Malpractice Tail Coverage: Is it Necessary for Physicians?

malpractice tail coverage

The particulars involved in taking on insurance can be often be complex. This could apply to any type of policy, but if you are trying to protect your business or professional livelihood with liability insurance, there are many facets to consider financially and for the long-term. If you are sued due to an injury affecting a third party or if property is damaged, without insurance you could be responsible for an astronomical sum. The proper insurance may also protect you against libelous claims.

Although insurance is critical for many different types of professionals, doctors are often under legal fire, and while some malpractice suits may be solid, there are many frivolous ones too. This means that medical professionals must dedicate a significant amount of their income to protecting themselves from a devastating malpractice suit. Without it, they could experience a financial catastrophe that would send them reeling back despite all their many years of hard work in the hospital, private practice, or both.

Malpractice insurance is almost always required, and the claims-made policy is common, often including a short-term extended reporting period or ‘tail.’ Needs may vary, but it is crucial to understand the differences in the policies available and make sure there is an ERP if necessary. A basic 30- to 60-day tail included with malpractice insurance certainly would not be enough if, for example, the medical professional is thinking about retiring but wants to be smart about covering themselves for the possibility of a claim arising even afterward.

While previously there were not a lot of options regarding tail coverage, malpractice insurers offer physicians a much wider range of extended reporting periods today, with varying rates in premiums. The need for such specialized insurance is there especially for doctors who may not receive notice of a pending claim or lawsuit until long after the insurance policy was canceled or terminated for whatever reason. Cost can play a major role in whether tail coverage is purchased though, and what kind. Medical facilities often cannot afford to provide doctors with the extended coverage, but they may be required to provide it for themselves. This could even be written into a contract regarding their departure from a facility, requiring the tail to be purchased then so that the hospital or office is not held liable.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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