The prospect of a medical malpractice lawsuit inspires justifiable fears of an extended, costly, and unpleasant legal process that can result in a professional stigma and possibly financial ruin. One common misconception our team encounters with healthcare facilities is the following; a business owner believes their business liability insurance policy will protect them for medical professional liability issues. Some business liability policies may contain endorsements that offer coverage for very specific items, but it typically will not protect them in regards to medical professional liability issues. Managing risk at your medical clinic or any healthcare related facility is becoming increasingly complex and will require several types of coverage and policies.
Medical Professional Liability – jury awards in a medical professional liability lawsuits can be unpredictable and in some cases will exceed the policy coverage limits. Having adequate coverage limits and a carrier that will successfully defend you in the event of a lawsuit is vitally important. We see a lot of cases where an insured had “cheap insurance coverage” only to discover the “cheap coverage” ended up being very expensive when the insurance carrier did not have a quality defense team who was well versed in medical professional liability issues and claims. One claim can increase future premiums by thousand of dollars. A facility should consider several factors in addition to price when selecting a carrier. Malpractice Insurance is one type of coverage a clinic should carry, butis not sufficient to cover all the risks a facility will face. Employment lawsuits, claims for injuries caused on the office premises, product liability, cyber liability, and other common business risks may require one or more policies to ensure adequate protection. (Note: some Med-Mal policies may offer additional coverage for cyber liability, medical board defense, and other items).
Business liability insurance for a medical clinic offers critical protection against slip-and-fall accidents, employment related claims pertaining to discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination, lost wages if the office is damaged or destroyed, and an array of other things. In the insurance world this type of policy is referenced by the term, (BOP) business office policy. It is typically required by a landlord if you are leasing a facility and if you have purchased the building, may be required by a lender if you have a loan. Policies can have varying liability limits and the price will fluctuate based on the risks being insured.
Data breaches are becoming more common and Cyber Liability Insurance is essential in today’s electronic world. A breach can negatively impact a medical clinic’s reputation and cause your patients’ trust to waver. Cyber Liability covers you in the event data is lost, stolen, or made public by accident and the costs associated with hiring legal defense and public relations professionals and notifying patients and the public. It is estimated that a breach could cost you as much as $200 per patient record. If you have 1000 patients that is $200,000. The coverage will pay for credit monitoring, notification and other corrective action the breached company must take.
Protecting your equipment is essential to many healthcare related facilities. Property insurance offers important protections for medical clinics and these policies can be customized for each individual business. Coverage protects expensive medical equipment from power surges and mechanical breakdown resulting from lightning or electrical problems. Policies can cover everything from computers and phone systems to digital x-rays, CT scans, Lasers, and MRIs.
There are additional coverage options a business owner should consider, such as Employment Practices Liability (EPLI), Director’s & Officers Coverage, Errors and Ommissions (E&O), Worker’s Compensation, and Umbrella Coverage just to name a few. It is vital for any healthcare related facility to work with a knowledgeable professional who understand the risks the business faces. Presidio Insurance has been helping business owners and healthcare facilities protect their assets for over fifteen years. Our clients success is our number one priority.
The purpose of this article is to provide information, rather than advice or opinion.