It’s every doctor’s worst nightmare: a medical malpractice insurance claim. You have devoted your life and your career to helping people and now this. Whether you did make a mistake or whether you were falsely accused you still had to defend yourself and your practice by making a malpractice claim. You thought it was over but then to make matters worse you get letter from your medical malpractice insurance company stating that you are being non-renewed.
Immediately you are filled with questions: What do I do now? Where do I turn to get medical malpractice insurance again? How will I recover from this? While it can all seem so overwhelming there is good news and there is hope. By following these three steps you will have taken the first actions needed to get this nightmare behind you and to get back to doing what love; helping people.
Step 1: Seek the help of an independent medical malpractice insurance specialist
Many doctors have their insurance placed with medical only insurance cooperatives or captive medical malpractice insurance carriers that are popular and well known. While these companies can be a good option they can also be quite limited and very quick to issue non-renewal in the event of a claim, even if it’s not your fault. The good news is there are independent medical malpractice insurance specialists who have access to a much broader array of options. Many times purchasing your medical malpractice from an independent agent can be a preferred choice even if you never had a claim, so rest easy that you have plenty of options going forward.
Step 2: Gather information to help your medical malpractice insurance specialist find the very best policy for you:
- Start by getting a copy of your current medical malpractice policy along with your “loss history,” also called “loss runs.” Your “loss history” is simply a document outlining any claims you have had, or lack thereof, in prior policy terms. To obtain this report just contact your current medical malpractice agent and ask for your “loss runs for all prior terms.”
- Next put together a resume of your past experience, credentialing, and education. This will help your independent medical malpractice insurance agent paint an accurate picture of the full scope of your medical career including your background and experience.
- Further put together a written account of any claim or claims that have occurred. It always helps to have your side of the story accurately documented. If you did genuinely make a mistake include any steps you have taken to help prevent its reoccurrence. Further even if you have been falsely accused also include any actions you have implemented to avoid any future allegations.
- By compiling this information before hand it will also help make completing any needed applications quick and painless.
Step 3: Determine if your current medical malpractice insurance carrier will offer you extended reporting period or “tail” coverage if you are written on a claims-made policy form:
Most medical malpractice policies are written on a claims-made form. If your policy is too when you received the notice of nonrenewal it likely included an option to purchase an extended reporting period policy often called “tail” coverage. If this is unclear contact your current agent to find out if this is policy is going to be offered and let your new medical malpractice agent know. Even if “tail” coverage is available your new medical malpractice agent may be able to offer prior acts coverage, or “nose” coverage, as another option. If you find claims-made policies confusing please see my blog 4 Easy Steps to Understanding “Claims-Made” Medical Malpractice Insurance.
The Bottom Line:
Having your medical malpractice insurance policy non-renewed because of a claim is a stressful event but you do have very good options. By following these three steps you will be able to get a quality medical malpractice policy that will help protect you and your practice in the years to come.