Medical liability insurance is an absolute must-have for practicing physicians and dentists, and deciding who to receive coverage from is a very important decision that should not be made lightly. Here are seven questions to ask yourself when considering your medical liability insurance options.
1. What kind of coverage do I have? There are big differences between claims made and occurrence policies – differences that can profoundly affect your level of protection, so make sure you know what you’re purchasing.
2. What are my liability limits? Risk retention groups and self-insurance programs may provide different limits than those of New York State-licensed insurers. You should also determine whether you’re covered by a policy with your own set of limits, or if you’re sharing limits with an employer and other employees.
3. Do I need additional coverage in addition to my basic policy, e.g. “tail” or “nose” coverage? Tail or nose coverage is usually required upon termination of a claims made policy, as claims made policies only cover claims reported while the policy is in effect.
4. Is my insurer regulated by New York State? Insurers licensed in New York State are regulated by the State to protect policyholders from potentially harmful rate changes, coverage changes, and insurer insolvency. Insurers, risk retention groups and self-insurance programs not licensed by New York State may not afford these protections.
5. What is my insurer’s current financial condition? If an insurer is weak financially, it may have difficulty honoring its obligations to policyholders. You should periodically check the solvency of your insurer and identify what kind of insolvency protection it has.
6. What happens if my insurer becomes insolvent? If an insurer becomes insolvent and is unable to fulfill its obligations, policyholders may become responsible for any of their unsatisfied liabilities.
7. Does an employer’s financial condition affect their employees’ medical professional liability? When employers face financial difficulty, they may purchase less insurance or set aside less money to pay claims if self-insured. If you are covered by an employer’s policy or self-insurance program, be sure to monitor what protections your employer is providing.
Need further guidance on medical liability insurance? A personalized consultation with a MLMIC representative is just a phone call or email away. Visit our Contact Us page today.