Buying malpractice insurance is a huge consideration for any healthcare professional. Many people shop based on price alone, but there are many factors that are involved when an insurance carrier provides a quote. We have been conditioned to think that purchasing anything with a low price tag means that you are getting a lower quality product, but that is generally not the case with malpractice insurance. It’s best to dig a little deeper and examine the policy as a whole before making a decision.
Some of the variables that go into pricing an insurance policy include medical specialty, training and education, city or state of practice, claims history, and more. For example, a physician in Los Angeles, California who has taken a risk management class may have a $50,000 annual premium whereas an OBGYN practicing in New York City who has had one claim filed may have an annual premium of over $150,000.
When examining a malpractice insurance policy, you should take into account the type of coverage that is being offered including limits of liability, if it is a claims-made policy or an occurrence policy, and legal services provided (if any). You should also take a look at the exclusions of a policy such as punitive damages, intentional misconduct, and contractual indemnity claims.
Another important thing to look at when deciding on a policy is the reliability and rating of the insurance provider. Ratings from AM Best Company are considered the industry standard, offering reviews of a company’s financial strength, balance sheet, operating performance, and business profile. Generally, you should look at companies that have a secure rating of B++ through A++.
As you can see, there are many important factors to examine when shopping for a new malpractice insurance policy or renewing a policy. It is possible to get a great rate on a premium and still have the exact coverage you need, but remember to thoroughly read over the policy and make sure you understand all the fine print.
Purchasing insurance doesn’t have to be too complicated if you know what to look for. Do your due diligence and work with an agent or broker who specializes in medical malpractice insurance. An experienced agent has access to many insurance carriers and will know all the different types of policies that are available for you. An agent can also help guide you through the application process and let you know if you have adequate coverage or not.
Maria Palma is a freelance writer and blogger based in San Diego, California. For more information about medical malpractice insurance, visit the Nexus Insurance Services website: http://www.nexus-insurance.net