When you think about insurance for doctors, the first thing that comes to mind is medical malpractice insurance, right? Medical malpractice coverage is going to be the #1 thing that protects doctors from most risks—but it isn’t the only insurance you need.
In this article, we talk about the types of medical malpractice insurance as well as other insurance policies you should invest in.
Medical Malpractice Insurance [Professional Liability Insurance]
Medical malpractice insurance—also referred to as professional liability insurance for doctors—helps provide coverage for doctors if claims of negligence, bodily harm, or misconduct are lodged against you. Many insurance companies include coverage for court costs + legal settlements.
Medical malpractice insurance is typically offered in two types of policies: Claims made and occurrence-based policies.
- Claims-made malpractice Insurance: This type of medical malpractice insurance offers you coverage for a defined length of time. Anything that falls outside of that time period is NOT covered. Because it is limited coverage, it is often more affordable than occurrence-based insurance.
- Occurrence-based malpractice insurance: This type of professional liability will protect you and your business no matter when a claim is filed—even if it’s years after the incident occurred or after you retire. Because it’s a more comprehensive time period, it is usually the more expensive of the policy options.
If you choose a claims-made policy and let it lapse because you retire or your practice closes, you can opt to purchase “tail coverage” to protect you from ongoing risk.
Consider a Business Owners Policy
What does a doctor’s practice need other than medical malpractice insurance?
We urge you to consider a business owners' policy (BOP). A BOP typically includes general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance.
General Liability Coverage
General liability insurance can protect you from being liable for claims of third-party bodily injury or third-party property damage that happens on your premises (it does not provide the same coverage as professional liability). It also protects your business if you’re accused of libel, slander, or copyright infringement.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance protects your physical building and/or office space. If your building is damaged due to storms, fires, theft, or vandalism property insurance can help pay to replace or repair whatever is damaged. Many doctor's offices contain expensive equipment that could be devastatingly expensive to replace. This is coverage you don’t want to skimp on.
Business Interruption Insurance
If your property is damaged and you can’t operate your practice, business interruption insurance comes in handy. It can help cover lost profits, payroll, outstanding bills, taxes, and other operating expenses. Some insurance carriers can also help pay for a temporary location to operate until your property is repaired.
Other Types of Insurance Physicians Need
There are some insurance options you’re required to get if you operate a practice with multiple employees. Other insurance options are those you can consider to further protect you from risk.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance is legally required in almost every state of the United States if you hire employees (nurses, administrative staff, physician assistants, etc.). This insurance helps cover medical bills and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job—or becomes ill from a job-related exposure. It also protects you as the small business owner from being sued for those occurrences.
You can also consider offering other benefits to your employees such as life insurance, health insurance, or 401ks/retirement plans.
Cyber Liability Insurance
The necessity for cyber liability insurance is becoming more and more necessary as practices are moving away from paper documentation and toward digital documentation for patients. If your patient’s data is compromised from hacking or ransomware, cyber liability can help. Cyber insurance can help you notify patients of compromised data, provide them with credit-monitoring, and help pay ransom demands if necessary. Check with your insurance agent to see if your general liability insurance includes cyber coverage. If the coverage isn’t sufficient, consider adding standalone cyber liability.
Doctors Disability Insurance
If you or another doctor on your staff suffers an injury or illness that leaves you unable to practice, this policy can replace some of the lost income. It’s not considered a full disability policy (i.e. if the doctor can perform the functions of a different job this can still apply).
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Physicians and surgeons are often in positions of authority, whether as the owner of the practice or simply someone with seniority. You should consider employment practices liability insurance to protect you if you are accused by a coworker or employee of sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, etc. Lawsuits can be costly, and even one can bankrupt a small practice.
Employee Theft Coverage
Also referred to as employee dishonesty coverage, employee theft coverage can help compensate you and your business if an employee commits fraud, embezzles, or otherwise steals from the business.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
If a claim exhausts the limits of underlying insurance, an umbrella policy can often help cover the overage. Some insurance companies offer umbrella coverage that will include things that are excluded from underlying policies. It can often be more affordable than raising the limits of underlying policies.
How Much Does Business Insurance for Doctors Cost?
Many factors impact what you may pay for your insurance rates, including:
- The services you offer (i.e. are you a brain surgeon or a dentist?)
- The equipment you need covered (and its price tag)
- The annual revenue of your business
- Where your practice is located
- The number of employees you have
The type of policies, deductibles, policy limits, and even the insurance company you choose also impact the cost. We always recommend speaking with an independent agent who can help you shop around for coverage. They can also help you determine the risk you face and what your insurance needs are.
Get a Free Quote for Insurance Coverage
Whether you're just looking for medical malpractice insurance, a business' owners policy, or simply want more information about rates for insurance—we've got you covered. Our goal at Tivly is to help small practices like yours get the coverage you need at an affordable price.
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