Medical Malpractice Insurance
As a healthcare provider, you've spent your life working to help others—but if you make a mistake, you could end up facing a medical malpractice lawsuit. With the average jury award just under $800,000, medical malpractice insurance could be the only thing standing between you and having to close down your entire practice.
However, these cases can be difficult to resolve. As noted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, quite a lot of funding goes into investigating claims and determining whether or not malpractice occurred. If it didn't, then patients often have no basis for a lawsuit.
If a patient does have a basis for a claim, Westmoreland Insurance agents will work with you throughout the defense process to help cover losses in the event you're found liable for malpractice. Remember, there are no forms of medicine that are immune to malpractice suits. Whether you're a general practitioner or a dedicated specialist, there's always the chance of something going wrong, and more frequently, patients believing you did something wrong.
Medical Malpractice Coverage
Medical malpractice policies cover liability associated with any form of wrongful practice (intentional or not), with a particular emphasis on bodily injury, property damage, and medical expenses. They also cover defending against lawsuits related to these (many of which can take more than a year to reach a successful conclusion).
There are two major types of coverage:
· Occurrence policies cover against losses that happen during the period that a policy was in force, since many people may not file suit for more than a year after the alleged malpractice incident. Once the suit is filed, it may take more than two years to resolve.
· Claims Made policies cover any claims that are made during the time the policy is in force (and usually for a set period of time afterward, in the case of ongoing litigation).
A majority of malpractice cases can and will be settled out of court, without ever having to risk the high claims of a trial. Westmoreland Insurance agents try to work towards this outcome whenever they can—settlements rarely happen until late in the process, but they allow for lower payouts when necessary. This helps us keep your premiums low, and protects you from the anxiety (and interruption of your business) that a trial can bring.
Be sure you know which type of medical malpractice insurance you have and how long it covers you for, since this can determine whether or not you have any coverage at all if a suit is brought against you. If you're not sure how long you'll need coverage for, one of our agents can talk with you about your plans for the future and how much insurance you need.
1. Goguen, David. "National Medical Malpractice Statistics." MedicalMalpractice.com. Accessed April 20, 2016. http://www.medicalmalpractice.com/national-medical-malpractice-facts.cfm.
2. "Medical Professional Liability Insurance." Accessed April 20, 2016. http://www.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_med_mal.htm.
3. "What Percentage Of Medical Malpractice Cases Settle Versus Go To Trial." Lawyer Locator. Accessed April 20, 2016. http://www.lawyerlocator.com/medical-malpractice/percentage-of-cases-settled-versus-trial/.