Occurrence vs. Claims-Made Medical Liability Insurance

Which One Is for Me?

The important thing to remember is that the difference in cost between Occurence vs Claims-Made is really a difference in coverage. While you may be saving money at first with claims-made, you are also trading off the simplicity and portability of an occurrence policy.



Limits of Coverage

Coverage will respond to incidents arising on or after the policy retroactive date and which are reported during the term of the policy. Coverage will respond to incidents arising from the coverage period-regardless of when those claims are reported.

Prior Acts-or Retroactive Coverage

Policy may be endorsed to respond to incidents which occurred before the policy start date. Also referred to as policy retroactive date. No Prior Acts coverage is needed.

Extended Reporting or Tail Coverage

Tail coverage responds to cover incidents that have not been reported to the company during the policy term. Some companies will offer a free tail at retirement, subject to certain conditions. No Tail coverage is needed because incidents that occurred during the policy period are covered no matter how much later they are reported.


Claims made coverage involves a step process with premium increases over the first five years of coverage in increments proportional to the claims reporting for that experience. The initial premium and subsequent years’ premium are substantially lower than an occurrence policy. By the fourth or fifth year the claims made premium reaches a mature level and premium adjustments are based on annual rate changes only. Occurrence coverage tends to be very expensive because the insured is prepaying for tail costs whether the tail gets used or not.

Would you like to explore your options?