According to a recent Gallup Poll, physicians are among the top three most trusted professionals. Americans value their doctors for their education, expertise, and skills and assume that their doctor will never let them down. But even the best doctors sometimes make mistakes and that’s why liability insurance is important for MDs.
According to lawyer Jason Konvicka, “medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the recognized ‘standard of care’ in the treatment of a patient. The ‘standard of care’ is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.”
If a provider’s negligence causes injury or damage to a patient whether or not that damage is real or perceived, there is cause for a medical malpractice suit. And it happens at an astounding rate. In 2013, there were over 12,100 payouts for medical malpractice—an average of one payout every 43 minutes. Payouts totaled over $3.5 billion.
Doctors professional liability, or medical malpractice insurance coverage, is designed to help doctors legally and financially if mistakes occur with patients. The insurance also defends physicians against frivolous claims.
Medical malpractice litigation is adversarial, expensive, stressful, time-consuming, and unpredictable. In today’s litigious society, MDs need liability insurance more than ever. The good news is that medical professional liability insurance premiums have been following a downward trend the last several years. According to the Medical Liability Monitor, internal medicine physicians saw an average rate reduction of 1.6 percent, while general surgeons had a 1.3-percent average rate drop and OB/Gyns saw their rates fall by an average of 1.7 percent.
Physicians face life-or-death challenges on a daily basis as part of their professional life. They need competent, dependable liability policies to back them up if or when mistakes occur. Insurance agents who specialize in medical professional liability insurance for MD’s are familiar with the complex legalese found in the policies. When the full cost of a legal defense in a malpractice suit can total tens of thousands of dollars—and with settlements costing up to $1 million, medical professional liability insurance is one of the necessary costs of being a physician.
The purpose of this article is to provide information, rather than advice or opinion.