How does a Doctor’s Professional Indemnity (Doctor’s PI) policy work?
Doctors are trained professionals who deal with human lives. They have the power of restoring health and hence good quality of life to the sick and unwell. However, during the course of their work, they might commit some professional errors which, in turn, might lead to severe consequences. Though making mistakes is human, the mistakes made by doctors and medical professionals have far-reaching consequences. Their mistakes might cause loss of life, physical injury or physical impairment. If such contingencies happen, doctors face a heavy financial liability. They might be sued by the patient and/or her family which would imply incurring heavy legal costs. They might also be liable to pay a lump sum settlement to the aggrieved party. This incurs a substantial financial loss for them and this is where a doctor’s professional indemnity policy comes into the picture. Further, litigation and court appearances can create involvement in time, leading to damage to the Doctor’s earning capacity.
The doctor’s professional indemnity insurance policy covers the legal liability faced by doctors due to mistakes which they commit unintentionally in their profession. The policy pays for the following –
- Defence costs incurred by the insured medical practitioner in defending himself in a lawsuit
- Settlement payable to the third party
- Court fees incurred in a litigation
The policy can be bought by independent medical practitioners or by medical establishments on behalf of their consulting and full time medical practitioners.
The coverage level under the policy depends on two main things – Any One Accident (AOA) and Any One Year (AOY). The AOA limit denotes the maximum claim payable in a single instance of claim. The AOA limit is expressed as a percentage of the AOY limit which is the maximum liability undertaken by the insurance company. The AOY limit states the maximum claim which the insurance company will pay in any given policy year. Multiple number of claims can be made under the policy and they would be covered provided the aggregate claims payable do not exceed the AOY limit. The percentage of AOA: AOY which is available includes 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4.
The coverage amount chosen should be decided based on the expected liability faced by the medical practitioner. Premiums are calculated depending on the coverage availed, the ratio of AOA: AOY, the profile of the doctor being insured, experience of the doctor, past claims history, etc.
Claim would be made under the policy if the doctor makes a mistake and faces a civil liability. Instances of criminal liability are not covered under doctor’s professional indemnity insurance policy. Only civil liability cases which arise out of unintentional negligence are covered. Negligence is said to occur when the doctor had taken on the duty to care for the individual but the doctor breached this duty due to which the individual suffered physical injuries, impairment of physical faculties or death. As a result of the doctor’s negligence, the patient or their family can file a lawsuit against the doctor. If negligence is proven, the doctor’s professional indemnity policy would cover the legal costs and settlements which are faced by the doctor.
The doctor’s professional indemnity insurance policy offers a comprehensive scope of coverage to medical practitioners and protects their finances from the implication of their mistakes. Individuals should, therefore, understand what the policy entails and get themselves covered under it.
SecureNow provides an excellent Doctors’ PI policy with best-in-class features at an unmatchable price. It is available for various types of medical establishments and covers different medical specialisations eg. consultants such as General Physicians, specialists such as Radiologists, Pediatricians, Cardiologists and also various types of Surgeons, Dentists and others. You can explore the benefits of this policy and also buy it online at our website at https://securenow.in/commercial-liability-insurance/doctor-professional-indemnity