Skip to main content

Medical Malpractice: What You Need to Know

Medical malpractice insurance is an insurance policy that provides coverage against malpractice claims to doctors and hospitals. Below, the insurance professionals at Unity Insurance discuss the basics of medical malpractice insurance and everything you need to know before purchasing a policy. 

Purchasing Medical Malpractice Insurance
When purchasing medical malpractice insurance, it is important to understand the specifics of the policy you are choosing. Are there exclusions in your policy that may leave you without coverage you find necessary? Do you need multiple policies to work at multiple locations? What are your limits of liability (the amount an insurance carrier will pay out for a claim) and are these limits high enough for your needs? You’ll want to take your comfort level into consideration, but also understand state or hospital requirements when deciding which policy is right for you. Whether you need an individual or group policy or need additional coverage over what’s provided by your employer, Unity provides guidance and support to ensure you make the right decisions regarding the coverage that fits your personal needs. 

Claims-Made vs. Occurrence Policies
There are two main types of coverage when it comes to medical malpractice policies: claims-made and occurrence. 

Claims-made policies pay out on the policy form in force when the claim is made.  They will have a retroactive date that matches your initial effective date if you are not requesting the carrier to pick up risk from a prior carrier.

Let’s look at an example. You have an effective/retro-active date of 2018 and a claim is made in 2022 over something that happened in 2019, your current claims-made policy, with current limits, terms, and conditions, would cover the claim retroactive to the 2019 incident date for which the claim is being made. 

Alternatively, an occurrence policy pays out on the policy term in force when the incident resulting in the claim occurred. In the example above, you would file the claim with the carrier you had back in 2019 even though the claim was made in 2022.

Tail Coverage
Tail coverage is needed on a claims-made policy.  The real name for this coverage is “Extended Reporting Period Endorsement.” This is an endorsement that extends the reporting period. This provides protection for claims that occur when the policy is active but are not reported until after the policy is canceled. It is most often purchased by those who are changing jobs, such as when moving from one practice that provided malpractice insurance for its physicians to another one.  Some carriers provide this coverage for free under certain circumstances such as death, disability, or retirement. 

Speak With An Agent At Unity Insurance About Medical Malpractice Insurance
Unity Insurance understands the challenges of deciding which medical malpractice insurance policy is the right choice for your practice. We work with our clients to provide the best plan to match the business and employee needs. Call 410-539-6642 to learn how Unity Insurance’s experienced insurance agents can assist you.