If you're a healthcare provider, it's likely that you went into this field out of a desire to help people. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can do a lot of good for others. However, the profession comes with its own risks. If a decision you make at work leads to the injury, illness, or death of a patient, you may be legally liable for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice insurance can shield you from potential repercussions, allowing you to work without fear or anxiety. Here are four things you should consider when shopping for medical malpractice insurance:
1. Pay close attention to the dates of coverage
In order to make sure you're always covered by your medical malpractice insurance while practicing medicine, make sure you note the effective dates of your malpractice coverage. In most cases, your coverage ends when your plan's end date passes. However, some plans offer coverage that extends past this point, which can be useful if you're shopping for a new carrier. Pay attention to retroactive dates too. If you were not covered when a patient filed a suit against you for some reason, some plans will cover the expenses retroactively, as long as they fall within a certain window.
2. Purchase vicarious liability plans if you have a private practice
When you work for a hospital or a company, you're only responsible for your own actions. Your employer is ultimately liable for anything that you do wrong. When you're the boss who hires other employees, you may be liable for their mistakes. Vicarious liability will offer you coverage from suits arising from your staff's actions. If a nurse or doctor that you employ accidentally harms a patient, this medical malpractice insurance plan will cover you.
3. Read through the exclusion list
Every medical malpractice insurance plan will have an exclusion list, in which the plan lists incidents it won't cover. Some of these incidents are self-explanatory and obvious. For example, all plans will refuse to cover incidents that were done intentionally or maliciously. Sexual assault and malpractice arising from intoxication are also typically excluded. However, some exclusions are less obvious. Some plans won't refuse incidents that happen due to the use of anesthesia, so read through the exclusion list carefully.
4. Learn the limits
Most medical malpractice policies will only cover a certain number of malpractice incidents. Find out how many incidents a plan will cover before purchasing it. You will usually find two limits, a lifetime limit, and an annual limit. Plans with higher limits will often be more expensive, so decide if the extra peace of mind is worth it to you.
After we purchased our first home, we realized that it might be a good idea to evaluate our insurance coverage. Although we had purchased homeowners insurance before, we had never owned a policy as large as the one we would need for our new place. Also, our new home had a trampoline and a swimming pool, which made us worried about liability. To iron out the details, I decided to meet with our insurance agent. We talked about things like monthly premiums, coverage limits, and deductibles, and it was incredible to learn more about the terminology. This blog is designed to help you with the same types of questions.