Professional Negligence: Medical Malpractice Insurance

Medical Malpratice Insurance, TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Worcester, MAProfessional negligence occurs when there is a breach of the duty of care between a professional and their client. “Duty of care” is a common law arrangement (with the precedence set with landmark tort cases) where the client expects a certain level of professionalism, standards, and precautions that are commonly held by the profession in question. Medical malpractice, as a subset of professional negligence, means that the patient expects the doctor and their subordinates to hold to common standards – and law requirements – that prevent undue harm and distress to them while the patient is under their care.

Malpractice and the Costs

“Malpractice” is a term most medical professionals shy away from, but it cannot be avoided. In a lifetime of driving you will most likely be in at least one accident, and the same is true with an accusal of malpractice as a medical practitioner. Regardless of fault, the cost of defending against a case of malpractice is high, including investigation, expert witness, and defense costs, and – in the event of a lost case or settlement – payment. Beyond these costs is that of your reputation: depending on state law you may be barred from work, and the malpractice suit will follow you wherever you go.

Malpractice Insurance Basics and Coverage

Medical malpractice insurance – also known medical professional liability insurance – covers bodily injury, property damage, as well as personal injury liability such as in cases of “mental anguish.” In addition the policy covers legal costs of defending against such claims – which often can costs as much or more than the settlement costs for the alleged wrongful practice itself. Coverage is usually based on how your practice is set up and, depending on where and how you have your practice set up, malpractice insurance may be mandatory.

  • Solo Practice: if you are not part of a larger entity and have no employees, coverage for yourself and your business are covered in a single policy.
  • Medical Employees: if you have medical employees (such as nurses, pharmacists, etc.) you need to have policy coverage for each employee as you are held liable for their acts.
  • Part of a Group or Hospital: if you are going to work for in a hospital or any other organization in which you are employed, you will need malpractice coverage as an employee.

Standard Medical Malpractice Insurance Exceptions

All medical malpractice policies have different requirements and exemptions depending on their cost, state, and providers. However most policies will exclude coverage due to: illegal conduct, sexual improprieties, misrepresentation on insurance application, and administrative or medical record alteration.

Many states require for certain professionals to obtain professional negligence insurance, and most of those requirements fall on doctors and medical malpractice insurance as a part of common law tort cases over the years. Contact the TJ Woods Insurance Agency to learn about the requirements of the New England area, and get a free quote for the cost of medical malpractice insurance, as well as policies to provide coverage to your business for commercial crime insurance, key man policies, workers’ compensation, and much more.