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Medical Malpractice Insurance

Medical Malpractice Insurance

Get a quote on Medical Malpractice Insurance

A single mistake or act of negligence by a health care professional can have very serious ramifications on a patient’s health or even their life. Medical professionals handle countless patients throughout their careers, so the risk of potential lawsuits remains at a constant high. As such, it is crucial for any business that employs medical professionals to obtain Medical Malpractice Insurance.

What is Medical Malpractice Insurance? 

Medical Malpractice Insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that protects licensed health care professionals against claims of medical negligence and wrongful practices. This includes patient claims of bodily injury, medical expenses, and property damage. One wrong diagnosis, one surgical error, or even one prescription error is enough to put a business in danger of a serious claim. Medical Malpractice Insurance can help a business stay on its feet during the resulting lawsuit. 

Even if you do everything according to proper procedure, defending yourself against claims of perceived negligence can cost your business thousands of dollars. Medical Malpractice Insurance covers the cost of defending lawsuits related to such claims. In some cases, this insurance coverage will provide the funds for your business to hire a lawyer. In other instances, the insurance company will provide their own lawyers to represent your business. 

Medical Malpractice Insurance is vital for anyone who practices medicine or treats patients, but specific requirements vary depending on your state. For instance, some states legally require physicians and other health care professionals to obtain Medical Malpractice Insurance. However, the liability risks in this industry are so great that physicians rarely practice without Medical Malpractice Insurance—even if their state does not require it. 


What does Medical Malpractice Insurance cover? 

Medical Malpractice Insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, and liability for personal injury. In addition, Medical Malpractice Insurance covers the cost of defending lawsuits related to these medical malpractice claims. This includes attorneys’ fees and court costs, arbitration costs, settlement costs, punitive and compensatory damages, and medical damages. 

There are several ways your business may be held liable for claims of medical malpractice. These include but are not limited to the following: 


Some medical malpractice policies provide coverage for vicarious liability, which covers acts committed by others. This coverage is important if your business employs medical practitioners that are independent contractors. As the employer, you may be liable for errors they make that cause injury to patients.

Who needs Medical Malpractice Insurance? 

Medical Malpractice Insurance is essential for any business or individual who provides health care services. For instance, this coverage is particularly crucial for physicians, nurses, dentists, optometrists, therapists, chiropractors, plastic surgeons, pharmacists, psychologists, physical therapists, physician assistants, and other health care professionals. Examples of some at-risk businesses include: 

While many receive coverage as an employee benefit, there are several health care professionals who would benefit from purchasing Medical Malpractice Insurance independently. For instance, self-employed physicians, part-time health care professionals, and those who practice in multiple states must often obtain coverage on their own.

This is also the case for health care professionals who engage in telemedicine, moonlighting, or locum tenens work. For instance, a physician may have Medical Malpractice Insurance through his or her job, but this coverage may not necessarily extend to locum tenens work or temporary clinical assignments. 


Even businesses unrelated to health care are at risk if they employ a health care professional or provide some form of health care service. Incidental Medical Malpractice Insurance is designed to protect businesses who face medical malpractice exposures even though their primary function lies outside the health care industry. For instance, schools that hire a school nurse or an athletic trainer are open to medical malpractice claims. It is important to determine if incidental malpractice liability is included in your particular policy, as inclusion can vary by state and insurer.

What are the key exclusions of Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Although Medical Malpractice Insurance covers many claims of medical negligence and wrongful practices, there are some exclusions. Injuries suffered in the following scenarios would not be covered by Medical Malpractice Insurance:

In addition to these exclusions, businesses also face high risks associated with cyber liability and regulatory requirements, such as compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Businesses that employ medical professionals should consider purchasing separate cyber liability insurance or seeking a policy that covers these types of exposures.


Premiums and Limits 

Because certain medical specialties carry more risk of adverse events and potential lawsuits, your specialty and location are two primary factors that determine the cost of your Medical Malpractice Insurance premiums. It is important to note that premiums for Medical Malpractice Insurance are typically not based on experience (even if a physician has a prior claim, premiums do not increase).

Additionally, every Medical Malpractice Insurance policy has different limits. For instance, your policy may have a per occurrence limit of $1 million and an annual aggregate limit of $3 million. 

Some businesses are particularly at-risk and need higher limits of malpractice liability coverage. Those professions include:

Claims-made vs. Occurrence

Although the majority of policies are written with a claims-made coverage, Medical Malpractice Insurance is sometimes available on an occurrence basis.

It is imperative to recognize that a claim may be filed years after the disputed treatment took place. A claims-made policy will only provide coverage if the policy is in effect when the treatment took place and when a claim is filed. On the other hand, an occurrence policy will cover any claim for an event that took place during the period of coverage—even if the claim itself is filed after the policy lapses. 

Tail Coverage

For an additional premium, you can purchase tail coverage for your claims-made policy. Tail coverage, also called an extended reporting period, provides protection for claims reported after your policy expires or ends. The event itself must have taken place during the original policy period, so tail coverage does not cover any events of medical malpractice that occur during the period of tail coverage itself. This extended coverage is active for a specified amount of time after the policy has ended. Additionally, tail coverage may have a different limit of liability. 

Because some claims of medical malpractice may not be made until years after the event took place, this additional form of coverage is essential for anyone who is changing insurers, changing their position, or even retiring. 


How do I buy Medical Malpractice Insurance?

When purchasing Medical Malpractice Insurance, it is important to recognize that this coverage can come in various forms: 

If you are in the market for Medical Malpractice Insurance for yourself or your own practice, it’s best to compare quotes from reputable insurers. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer Medical Malpractice Insurance:

ProviderMedical Malpractice/
Professional Liability
General LiabilityCyber Liability

How do I reduce my risk? 

Technological advancements within the health care industry may be able to lower some of the risks of medical malpractice claims. In particular, the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems may help prevent these claims. EHRs minimize the risk of patient injury due to paperwork errors, leading to less professional liability risk. EHRs also allow health care professionals to more accurately view medical histories. As a result, the likelihood of a misdiagnosis or duplicated test is significantly reduced. Easier access to patient information means information stays up to date, increasing the quality of care. 

Of course, this system introduces a number of risks if your employees are not properly trained for the technology. For instance, incorrect information entered into an EHR can be very dangerous for a patient. Additionally, this information will be stored electronically, so there is the risk of a data breach. It is essential for employees to be properly trained in how to use EHRs if your business intends to take advantage of this technology. 

Final Word 

Medical negligence can happen during a diagnosis, during treatment, or even when you are simply providing advice for treatment after an illness. In fact, many health care professionals face at least one medical malpractice lawsuit in the course of their career. These lawsuits can have devastating effects, so it is absolutely crucial to obtain Medical Malpractice Insurance to protect your business.

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