The advancements happening in the healthcare industry are truly commendable. The stats show that global healthcare spending is projected to increase at the rate of 5.4% annually during the period 2018-22. This helps us hope that we can get the best quality health treatment in India in the coming years. Although there has been considerable advancement in the medical field across the globe, medical negligence cases still occur. Many doctors face legal action because of the complaints from their patients regarding the quality of treatment offered, or due to any losses resulting from treatment. One way to avoid a potential lawsuit of medical malpractice is to buy professional indemnity insurance.
If you are a doctor or surgeon, purchasing professional indemnity insurance is a smart way to manage the risk of legal claims for compensation. Before you buy the policy, you need to understand what it covers and what it does not.
Let’s dig deeper to learn about the questions that you may want to have answered before buying professional indemnity insurance :
What is the Primary Advantage of Buying Professional Indemnity Insurance?
This insurance policy offers coverage against liabilities that may arise in the cases of any medical slip-ups and wrong treatment provided to the patients. The insurance policy pays for the defense cost, settlement, breach of confidentiality, and defamation as per the chosen sum assured. Legal support also includes lawyer’s fees, court fees, and the cost of investigations related to the lawsuit filed for professional errors and mistakes.
If you offer medical services in foreign countries as well, you can opt for extended coverage, including India, U.S., Canada or worldwide.
Why Do Insurers Reject Professional Indemnity Insurance Claims?
Although professional indemnity insurance provides financial and legal protection, it does not provide cover if the insured follow unlawful practices. For example, some doctors hire untrained nurses for assistance during medical procedures, which may result in medical errors. Filing a claim for such cases can lead to claim rejection as it is illegal to employ unqualified professionals in a healthcare clinic or hospital.
Similarly, claim rejection happens in case of incidents that arise before a doctor has bought professional indemnity insurance. You can address such a situation by disclosing any known issues at the time of purchasing the policy. Alongside, it would help if you do the required research to understand the situations which can lead to claim rejection.
What Are the Factors That Determine Indemnity Insurance Premium?
Just like health insurance, the premium of a professional indemnity insurance policy varies from one medical professional to the other. This is because not all doctors offer the same healthcare services. The policy premium depends on the risk group your medical practice falls into. For a general physician, the risk of medical errors is lower as compared to that of a surgeon, and the premium varies according to this risk. Similarly, the premium also depends on the estimated number of patients that you attend to in a day and the size of the hospital or clinic you run.
When Should You File an Indemnity Insurance Claim?
Medical errors, no matter small or big, can cause legal issues against you beyond your expectations. The right time to file a claim under your professional indemnity insurance policy is when a patient sues you legally and demands compensation. The process of claim settlement will start after you file a claim. Along with the claim form, you also need to provide the legal notice you have received and other correspondence related to the case to your insurer.
In today’s world, patients have become more aware of their rights, which increases the risk of getting sued for medical negligence. If you find it challenging to choose the right policy for your profession, seek help from insurance brokers, such as SecureNow. Before you step forward to select a professional indemnity insurance policy, it is crucial to get all your doubts cleared.