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Get Insured against Medical Professional Liability

Medical professional liability insurance

In recent years across the United States of America, there has been an increase in the number of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals being taken to court for alleged medical negligence or medical malpractice. The cases which medical professionals have to fight in order to defend themselves could be just an unwarranted, wrongful suit or may be an actual act or medical negligence. Whatever the case may be, every medical professional – be it doctors, medical assistants, nursing professionals, nursing assistants, non-physician medical administrators, part-time healthcare practitioner, healthcare volunteer, or medical and nursing students on externships-- in the course of their profession, does face such trying situations that could well cost him/her huge sums of settlement costs while defending themselves. It is therefore very important for the members of practicing medical fraternity to have medical professional liability insurance.

The available statistics on cases related medical malpractice in the United States are striking. It is reported that there is a whopping 10 percent increase in the expenses incurred in medical malpractice litigations annually. Lawyers are constantly looking for loopholes to pull up every medical practitioner, if the standard of healthcare is found to be poor or unsatisfactory. So, according to experts in the industry, taking care to maintain medical professional liability insurance and ensuring timely and consistent renewal of the insurance cover is very important to the practitioners. It is therefore advisable to prepare oneself to buy a cover or renew a cover well in advance.

Any medical professional insured against medical malpractice is entitled to be covered, irrespective of whether the professional wins the suit or not. For example, if the court pronounces a verdict that is in favor of the medical professional, thereby proving the plaintiff wrong, the medical professional gets the insurance sum that can help cover litigation costs. Similarly, if the medical professional, as a defendant, loses the suit, then the insurance amount is paid as settlement costs claimed by the plaintiff.

A large number of healthcare setups in America do offer general medical liability insurance cover to their employees and the insurance policy and the cover largely depends upon the employment grade of the medical practitioner. This insurance cover, however, may sometimes be a one-time cover, or a cover that may not be sufficient (in most cases) for a full settlement. Also, under the general insurance cover, not all legal costs are included in the limits of liability. General policies often come with a lot of terms and conditions.

Moreover, an employer’s general policy may not be valid across all states if America. Experts in the industry suggest that every medical practitioner, big and small, must insist on his/her own personal policy either from the employer or from a private insurance provider. “Having to buy a personal policy from a private insurance provider is even better,” they say. Such policies can cover the policy holder even during claims made while the policy holder is off duty.
The best way to locate a private medical liability insurance provider is to go online. There are several well established insurance providers who can offer the comfort of taking charge of the practitioner’s medical liability insurance needs along with offering timely reminders on policy renewal options. Applying for a medical professional liability insurance online is quick and easy.

A private medical liability insurance provider will suit the practitioner’s convenience on the amount of premiums and deductibles the client chooses to have. Online insurance agents or companies do offer sound and timely tips to the insured practitioner. Medical professionals can also look for medical journals and liability insurance companies for such handy tips on specific kinds of liability coverage.

Medical practitioners need to assess their responsibilities and the corresponding limits of liability in the healthcare setup before buying a personal medical liability insurance policy. The policy must also relate to the affordability of the premium amount which, the practitioner chooses to pay. The idea should be that at all circumstances the policy holder maintains a certain amount of coverage.

Furthermore, keeping a record of claims history is necessary for anybody insured, irrespective of the insurance sum. A good policy ensures that the policy holder is covered for medical liability even after the practitioner is retired or leaves a healthcare setup for another. This cover during the time when the practitioner is working elsewhere and not in the previous place where negligence was alleged can be either bought as `tail’ coverage or `nose’ coverage. While tail coverage is the insurance cover provided for the previous workplace, nose coverage is the insurance cover for the new workplace in advance.

Medical professional liability insurance is as important as personal liability insurance. It is more than evident that there are umpteen numbers of medical professional liability insurance policies to suit every practitioner in the American healthcare industry. Given the rising number of cases of medical malpractice in the US, it becomes necessary for every practitioner to collate information about such policies, scout for lower rates and strike the best possible deal.
Published: 2008-01-28
Author: Paawana Poonacha Cariappa

About the author or the publisher
Byline articles for publications,PR content for corporates, syndicated articles for bigwigs, rhymes and short stories for children, and poetry for the like-minded...taking forward over 10 years experience as journalist/writer, presently working as Content Head for a Mumbai-based communications firm. You can view my bylines as "Paawana Poonacha" or "Paawana Poonacha Cariappa".

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