Posted on May 17, 2014
Because of the inherent risk associated with the medical industry, doctors, pharmacists and medical organizations recognize the need for adequate and appropriate insurance for their practice. It takes just one large lawsuit to wipe away all the years of dedication, education, internships and training in the medical and pharmacy fields when a doctor or pharmacist is held financially responsible for a claim.
Professional Liability Insurance
Medical doctors and pharmacists spend years investing in their careers, and without the proper malpractice insurance, they risk losing everything they have worked so hard to achieve. Professional liability insurance also known as medical malpractice protects medical professionals from lawsuits. It is priced differently than most other insurance since it is based on a medical professional's specialty, location and experience. This professional liability insurance covers the insured doctor, nurse or pharmacist for mistakes or when patients or their families allege wrongful injury or death.
Business Owners Policy
Many small medical practices choose a business owner policy or BOP to insure their offices. Business owner's policies combine general liability and commercial property into an affordable combined all in one package. Special endorsements are added to further customize the insurance coverage to meet the needs of the company. The liability portion of the policy protects medical offices from lawsuits or claims of property damage or bodily injury that occur on the business premises. This liability coverage is separate from the professional liability or medical malpractice policy that covers the doctor or nurse for claims made for negligence or mistakes. General liability pays for such accidents as a slip and fall inside the office or if an employee causes the injury of a visitor. The property portion of the business owner policy protects physical assets of the company from damage caused by fire, theft or vandalism. Some BOPs also provide added coverage for lost income should the business need to close for repairs of a covered property damage claim.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers compensation insurance is required in most states. It pays for medical treatment and/or disability payments for employees who experience work related injuries or illnesses. This coverage protects employers from legal expenses associated with inappropriate claims while also protecting employees for legitimate work related injury claims.
Electronic Data Processing Coverage
Doctors' offices, HMO medical centers and pharmacies depend on computers in their daily business operations. Managing patient records, filing claims with insurance companies and financial accounting all required sophisticated systems and software to handle medical office needs. But what happens when those systems fail? Electronic data processing insurance covers both hardware and software. It pays for losses or damage to computerized equipment and will even cover breakdowns and interruption to businesses when systems are not operational.
Employment Practices Liability
Many medical facilities are also choosing to purchase employment practices liability insurance. This coverage fills a growing need for protection from claims made for harassment, discrimination, emotional distress, invasion of privacy and even employee benefit mismanagement. It protects the business itself as well as officers, directors, managers and employees from these types of claims. Employment practices liability may be purchased in amounts ranging from $1 million to $25 million to help in paying for legal defense costs and any court judgments or settlements.
Umbrella Liability Coverage
While the medical profession is in business to serve people and help them recover from all manner of injuries and illnesses, the fact remains that this industry is also one that is frequently sued. Having the right amount of coverage is a requirement to fully protect the industry from potential claims that can have a financially devastating effect. Umbrella liability policies add additional coverage limits over and above the standard liability or business owners' policies. The umbrella policy provides an additional safety net of protection for general liability, employer and auto liability policies. It is important to note that umbrella liability will not extend limits for professional liability or medical malpractice policies.