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Malpractice Insurance

For Doctors

Hometown Insurance Agency provides doctors with the highest discounts for their Medical Malpractice through the “concierge” pricing of our primary insurance program.

FREE QUOTE

For an Instant, No Hassle, Free Quote from us, email

service@hometowninsurance.com

Our coverage experts are licensed throughout the United States and can also offer an entire marketplace analysis ensuring that your policy is the most comprehensive & competitively priced insurance available for your practice.

All it takes is “1” simplified application and we go to work for you.

We also offer coverage for hard to place doctors/groups due to claims, specialty, and/or procedures practiced, including doctors/groups with license/medical board stipulations or restrictions. We can also help doctors who are required by their state medical board to participate in their state monitored treatment programs as a stipulation of licensure. (These will need to be placed with a surplus lines carrier).

Based on our association with AMAC, we will NOT place abortionists, or clinics that practice abortions.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE COVERAGES:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Know the Types of Policies Available

Medical Malpractice Professional Liability Insurance comes in two basic forms: Occurrence or Claims-Made. In today’s insurance market, the overwhelming majority of policies available are claims-made, but some companies do offer occurrence policies.

Claims-Made Policies

Claims-made insurance provides coverage only for incidents that occurred and were reported while you are insured with that carrier. Thus, both the incident and the filing of the claim must happen while the policy is in effect.

If you drop a claims-made policy, you are not covered for any suits filed later unless you pay for what is known as “tail coverage,” the term used for an extended reporting endorsement. Tail coverage is expensive—often three times the amount of an annual premium—but it’s essential to be insured for any claims that could arise later.

Occurrence Policies

Occurrence coverage provides lifetime coverage for incidents that occurred while the policy was in effect, regardless of when the claim is filed. Thus, if you have an occurrence-type policy in effect for the calendar year 2007, and a patient files a claim in 2010 for an incident that happened during 2007, the policy covers you for that claim, even if you no longer have insurance with that carrier.

Claims-made policies are generally cheaper than occurrence policies for the first few years of coverage because the potential for claims builds slowly as policy years accumulate. The premium then increases each year for a period such as 3 to 5 years until it reaches the “mature” rate. In comparing costs of malpractice insurance policies, be sure to ask how much the premium will increase after the first year.

"Assessable" Policies

Physicians should understand clearly whether their insurance is assessable – whether the insurance entity has the right to “assess a surcharge” if losses are excessive. “Many risk retention groups and captives, and ALL trusts are assessable.

In the malpractice crisis between 2001 and 2004, there were a number of companies that were forced to come back and assess their members premiums that the Doctors were contractually obligated to pay long after their policies expired & regardless of their own individual loss history

Defense Costs - Within or Outside coverage Limits

Check on your policy’s coverage of defense costs, which are the expenses involved in defending and processing a suit, (not the amount of the award or settlement). Defense costs include the fees of the defense attorney retained by the insurance company, the fees of expert witnesses, court reporters’ fees, and clerical expenses. Some policies put a limit on the amount the insurance company will pay. If your policy does cap the amount of defense costs it will pay, be sure the overall policy limit is high enough to cover defense costs in addition to a settlement or judgment amount. Defense Costs “Outside” the limits of liability is preferred & should be obtained whenever possible where policy limits are not eroded as a result of defense related costs & expenses.

Is your policy truly

Consent to Settle?

Let us provide you with a comprehensive “Consent to Settle Checklist” that answers these important questions:
Unreasonable?

Even though your policy may include Consent to Settle provision, many policies pull your consent authority if they deem you “unreasonable” in withholding your consent; but how does your carrier define unreasonable?

Hammer Clause?

This common, but hard-hitting clause allows your carrier to refuse to pay for any defense costs that exceed the amount for which your carrier would have settled had you given your consent (including past or future defense costs).

Board approval?

Your policy may require that your carrier’s physician review panel or board agree that your actions in treating your patient met the standard of care. The board can assume consent authority on your behalf if they don’t agree you met that standard.

Binding Arbitration?

If your carrier disagrees with the standard of care you provided, you lose consent authority and your case goes to binding arbitration.

No longer Insured by your Carrier?

Will you lose consent to settle if you are no longer insured by your carrier at the time of the settlement or trial?

No longer in the State?

Will you lose consent to settle if you moved out of state prior to settlement or trial?

Unavailable or can't be located?

Will you lose consent to settle if you moved out of state or if the carrier can’t locate you or you are otherwise unavailable at settlement or trial.

License suspended?

Will you lose consent authority if your license has been suspended, revoked, or surrendered at any time during the claims process, even if you had a valid license at the time services were rendered?

Deceased or Incompetent?

Will your loved ones lose the ability to make important consent decisions on your behalf to protect your legacy and to ensure their rightful inheritance?

If your policy does not have a “consent-to-settle” clause, the insurer can settle a case against your wishes, even if you are blameless. If the policy grants you this right, you must be consulted before any settlement offers or counteroffers are made. This is a coverage you should want and need.