Who Needs Malpractice Insurance?

Malpractice insurance is a specialty coverage that protects professionals.

Have you considered what types of insurance you need beyond a business owners policy? In most cases, the coverage you need depends on the type of work you do. For those in the medical or legal profession, you’ll likely want to be covered by malpractice insurance.

Malpractice insurance falls under the larger umbrella of specialty coverage called professional liability insurance. Business owners buy professional liability insurance because their general liability insurance specifically excludes claims for malpractice, negligence or misrepresentation.

Malpractice insurance today is a necessity for professionals and is required by law in many states for attorneys and healthcare providers.

Medical and Beyond

Medical professionals — a group that includes doctors and surgeons, home healthcare workers, long-term care workers and facilities, hospitals and chiropractors — face many unique exposures and challenges today, malpractice among them. In reviewing recent surveys, below are four common areas where medical malpractice lawsuits are filed:

  1. Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
  2. Medication or Prescription Errors
  3. Surgical Errors 
  4. Failure to Treat

Another area of increased exposure is Privacy and Cyber Breach.  These exposures are typically excluded in malpractice policies, therefore,  a practice needs to obtain a separate cyber security policy to address this growing need. 

While most people associate the word “malpractice” with the medical professions, malpractice suits can be filed against many types of professionals. Attorneys and other legal professionals can face malpractice claims if they are accused of not completing their duties at the expected expertise.

Other white-collar professionals can face malpractice claims as well. Financial professionals who are accused of not executing trades or transactions as directed, charging excessive fees or even making improper financial recommendations can face malpractice suits. Stockbrokers who make misleading statements or conduct insider trading are committing malpractice. For accounting professionals, breach of contract or negligence, as well as misrepresentation to conceal wrongdoing, all fall under malpractice.

Architects, engineers and other skilled design professionals are subject to malpractice suits. Faulty design and engineering work associated with a construction project compromises the stability of a building and can jeopardize the well-being of workers, owners or inhabitants during and after the construction is finished.

We live in a very litigious world, which is not expected to change in the short term. This only reinforces the importance of having this coverage for your professional exposures. 

A growing market

With so many opportunities for error and the growing  frequency and  severity of claims, it’s no wonder the malpractice insurance market is skyrocketing. Based on many insurance market studies, premiums for malpractice insurance are projected to continue to increase over the next 10 years, due to claims frequency and severity trends. 

Because malpractice lawsuits can be extremely costly to defend, many professionals also purchase an Excess or Umbrella policy, which provides higher limits above the primary policy limits.  

It’s important to review your level of malpractice exposure and protect yourself and your business from potential claims. Your insurance professional will not only help you determine if you are required to carry malpractice insurance, but also how much coverage you  may need  and if it is mandated by your state.

In today’s litigious climate, it is now more important than ever to consult with your insurance professional about these exposures. Understanding your risks and evaluating the options to protect against them will help you find the best solution for your unique needs. 

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This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Please refer to your policy contract for any specific information or questions on applicability of coverage.

Please note coverage can not be bound or a claim reported without written acknowledgment from a OneGroup Representative.

Written content in blog post: Copyright © 2019 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.