Understanding Claims-Made Malpractice Insurance
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There is always a chance that a physician’s services, treatments or practice environment could hurt those who receive care. Should something happen to a patient, they might sue the physician or clinic for malpractice.
Malpractice insurance can help when a physician’s negligence or omissions harm a patient. The doctor or practice can use this coverage to compensate the patient or cover legal costs. This protection can help the practice avoid costly losses and repair its reputation.
One commonly-used type of malpractice protection is claims-made coverage. Generally, it provides adequate coverage to help physicians fight or settle malpractice claims.
Nonetheless, there are limits to claims-made policies. The policy will only cover allegations and claims occurring during the policy’s term. The alleged incident of malpractice and the claim filing must happen during the time the claims-made policy is active.
For example, if a patient alleges malpractice two years after an incident, simple claims-made policies may not help the care provider. Existing coverage may not cover the incident because it did not occur during that policy’s active period. Physicians might need to extend the protection offered by a former claims-made policy.
Tail (Extended Reporting) Coverage for Claims-Made Insurance
Tail coverage is a policy extension that can lengthen the term of a claims-made policy reporting period. Therefore, if someone files malpractice allegations a couple of years after claims-made coverage ends, the old coverage can still protect the physician. Some claims-made policies automatically include tail protection, while others require the policyholder to add the extension separately.
Policyholders should keep in mind that adding tail coverage to their policy might increase their premium costs. However, it is often important for physicians to carry protection this protection if they change jobs, retire or even switch insurers.
Choosing the Correct Coverage
So, how do you know if claims-made coverage is right for you?
First, look into the law. States often regulate how medical practitioners must obtain medical malpractice insurance. They also often legislate how patients have the ability to sue practices. This means that you may face a requirement or prohibition on getting claims-made policies.
Second, consider your individual needs. See if your employer requires claims-made protection. Some might even offer group coverage to all physicians who work for them. This can help the physician decide how to enroll in coverage specific to them.
Let the Britton Agency be your resource to finding strong occurrence coverage for your practice. We will work with you to research your business’ needs and liability risks. That way, we can better recommend the malpractice coverage that is right for you.
If you’re ready for a quote, call us today at 800.462.3401 we are ready to help.