People working in the healthcare area, and this includes doctors, are prone to mistakes. An incision missed by only a few millimeters should be enough. Or even a prescription medication given to someone that will cause an unexpected adverse reaction. Even when talking about surgeons, which are very skilled at what they do, there are surgeries that will go in a different direction than expected.
In the end, doctors are still humans, and humans, in general, are prone to making mistakes. Even a minor error, when talking about the medical industry, can cause significant damage to the person affected. Sometimes they might not even recover for the rest of their lives.
Such issues can lead to lawsuits which are usually very costly for medical practitioners, including doctors. And we’re not talking only about money; just one mistake might be enough to cost a physician their license and exclude them from the medical field in which they work.
One of the best ways in which a medical professional can protect their business, financial stability, and close family from these types of lawsuits is with the help of Medical Malpractice Insurance. This policy is very important in a doctor’s insurance coverage portfolio. Even if a doctor would be so sure of his skills that they’d consider they don’t need this type of insurance, they won’t be able to practice in the United States without getting it.
How Much Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost?
As with most insurance types, the actual cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance will depend on a few factors like the state where you work and the general pricing of insurance as a whole. To compound that, medical personnel and medical practices have a variety of variables to take into account.
The risk of a medical professional will also depend on the field they are working in. Although doctors are highly trained in general, a heart surgeon will face considerably higher risks when working than a family doctor.
You should expect an average cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance somewhere around $8,500 annually. Keep in mind that this is just an average and will depend on a lot of insurance variables and on the type of doctor needing it.
For example, a surgeon is expected to pay anywhere between $35,000 and $50,000 every year on insurance. On the other hand, other medical personnel will pay considerably less, anywhere between $4,500 and $13,000 per year.
What is Medical Malpractice Insurance?
Medical Professional Liability Insurance, or Medical Malpractice Insurance for short, is that type of liability coverage made specifically to protect medical employees including physicians, pharmacists, and nurses.
This type of liability coverage will come in your help when your wrongful practices lead to medical expenses, property damage, or bodily injury.
One very popular example is when, after surgery, people start to complain of intense pains and upon close investigations, medical objects used for the actual surgery are found inside the wound. This would result in a second surgery to extract the object, usually followed by a lawsuit and in most cases a large settlement.
As long as the surgeon, as well as the hospital, will be protected by Medical Malpractice Insurance, they won’t be held accountable for the big settlement expense.
Who Would Need Medical Malpractice Insurance?
Any individual working in the U.S. medical industry in any professional setting needs to have medical malpractice coverage. Some of the professions that will have to get this coverage are:
What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cover?
The usual medical malpractice policy will offer liability coverage to people in the medical field protecting them if they show neglicenge in their job. This particular type of insurance coverage will have an additional benefit, helping any medical employee get a lawyer to fight for their case in the court of law. Also, this coverage will usually inclurde:
- Punitive damages
- Medical damages
- Settlement costs
- Court costs and fees
You will usually get one of the two types of Medical Malpractice Insurance policies:
- Occurrence Made: This type of coverage was created to protect the insured for any event which happened while the coverage was active, even if the policy had lapsed before the claim was filed. Although this type of insurance isn’t readily available in all states, in states where you find it, most medical workers will go for it because it will offer a considerably better protection.
- Claims Made: This type of malpractice coverage will only protect you while it is still active. This means that this coverage will only work if it is in effect not only when the accident happened, but also when the lawsuit was filed. If any of these two situations isn’t met, the coverage will not be valid. This is problematic because there are a lot of issues that are found later on and lawsuits that won’t happen until way later. There is the possibility of a so-called tail policy to be added as an extension to this coverage.
What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance NOT Cover?
Although very complex and inclusive, medical malpractice policy will have its limits in terms of what it can cover. For example, Medical Malpractice Insurance will not be able to cover misrepresentations, criminal acts, or some types of misconduct.
To make sure that you are protected against any claims that fall into the criminal acts or misconduct categories, the facility where you are employed will also have to have Employer’s Practice Liability Insurance (EPLI) as part of their insurance portfolio.
What is Tail Insurance?
Tail Insurance is made with the purpose of covering the medical personel for a set amount of time after the expiration of their malpractice coverage and can be naturally added to a claims-made policy.
Claims-made policies are usually made to last anywhere between 5 and 10 years and will require the medical employee be covered not only when the incident occurs, but also when the claim will be made. The Tail Insurance will ensure that the individual will be covered in the future as well, in a lawsuit will be filed against them.
All professionals working in the medical industry will need Medical Malpractice Insurance. Depending on the state in which you work, you might be required to get this coverage to work with patients.
Practicing medicine without proper malpractice insurance coverage is a risk not worth taking.