Doctors Professional Indemnity

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There has been a rise in patients filing liability claims against doctors even though doctors have always been highly respected in our society. Let’s discuss the Doctor’s Professional Indemnity Insurance cost

These suits are either because of a few doctors engaging in malpractices or certain hospitals recommending unnecessary medical procedures. Many are now looking at doctors with mistrust due to such incidents. Those who lost liability claims had to pay hefty compensations.

So, if you are a doctor it becomes essential to purchase a Doctor’s Professional Indemnity Insurance that provides financial coverage against legal liabilities. The insurer compensates the third party on behalf of the policyholder and covers legal expenses as well.

The cost of a Doctor’s Professional Indemnity Insurance policy depends on several factors as mentioned below:

Sum insured

The cost of a Doctor’s Professional Indemnity insurance premium depends on the sum insured, the profile of the policyholder, expected earnings and the risk involved. So, a cover for Rs 1 crore for an ophthalmologist could cost about Rs 8000. Rs 5 crore of cover will cost Rs 30,000.

Doctor’s risk group

Specialists like gynaecologists, orthopaedics and cardiologists have to pay higher premiums as they usually deal with more complex cases than a general practitioner.

A doctor’s professional indemnity insurance cost also depends on the risk group of the doctors, the limits of indemnity selected and the ratio of the limits. Whereas Rs 1 crore of the sum assured for an ophthalmologist will cost Rs 8000, the same cover for a cosmetic surgeon will be Rs 21,000. For a family physician, the premium will be just Rs 4000.

Size of establishment

The size of the hospital or clinic also determines the premium rate. For instance, a multi-speciality hospital with 500 beds will have to pay a higher premium than just 10 beds.

Deductibles

The policy’s deductibles impact the premium calculation. The deductible is the part of a claim that the insured pays from his pocket before the insurer settles it. Hence, the premium is low if one opts for a high deductible.

Other factors

Moreover, policies that offer the maximum coverage cost more than others. The premium also depends on the medical equipment used and the expertise of the nursing staff.

The policy’s cost depends on the insured’s claim record. The premium cost will be higher at the time of renewal if a hefty amount has been claimed the previous year.

Case study

Ajay Verma was suspected to have suffered a minor cardiac arrest. He had complained of uneasiness and lost consciousness. A cardiologist immediately administered medicines and injections to Mr Verma but he, unfortunately, died in an hour.

The post-mortem revealed Mr Verma had been administered some medicines he was allergic to. The doctor had made the mistake of not examining the patient’s medical history.

Mr Verma’s death caused an emotional and financial burden to his family as he was also the sole earning member.

His wife sued the cardiologist for medical negligence. The doctor was asked to pay a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the family. This cost the doctor his savings. He had to even sell off his plot to pay the compensation.

The situation would have been different had the cardiologist taken a doctor’s professional indemnity insurance policy. The insurer would have compensated Mr Mehta’s family on behalf of the doctor and also covered legal expenses.

The cardiologist now wants to buy the policy. His speciality, claim history and coverage amount will determine his premium amount. For a Rs 2 crore cover, he had to pay about Rs 14,000 premium.

The doctor can lower the cost of his policy if he chooses a high deductible.