Physicians practice in multiple environments, and no two settings are the same. Therefore, you need to insure yourself for the best protection in every situation.
Working in a hospital or other large facility might mean that you have some degree of coverage. Large facilities routinely offer certain levels of coverage for their practicing physicians.
Hospitals often offer a type of coverage called occurrence-based malpractice insurance. This is often very strong coverage, if you use it correctly. However, getting covered through your facility doesn’t mean you should stop there. Once you understand occurrence-based insurance, you can better determine how to meet your own needs.
What is Occurrence-based Coverage?
Occurrence-based malpractice insurance covers claims that occur during the policy period. Policy periods usually last from six months to one year.
Generally, occurrence-based coverage will protect physicians regardless of whether a malpractice allegation happens during or after the policy period. It can still cover you regardless of whether the policy has expired and you've gotten a new policy.
Perhaps someone makes a malpractice claim after the policy has ended. You then might need to claim an accident on your old policy. Under occurrence-based insurance, you can still have protection under the old policy. Some malpractice policies no longer protect their clients after they expire. Occurrence policies usually do for some years. They often cover you until the statute of limitations for a claim expires.
Additionally, you might decide to leave the hospital for a private practice. A patient might allege that you committed malpractice while at the hospital.
If the hospital provides occurrence-based coverage, the policy may still cover you after you have left. So, you may not have to worry about getting coverage that will protect you from the old hospital risks.
Do You Need More than Occurrence-based Coverage?
Some doctors wonder if they need more than occurrence-based coverage in a facility. Deciding to get more coverage means working with the facility and your insurer.
- Make sure the hospital provides appropriate coverage levels as required by law. Several states, including New Jersey, require minimum malpractice insurance coverage levels.
- Review if the coverage is correct for your specialty. Some physicians may face higher risks than others. For example, neurosurgeons or obstetricians face more complex risks than a general practitioner. The hospital’s coverage might be enough for the GP. However, it might push the limits for high-risk specialties. If you feel that you need higher coverage, work with your insurer and hospital management to determine the best way to combine policies.
We’ve got you covered. The Joseph A. Britton Agency, Inc. can help you get malpractice insurance for medical facilities in New Jersey. Call us at 800.462.3401 for more information.