Medical Malpractice Insurance
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What does medical malpractice insurance cover?

When a dissatisfied patient sues over a mistake made by a healthcare professional, medical malpractice insurance can cover your legal costs, including a settlement or court-ordered judgment.

Malpractice insurance provides coverage for:

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Medical errors
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Accusations of negligence
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Medical oversights
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Missed appointments

Medical errors

In healthcare, a simple mistake can have far-reaching consequences. When a patient sues over a mistake made by a medical professional, medical malpractice insurance can help pay for your legal costs.

Example: A home healthcare aide accidentally administers the wrong dosage to a patient, which ends up making the patient ill. When the patient files a lawsuit, the aide's medical malpractice policy helps cover the cost of hiring a lawyer and the eventual settlement.

Medical oversights

Medical professionals often juggle multiple patients at once, which can lead to accidental oversights in a patient's medical history, preoperative instructions, or drug interactions.

Example: A dietitian misses an important detail in a patient's medical history and subscribes a diet that worsens an underlying condition. When the patient files a lawsuit, medical malpractice insurance helps cover the dietitian's legal costs.

Accusations of negligence

Medical professionals are at constant risk of negligence claims. From misdiagnoses to surgical errors and poor follow-up care, medical professionals face a wide range of risks related to lack of proper care.

Example: A nurse in a busy ICU has to provide emergency medical care to a patient, which results in temporary neglect of another patient. That patient sues the hospital for negligence, as they missed getting an important medication on time.

Missed appointments

When your medical practice promises a service and fails to deliver, the result could be a lawsuit – especially if a patient's physical or mental health is impacted. Malpractice insurance covers legal costs related to missed appointments and undelivered services.

Example: A mental health counselor schedules a series of sessions with a patient, but unexpectedly has to leave town. The patient is unable to find another therapist on short notice, and their mental health worsens as a consequence. Medical malpractice insurance covers costs when the patient sues over the cancelled appointments.

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Medical malpractice insurance does not cover:

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Patient accidents
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Damaged business property
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Employee injuries
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Auto accidents

Patient accidents

If a patient trips on a rug and suffers an injury at your clinic, or you accidentally damage an item that belongs to a patient, your medical malpractice insurance will not cover you. However, for these events, general liability insurance can help pay for medical expenses, or the cost of repair or replacement. It can also cover legal expenses if the customer sues.

Example: A patient trips on the front step of your clinic and breaks a wrist. General liability insurance can cover their medical expenses, including physical therapy and medications. If the patient decides to sue the clinic, your general liability policy can help cover the cost of hiring a lawyer and other legal expenses.

Employee injuries

Workers' compensation insurance helps cover medical expenses and disability benefits if an employee is injured on the job, or develops an occupational illness.

Example: A nurse at your clinic suffers a back injury from lifting a patient. Workers’ comp can help pay for their medical costs, physical therapy, and also partial wages while they are recovering and unable to work.

Damaged business property

The commercial property insurance included in a business owner’s policy (BOP) helps cover costs when business property is damaged, stolen, or destroyed.

Example: A fire at a healthcare facility destroys their computers, furnishings, and medical equipment. The property insurance included in a business owner’s policy helps pay for replacement of the ruined items and renovation of the damaged building.

Auto accidents

If an employee gets into an accident while driving your business vehicle, commercial auto insurance will help cover medical bills and other damages.

Example: A hospital's ambulance gets into a head-on collision with another vehicle. Both drivers are injured, and both vehicles are damaged. The hospital's commercial auto policy covers the resulting medical expenses, property repairs, and any legal costs or settlement.

Medical malpractice exclusions

Medical malpractice insurance has other coverage exclusions as well. For example, it doesn't pay for lawsuits that allege patient discrimination or abuse.

It also only covers the cost of defending against lawsuits – it doesn't pay for lawsuits you initiate. For example, this policy won't cover your legal costs if you sue a patient who refuses to pay you.

Unless your policy has prior acts coverage, it only covers claims filed while the policy is active and for incidents that occurred after you bought the policy.

Endorsements can fill gaps in your medical malpractice coverage. To make sure you have the coverage you need, contact an Insureon agent.

Updated: March 23, 2023
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