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Hotaling Medical Malpractice Insurance Services

Medical Malpractice Insurance Services

Who Needs Medical Malpractice Insurance?

  • Medical malpractice insurance can benefit physicians, nurses, dentists, optometrists, and other medical professionals.
  • Most states require physicians to carry medical malpractice insurance. However, even where it is not legally required, coverage is a smart idea.

What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cover?

  • If you are sued, medical malpractice insurance can pay for your defense costs, including attorney and court fees.
  • Medical malpractice insurance can also provide coverage for settlements, medical expenses, and damages.

Most states require that physicians obtain medical malpractice insurance to offset the risk and costs of potential lawsuits. The risk is great enough that even in states that lack this requirement, physicians rarely practice without it. In addition to physicians, there are other professions that should carry medical malpractice coverage, including nurses, dentists, optometrists, therapists and other medical professionals.

Types Of Medical Malpractice Insurance

  • The coverage of medical malpractice insurance is dependent on when the incident occurs and when the claim is filed.
  • Occurrence-Based: Occurrence-based policies provide protection against incidents that occur while the policy is active, even if a claim is reported after the policy ends.
  • Claims-Made: Claims-made policies are the most common and provide coverage for a set period of time. If the claim is made outside of that timeframe, it will not be covered.
  • Tail Coverage: Tail coverage is used to extend coverage in a claims-made policy so that an incident is covered if it occurs during the coverage period, but a claim is made after the policy ends.

Calculating Premiums

Premiums are based on the risk of the health care provider and the degree of certainty of this risk. Medical malpractice insurance is not experience-rated, therefore when a physician has a claim, premiums do not increase. Instead, premiums are determined by a physician’s specialty and geographic location; premiums are typically higher in urban settings than in rural areas, and high-risk practices like obstetrics, gynecology, neurosurgery and orthopedics generally have the higher premiums than other, lower-risk practices.

State Regulation

Medical malpractice insurance is predominantly regulated by states, and malpractice insurers serve only one state or a small number of states. To combat rising medical malpractice litigation insurance premiums, some states have capped damages that can be collected in medical malpractice suits, and others have mandated the purchase of at least $1 million of medical malpractice insurance. Other states have minimal requirements. Contact us for more information about the regulations that apply to you regarding medical malpractice insurance and ensure that you do not face gaps in coverage.