Medical workers strive to keep their patients healthy, guiding them through injury, ailments, and all different life events. However, the best doctor and the best nurse can even make a mistake, and find themselves on the receiving end of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical malpractice insurance is an important safety net for those who hold a policy, but also a way to bolster confidence in patients to approach your practice.
Who needs medical malpractice coverage?
Medical malpractice insurance is coverage provided to physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals for liability arising from services that may have resulted in a patient’s injury or death. This type of insurance is essential for just about anyone in the medical field from pediatricians to dentists and pharmacists to OB-GYNs.
Medical professionals must be sure to do their research when evaluating their options on the market. This can be done with the help of an insurance broker or through online research. Claims can be filed years after the disputed treatment took place. That’s why medical professional liability insurance is important to have even after leaving the health care profession.
Types of Medical Malpractice Coverage
Insurance companies like MEDPLI provide a variety of medical malpractice insurance options for medical professionals to have to keep them protected in the event of legal action brought against them. For example, private practice malpractice insurance is designed to protect specialists from lawsuit damages and attorney fees, like neurosurgeons, OB-GYNs, and psychiatrists to name a few.
These policies cover a range of expenses associated with malpractice suits, including:
- Attorneys’ fees and court costs
- Arbitration and settlement costs
- Punitive and compensatory damages
- Medical damages
Group malpractice insurance policies are designed specifically for just that, groups, in any field within health care. Surgery centers, urgent care clinics, and hospitals may prefer to opt for medical facilities malpractice insurance. These policies are specifically tailored to a facility’s specific needs.
Lastly, tail malpractice insurance is available for any physician or medical professional changing jobs or moving to a new practice. Medical malpractice insurance is provided by your previous employer up until that point. Therefore, tail policies ensure your protection against lawsuits covering back to the retroactive date when you started with your old employer.
Claims-Made vs. Occurrence-Based Policies
Medical malpractice insurance includes various options depending on your field or practice, but they are mainly broken down into two forms of coverage: claims-made and occurrence-based.
A claims-made policy only provides malpractice insurance coverage if the policy is in effect when treatment of a patient happens at the time the lawsuit is filed. This requires a policy that extends for a significant period of time to provide protection against malpractice lawsuits. Some policies include the aforementioned tail insurance for change of employers or field.
An occurrence-based policy will cover a claim for an event that took place during the period of coverage – even if this claim is filed well after the policy expires. This type of policy does not require tail insurance, although occurrence-based policies in malpractice insurance are often more expensive.
Choosing malpractice insurance is just as important for medical professionals as private health insurance is to patients. These private insurers allow for better options in choosing a care team, including OB-GYNs. In fact, this is why you should go to a private hospital to have your child. This allows the assurance of knowing who is handling the birth of your child and giving you the hospital of choice rather than a public hospital.
An expectant mother can go into the delivery room with some peace of mind, knowing the care team that has the best way to get you through. After all, they are with you through sonograms, blood tests, all the way through the pregnancy, and even after you welcome your little one into the world.