Doctors Professional Indemnity

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What are the Common Questions Doctors Ask While Buying Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Medical technology has improved significantly over the last few years and it is reducing errors significantly. However, there has been an increase in the number of cases where patients have initiated legal action against doctors, citing medical negligence.

Hence, doctors today need to be covered against such legal complications. Medical professionals can procure the doctor’s indemnity insurance policy to avoid major expenses in the case of a lawsuit. The policy protects doctors financially and legally in the case of a slip-up or negligence.

Thus, it is one of the best risk management strategies against legal claims and compensation demands.

Doctors usually have a few common questions while buying professional indemnity insurance. Let’s take a look at some of these queries:

Is professional indemnity insurance only applicable for doctors?

Indemnity insurance offers financial and legal protection against lawsuits and demands for compensation. It applies to a diverse group of medical professionals, including doctors, medical practitioners, hospitals and nursing homes. The policy also covers technical and non-technical personnel working in a medical establishment.

What are the exclusions in a professional indemnity insurance policy? 

It is important to know what the policy doesn’t cover. Professional indemnity insurance does not cover liabilities arising from criminal acts or fraudulent practices, plastic surgery, weight reduction operations, HIV/AIDS, and any surgery performed under the influence of narcotics. Thus, it is crucial to know all about the exclusions in the policy before buying it.

It is possible to get insurance for cosmetic and bariatric surgery but that requires an additional premium. Only a select set of insurers will be willing to do so.

How do we calculate the premium for the doctor’s indemnity insurance policy?

The premium depends on several factors like the doctor’s risk group, the limit of indemnity selected, the geographic area covered and the limit ratio.

In the case of a hospital, the premium will depend on the size of the establishment, and the number of patients its doctors attend to in a day. Other factors like past claim settlements can also determine the premium amount.

What is the duration of the doctor’s indemnity insurance policy? 

The doctor’s indemnity insurance policy usually has a duration of one year. The policy must be renewed after that period to continue being covered against legal liabilities.

When can one lodge a claim? 

Doctors often assume that medical mix-ups can’t affect them. However, in case of a medical error patients can file a lawsuit against the doctor and ask for compensation. The claim settlement process is initiated as soon as the insured receives the legal notice. The insured doctor needs to register for a claim settlement to move the payment procedure forward.

Does the insurance pay for legal defence costs?

Yes, the policy covers defence costs. The insurer begins paying you as soon as you start incurring defence costs. It does not wait for the case to be completed.

Will the insurance pay to respond to a legal notice?

Sometimes. You are not obliged to respond to all legal notices. So, some insurers will not pay for that. However, the moment the case comes into the courts then the costs are payable.

Will the insurance pay if the doctor is found negligent?

Yes. The policy does pay for costs arising out of negligence. Criminal acts, though, will not be covered. For example, if you practice sex determination, litigation pertaining to that procedure will not be covered.

Increased awareness among patients and the higher probability of facing a legal suit makes it imperative for doctors to buy professional indemnity insurance for doctors.