No doctor or nurse should be without medical professional liability insurance, often called medical malpractice insurance. Even the simplest medical procedures aren't without risk, so there is always the possibility that a patient will suffer complications. When this happens, the patient may attempt to blame you, citing medical malpractice, even if the complication was simply an unfortunate side effect of the procedure that could not have been prevented. Here's what you need to know about malpractice insurance and how it works.
Two Types of Medical Liability Insurance
Malpractice insurance generally falls into one of two primary categories: occurrence and claims-made.
Occurrence coverage is based on when the incident actually occurred. Even if the patient doesn't file a claim until a year or more after the event, the policy that was in place at the time of the incident will cover it. Even if you switch to a different insurer or even cancel your policy altogether, the policy that was in effect when the incident occurred can still come into play.
Claims-made coverage has become increasingly common in the insurance industry. The general principle behind this type of policy is relatively similar, though it is based on when the patient files the claim, not when the alleged malpractice actually occurred. This means that you may need to maintain coverage for several years after you retire, rather than canceling your policy right away, to ensure you are protected against any future lawsuits that may arise.
Coverage for Legal Expenses
In addition to covering a patient's additional medical bills, malpractice insurance will typically also cover the costs of investigating and defending against malpractice claims. Not all malpractice claims are easy to verify, and they often require extensive investigation to determine whether malpractice truly occurred. This legal process can often take a long time, and those legal expenses can seriously add up over time. Make sure that your policy includes this aspect of coverage to ensure the legal proceedings don't bleed you and your practice dry financially.
Evaluate Your Medical Liability Insurance Today
If it has been a while since you last updated your malpractice insurance policy, now is the time to do it. Southern Colorado Insurance is here to help with all your insurance needs, so reach out to our team today to get started. We can recommend the right coverage options for your specific insurance needs.