What is Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance, also known as medical professional liability insurance, is a type of professional liability insurance that provides coverage to healthcare professionals and facilities in case they are sued for malpractice, negligence, or errors in providing medical care.

What is Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Suppose your patient files a lawsuit against you as a healthcare provider under the complaint that you harmed them intentionally or due to negligence. In that case, you can get protection from this insurance coverage. It is without a doubt that mistakes are bound to happen, no matter what type of professional you are.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 22 million healthcare workers in the healthcare industry, and surgeons, nurses, health technicians, and doctor’s assistants are no exception. Thus, medical professional liability insurance is necessary if you have a business that offers health-related services.

Types of Medical Malpractice Insurance

There are two types of medical malpractice insurance, which are sometimes called medical professional errors and omissions insurance. These types include:

  • Claims-made: For this type of policy, a claim must be filed, and your policy is still active with your insurer. Besides, claims-made quotes are the most common and ordinary type of medical malpractice insurance.
  • Occurrence-made: This type of medical professional liability insurance handles claims that were filed even after your policy has expired or has not been renewed. However, occurrence-made medical malpractice insurance policies are less common and are more expensive.

What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cover?

If you are considering a medical malpractice insurance policy, it is important that you find out the basic coverage options before shopping around for insurers. Hence, here are the claims covered by medical professional liability insurance:

  • Care-related injuries.
  • Unimportant surgery.
  • Treatment errors.
  • Hasty or early discharge from the clinic or hospital.
  • Medication errors.

Covered expenses related to settling and defending claims include:

  • Court costs.
  • Punitive and compensatory damages.
  • Arbitration costs.
  • Medical damages.
  • Attorney’s fees.

If you are ever in the situation mentioned above and you have medical professional liability insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company.

What Does It Not Cover?

Here are some exclusions to medical professional liability insurance that will not be covered:

  • Damaged business property.
  • Changes to medical records.
  • Sexual misconduct.
  • Employee injuries.
  • Patient accidents.
  • Car accidents.
  • Lawsuits filed by you.
  • Criminal acts.
  • Patient abuse or discrimination.
  • Cyber liability.

Who Needs a Policy?

Here are a few examples of healthcare providers that should consider getting a medical malpractice insurance policy:

  • Physician assistants.
  • Physical therapists.
  • Nurse practitioners.
  • Yoga instructors.
  • Personal trainers.

Moreover, these professionals are required to have a quote by:

  • Business clients.
  • State law.
  • Credentialing authorities.
  • Licensing agencies.
  • Healthcare networks.
  • Health insurance plans.
  • Government contracts.

So, I advise you to consider this type of professional liability insurance if you run a healthcare business.

How Much Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost?

What is the average cost of medical professional liability insurance? Generally, this type of insurance is very expensive and usually costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the figures you get depend on different factors.

Nevertheless, in some states, nurses pay less than $100 a year for a medical professional liability insurance policy. On the other hand, surgeons may pay between $30,000 and $50,000 per year. This means that professions with higher risk will need to pay more.

Factors determining the cost of a policy include:

  • How often you work (work frequency).
  • Policy limits.
  • Your profession.
  • Previous claim history.
  • Years of experience.

Nonetheless, you can get an estimate of how much you will pay for medical professional liability insurance when you choose an insurer or insurance provider.

How to Find the Best Medical Malpractice Insurance

Finding the best medical malpractice insurance seems to be a hassle, especially for those who are new to the world of insurance. There are several other things you will have to do before choosing. So, here is how to apply for a quote and find the best one:

  • First of all, if you are an employee working, check if your employer offers medical malpractice insurance.
  • Figure out the amount of coverage you need.

By doing the following, you will not have an issue with the application process or shopping.


Who needs Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, and other medical practitioners typically need medical malpractice insurance. Additionally, healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, and medical centers often require this insurance coverage.

How much medical malpractice insurance do I need?

The amount of coverage needed varies depending on factors such as your specialty, location, and the potential risks associated with your practice. It’s important to assess your individual needs and consult with an insurance agent to determine the appropriate coverage amount.

What is “claims-made” vs. “occurrence” coverage?

“Claims-made” coverage provides protection for claims made against you during the policy period, regardless of when the alleged incident occurred. “Occurrence” coverage, on the other hand, covers incidents that occur during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed.

How do I choose a medical professional liability insurance policy?

When selecting a medical malpractice insurance policy, consider factors such as the reputation and financial stability of the insurance company, the extent of coverage offered, the cost of premiums, and any additional benefits or features included in the policy.

What happens if I change jobs or retire?

Some medical malpractice insurance policies offer tail coverage or “extended reporting” endorsements, which provide coverage for claims made after the policy has expired, typically for a specified period. It’s important to ensure you have appropriate coverage in place during transitions in your career.

What factors can affect the cost of medical professional liability insurance?

The cost of medical professional liability insurance can be influenced by factors such as your specialty, location, claims history, coverage limits, and the insurance company’s underwriting criteria. Taking steps to mitigate risks and maintain a good professional reputation may help lower premiums.

Can I be sued personally for malpractice if I have insurance?

While medical malpractice insurance provides financial protection in the event of a lawsuit, healthcare professionals can still be named personally in malpractice lawsuits. However, insurance coverage can help mitigate the financial impact of legal proceedings and potential settlements or judgments.

How do I report a potential malpractice claim?

If you become aware of a potential malpractice claim, it’s important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. They will guide you through the claims process and provide assistance in managing the situation.

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