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Working With An Agent and Choosing Medical Malpractice Insurance

Maria Palma

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Deciding on a malpractice insurance policy is not something that should be made in haste. There are many different policies and even more insurance providers to choose from. Which policy is right for you? More importantly, is it the right policy that provides the best protection against a malpractice claim?

There is a common misconception that buying direct from an insurance provider will save you money, but in actuality you will usually find that premiums are the same whether you go through a broker/agent or purchase direct. Agents can serve as a valuable resource as they have access to various malpractice insurance carriers and can shop around to get the best deal for you.

Consider an agent as your “1-stop” shop who can save you so much time, money, and hassle in the long run. Besides that, an agent stays updated on current market trends and will be able to know if premiums have gone down or up.

The majority of states in the U. S. do require that healthcare professionals do have malpractice insurance. Even medical students and International students taking electives in the U. S. must have a policy. Premiums range depending on the state, city, and what area of medicine you specialize in. They also vary according to the type of policy you are interested in.

Some things to consider where purchasing a policy include:

  • * Differences in coverage (claims-made vs occurrence)
  • * Can I take the policy with me if I move to another state?
  • * Will it cover any volunteer work that I do?
  • * Purchasing from a mutual vs stock insurance company

A claims-made policy is one that covers you on any claims that are made while the policy is active. If the policy is canceled or you switch companies, you will no longer be covered by any future claims. An occurrence policy is one that costs more than claims-made coverage, but will cover you forever even if the policy is expired or canceled.

When doing business with a stock medical malpractice insurance company, keep in mind that they have to answer to stockholders who are often not policyholders. These types of companies raise money from the market and purchasing a policy through them can sometimes be cheaper than going through a mutual company. On the other hand, the owners of a mutual insurance company are essentially the policyholders and any excess profits made are given back as dividends, or refunds of premium.

When you work with a malpractice insurance broker or agent, you can get help deciding on the many options that are available to you.


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