional, the last thing you need is a medical malpractice lawsuit. Not only can it be emotionally and financially distressing, but it can put your entire practice in jeopardy. That’s why medical malpractice insurance is vital – to protect healthcare practitioners against litigation.
Whether it is purchased as an individual policy or through your medical group or employer, this form of insurance is mandatory in most states. It covers various expenses, including attorney fees, arbitration and settlement costs, punitive and compensatory damages, and medical injuries.
Many physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, and other medical professionals do not know how to go about finding affordable medical malpractice insurance coverage that will fully protect their assets. Let’s talk about what to look for in medical malpractice insurance, and who can help you find the right coverage for you quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
Top 9 Things to Do When Searching for Affordable Medical Malpractice Insurance
- Choose a reputable insurance provider. Look for an experienced, state-admitted carrier (one that has filed its rates with your state and pays into the state guaranty fund) that holds an AM Best rating of an A or higher (A+ or A++). AM Best ranks the credit ratings of insurance companies.
- Read the fine print of the policy. Zero-in on important details, such as a policy’s limits of liability and defense costs. Limits of liability are the maximum amounts the insurance company will pay on your behalf for a claim or series of claims.Some policies are more comprehensive than others, and you will generally pay more for more generous coverage – but keep in mind that a large lawsuit will warrant more coverage to protect you, and you don’t know beforehand whether that will happen.
- Opt for the right defense costs. Defense costs can be inclusive or exclusive. Inclusive defense costs are deducted from the total available limits of liability when utilized. Exclusive defense costs do not have an impact on the total limit of liability of defense expenses accrued to defend a claim, and they are generally considered the better option.
- Scrutinize policy endorsements and extras. For example, does the policy have a tail provision (extended reporting period), which extends coverage for incidents that happened during the time you had your policy, but a claim was not filed until after your policy expired or was canceled? How about other policy extras, such as cyber liability coverage for patient records, regulatory coverage (Medicare and Medicaid), administrative/medical board defense coverage, and coverage for certain procedures you perform which are not otherwise covered?
- Beware of exclusions related to specific areas of your practice. Some insurance companies do not cover claims related to particular procedures, such as prescribing hCG for medical weight loss. Make sure the policy specifically covers what you do in your practice.
- Consider the best policy claim trigger. Either it’s “incident” – in which a claim counts as reported to an insurer if there’s a written notice from a claimant, or if you preemptively report an incident that you think could result in a claim – or “demand,” in which you must wait for a written notice before the event is considered a claim and is therefore covered by the insurer.If you have a choice, an incident claim trigger should be taken in order to protect you more fully.
- Determine whether there is a deductible, and if so, what kind it is. There are two types of deductibles: “first-dollar,” in which you pay the deductible before your insurer covers defense costs, expenses, or any other charges associated with the claim – and “indemnity-only,” in which you pay only the deductible amount if the verdict is not in your favor, or if the case is settled. You pay the first part of the indemnity, and the insurer pays all indemnity up to policy limits after the deductible.Ideally, it is best to find an insurer that doesn’t mandate a deductible, which is possible if you do not have a history of malpractice claims.
- Choose a policy with the most advantageous consent-to-settle clause. Your options include full consent to settle, limited consent to settle, and no consent to settle. With the first option, the insurer cannot settle a claim without your consent. Under the second option, you have the final say on whether to settle a claim or not – but if your insurer recommends settling for a specific amount, the insurer need only pay for what they recommended to you. With the third option, you have no control over whether your malpractice carrier settles a claim or not. There are benefits to all three options.
- Make sure the cost of the malpractice insurance is worth the coverage. Here is where utilizing a malpractice insurance broker to gather many quotes from quality insurance companies can be valuable. A broker can explain how competitive a given quote is, and what it is that you need for your own practice – you don’t want to pay for what you don’t need, and you want to ensure that your services are indeed covered by the policy. A broker can also provide advice on ways to decrease your premium costs with a particular company.
Finding the Best Medical Malpractice Coverage at the Best Rates
When looking for a medical malpractice insurance broker, consider the many advantages of working with eQuoteMD. With more options and insurance companies to choose from than virtually any other medical professional liability insurance group, eQuoteMD independently searches the market to find you the absolute lowest price for your individual situation.
eQuoteMD continually offers important medical malpractice insurance information that is state- and specialty-specific here on our website. We also discuss current information with in-depth white papers.
Request a Quote for Affordable Medical Malpractice Insurance at eQuoteMD
To request more information on how to find affordable medical malpractice insurance, call us today at (855) 823-5283 or request a quote online now. Let us help you find the best malpractice insurance coverage for your practice today!