Medical professionals work day and night to treat people and save lives. They go through numerous challenges in the course of their work.

Despite their educational and professional backgrounds, medical practitioners are bound to make mistakes while performing their duties.

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It doesn’t matter whether the mistake was intentional or unintentional. A negligence lawsuit against a doctor can have adverse effects on his or her career. The best and only way to keep safe is by getting appropriate medical malpractice insurance cover.

Many insurance companies specialize in offering insurance policies for medical practitioners. All you have to do is to contact a reliable insurance agent for proper guidance.

The advantage of working with an independent agent is that they have both expertise and experience in different types of malpractice insurance policies. They can help you find a cover that best suits your needs and medical officer.

Facts on medical malpractice

  • Mistakes that happen in hospitals as a result of medical negligence cost approximately $30 billion every year.
  • About 100,000 people die yearly from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.
  • One in every eight medical negligence cases leads to malpractice claims.
  • Approximately $6 billion was spent on medical negligence claims in 2000
  • Five percent of doctors are responsible for 54 percent of all medical malpractice claims.
  • Medical negligence insurance costs doctors about 3.2% of their total revenue.

Understanding medical malpractice insurance

Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that handles particular risks healthcare practitioners face. Although you might be included in your employer’s liability insurance, it is always important to have your own cover.

The good thing about having a personal medical malpractice insurance cover is that it protects you from financial loss that may result from a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What a medical malpractice insurance covers

This type of malpractice insurance offers protection to medical practitioners in two ways. The first way is that it caters to all legal expenses in case of a lawsuit against you. Secondly, the cover pays for legal settlement as stated in the policy document.

Lawsuits involving medical negligence are often costly. It is therefore important to get an insurance company that guarantees full protection against medical malpractice.

Besides helping doctors with lawsuits, an insurance company can also cover the costs of carrying out reviews by peer panels. For instance, if you incur a financial loss in a peer review decision, then the insurance company will compensate for that.

The problem is that some medical practitioners assume that their employer’s liability insurance cover protects them. The truth is that there are certain exceptions that you might not be aware of.

Basically, all employers are supposed to cover their employees against medical malpractice. However, if there is a conflict of interest, an employer can have a perfect excuse to leave you out.

Who should purchase a medical malpractice cover?

Almost any person working in the medical profession requires a medical malpractice insurance policy.

Below is a list of the people and facilities that need this type of insurance:

  • Practicing surgeons and doctors
  • Independent health practitioners
  • Weight loss clinics
  • Chiropractors
  • Orthodontists and dentists
  • Medical clinics and hospitals
  • HMOs and healthcare groups
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What is the cost of medical malpractice insurance?

The cost of medical malpractice insurance depends on the type of practice and where you are located. Besides, several other factors, such as the type of insurance coverage, come into play when determining the cost of insurance.

For example, a person conducting heart surgery is more likely to get involved in medical malpractice than an RN taking blood samples.

Obstetrics used to be one of the areas that tended to report a higher number of malpractice litigations. Nonetheless, today there is no medical field that is totally immune from medical malpractice lawsuits.

Different states have to carry medical malpractice costs. For example, a medical practitioner in California can pay a malpractice cover of between $22,000 and $34,000 annually. On the other hand, a medical professional in Minnesota can pay between $4,000 and $17,000 every year.

The cost is also dependent on the amount of insurance coverage purchased. If your employer provides liability insurance, it is good to determine the specifics or limitations of the cover for individual employees.

Understanding the terms of your employer’s liability insurance will give you an idea of how much you are protected.

Finally, you should not only base on the price when selecting a malpractice insurance cover. The best option is to find an experienced insurance agent to help you make the right decision.

Factors to consider when choosing a malpractice insurance cover

There are several things that you should consider when shopping for the right medical malpractice insurance. They include the following:

  • Experience: Before you decide to purchase an insurance cover, you should determine how long the insurance company has been operating. An experienced company has better chances of understanding your needs compared to a new one.
  • Customer service: Simple as it may sound, an insurance company’s customer service can greatly affect your insurance cover. Take, for example, a company that takes several days or weeks to respond to emails from clients. Or a company that rarely picks calls? You are likely to face frustrations in case you are sued by a patient and require compensation from the company. This is why customer service should be taken seriously when looking for an insurance company.
  • Cost: Although this should not be a major factor, it is important to check the insurance company’s premium rates before making the final decision. Some insurance companies have the habit of overcharging clients without justifiable reasons.

Bottom line

The importance of medical malpractice insurance cannot be overstated. Any person working within the medical sector has a duty to protect themselves against medical negligence lawsuits.

Just like in any other profession, doctors are prone to making mistakes. It is good to have medical malpractice insurance to protect yourself.