Medical Malpractice: How to avoid paying for “Tail Insurance” at retirement.

Medical Malpractice: Tail Insurance

Have you budgeted for the cost of tail insurance when you retire?

Tail coverage can be extremely expensive. Depending on the carrier, the cost of your tail insurance could range from 150% to 250% of your final year’s premium. This is a sizable amount for any physician but can be especially expensive for high risk specialties. Many standard malpractice carriers have free retirement tail provisions after the age of 55 and after 5 consecutive years of coverage. If you retirement is around the corner, this provision may be prohibiting you from looking at more affordable malpractice options.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program picks up prior acts back to your retroactive date and provides free tail for life after insured for 12 months and over the age of 50.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and terms & conditions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our program,
please contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org to request additional information.

Does your Malpractice Carrier provide coverage for privacy liability and regulatory violations?

Privacy Liability CoverageElectronic record-keeping and digital communications are now used by most businesses. Too often businesses underestimate the risks of data security breach & regulatory violations.

It is important that you know if your general liability or malpractice insurance covers privacy and regulatory exposures. Unless you purchase standalone coverage, your policies most likely specifically exclude data and regulatory related risk.

You are an expert at what you do but the demands on your time may not allow you to study and learn about the insurance coverage you need to cover cyber breaches that can occur at your facility. SMA Services, Inc. can help you find the policy that best fits your needs.

Our exclusive malpractice program proudly offers up to $100,000 in coverage for privacy and regulatory violations at no additional cost. Our policy provides separate $100,000 limits for Security and Privacy, Regulatory (HIPPA, RAC), Patient Notification & Credit Monitoring, & Data Recovery Costs.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our program,
please contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org to request additional information.

 

 

What triggers a claim on your Malpractice Insurance Policy?

Medical Malpractice: Incident Triggers

Medical Malpractice claims made policies are issued one of two ways; they will either have an incident trigger or a written demand trigger.

Incident Trigger:

If your malpractice coverage has an incident trigger, the moment you report a bad outcome to your carrier they become responsible for any future claims based on this incident.

Written Demand Triggers:

Under a written demand trigger, you may know of a bad outcome but a carrier will not accept responsibility of a claim until a written demand for money or a lawsuit has been made.

If affordable, an incident trigger form should always be considered.

Demand Trigger policies may force a physician practice with a known incident (however large or small) to remain with their current insurance company for years to avoid a gap in coverage. There is the potential that the carrier could significantly raise rates or adversely change coverage forms while awaiting a written demand or the Statue of Limitations to pass.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program provides an incident trigger form. We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and terms & conditions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our program, please contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org.

 

 

Medical Malpractice: Is Claims-Made or Occurrence right for you?

Medical Malpractice: Claims Made or OccurrenceEvery malpractice insurance policy is going to contain a method, manner or time period in which a claim can be filed. The majority of insurance policies are written using the occurrence form but many others, especially professional liability policies are written on a claims-made form. These different forms have a major effect on your responsibility in the event of a claim, the actual cost of the policy and most importantly, how the company will respond to the claim:

Occurrence:

This policy covers claims made for injuries sustained during the life of the policy; even if the claim is filed after the policy has been canceled. An occurrence is an event that can result in the filing of an insurance claim.

Claims Made:

A claims-made policy provides coverage when a claim is made against the policy, regardless of when the claim event took place as long as the claim event took place after the ‘retroactive date’. If an insured elects to change insurance companies from one year to the next, it is important that the new carrier offer “retroactive” coverage back to the retroactive date to prevent any gaps in coverage.

While there are certainly pros and cons to both policies; in most cases, the claims made policy form is the most competitively priced option for the independent physicians.

If eligible, the SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program will assume prior acts back to the retroactive date of the previous policy.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our exclusive malpractice program, please contact us at medicalmalpractice@smaphp7.wpengine.com.

Medical Malpractice: The dreaded Hammer Clause

Malpractice: Hammer ClauseHaving a hammer clause in your malpractice policy can be problematic in the event of a claim.

A Hammer Clause in your policy may read like this:

“Insurer will not settle or compromise any claim without the consent of the insured. If, however, the insured refuses to consent to a settlement or compromise recommended by insurer and elects to contest such claim or continue legal proceedings in connection with such claim, then insurer’s liability for the claim shall not exceed the amount for which the claim could have been so settled, plus claims expenses incurred up to the date of such refusal.”

Avoid policies with these hammer clauses at all cost.

A ‘consent to settle’ policy that requires the insurance company to have your approval in order to settle a case is most desirable.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program does not have a hammer clause and the consent to settle lies with the physician. We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and concessions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

Do you have time to read your policy? Most of our clients don’t – We can provide a quick review to determine if you have the dreaded hammer clause at no obligation.

Contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org for additional information.

Medical Malpractice: Do you have the consent to settle?

Medical Malpractice: Consent to SettleDoes your malpractice policy allow you to decline settling and fight unjust claims in court to the very end?

If you have a “Consent to Settle Clause” in you policy, in order to settle a case, the insurance company must have your approval. If you reject this settlement, you reject it without further penalty.

For instance: if you purchase a policy with $1M limits and you lose at trial after declining to settle, your insurance company will still be required to pay up to a $1M verdict.

Malpractice Suits are very personal, and the Southern Medical Association wants you to have the ability to fight a claim to the very end.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program allows our insured’s to reject settlement offers without further ramifications.

We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and terms & conditions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

Do you have time to read your policy? Most of our clients don’t – We can provide a quick review to determine if you have the dreaded hammer clause at no obligation.

Contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org for additional information.

 

Business owners may think that it’s just an added insurance plan

Professional Liability Insurance (1)When you own a business, you’re more than likely directly involved with the customers and the public. This is great for really getting involved with your sales and services.
Although, sometimes things can go a little less than the way you would want. If any sort of accident happens and a customer or member of the public is harmed in any way, your business could face a liability suit that could ultimately be the end of your business if not handled properly. There is one way to face the onslaught of a liability claim that every business should have, and that is Professional Liability Insurance. At SMA, we offer non-medical service providers protection from claims alleging an act, error, or omission by the firm, its staff or contractors working on its behalf. We understand that each type of business has its own set of unique needs, that’s why SMA Services Inc. can assist you in making sure you’re covered in any event.

What is liability insurance? Business owners who may think that it’s just an added insurance plan that would never be used frequently ask this question. Professional Liability Insurance protects your business assets from claims that may result from advice, expertise, or professional services you provide. If you or your business engages in these activities, you could be at risk for being sued by a customer, client, or other party who claims he or she lost money or was harmed somehow due to you or your business and its negligent actions, errors, or omissions. It’s encouraged that any professional in a business that provides a service or counseling to customers, clients or another party would benefit from professional liability insurance. The plans protect you and your business in cases of faulty service (errors) or failure to provide a service altogether (omission). This type of insurance coverage pays the cost of your defense and any damages awarded (up to policy limits). Insurance companies have developed different specialized policy forms that cater to each risk of the particular profession or service in question.

Another question that many people ask about liability insurance is also very common, why buy? Professionals in any field are expected to completely understand their field and have the proper training in said field so that they may adequately provide their services to customers. With that being said, they are expected to perform the services for which they are hired, according to the standards of conduct in their profession. If they fail to do so, they can be held legally responsible for any harm or financial loss that they cause to another person or business. Another reason a plan should be invested in is because most Professional Liability plans are usually not included in any other insurance policy you may have, personal or professional.

If you and your business fit into the categories that we have mentioned, Professional Liability Insurance may be a plan that your business requires. Even though you may think you know everything about your skill, craft, or service, there is the possibility that one day you would provide subpar service. You and your business should be protected and SMA Services Inc. can help you plan for the unthinkable and anything that may be presented to you. If you would like to begin planning ahead and insuring your business, contact SMA Services Inc. today to secure your business’ future.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability InsuranceWe gain many words of wisdom from Uncle Bud while visiting in the coffee shop. The latest being how he feels about insurance. He stated, “I feel toward insurance the same as I feel toward toilet paper. I don’t like to buy it but sure am happy to have it when I need it”. Of course we all chuckled about his analogy. This comparison makes it easy for anyone to understand the importance of Professional Liability Insurance. While all of us may never need Professional Liability Insurance it is a given that we all benefit from the great invention of toilet paper.

Professional liability refers to liability that arises from a failure to use due care and the standard of care expected from a person in a particular profession. Most of us are aware of cases of malpractice insurance needed by those in the medical field. This includes doctors, dentists, nurses, hospitals and other health-related organizations. Medical Professional Liability Insurance policy covers bodily injury or property damage and may include personal injury such as mental anguish. We understand that not all adverse patient outcomes are results of negligence. However, all health care providers are human and accidents happen. That is one reason the insurance is so important.

Do other professional people need Professional Liability Insurance? To discuss this question let’s take a look at part of what Wikipedia has to say about Professional Liability Insurance:

Professional liability insurance (PLI), also called professional indemnity insurance (PII) but more commonly known as errors & omissions (E&O) in the US, is a form of liability insurance that helps protect professional advice- and service-providing individuals and companies from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in such as civil lawsuits.

Professional liability insurance may take on different forms and names depending on the profession. For example, in reference to medical professions it is called malpractice insurance, while errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is used by insurance agents, consultants, brokersand lawyers.[1] Other professions that commonly purchase professional liability insurance include accounting and financial services, construction and maintenance (general contractorsplumbers, etc., many of whom are also surety bonded), and transport. Some charities and other nonprofits/NGOs are also professional-liability insured.

As we see in this condensed form of Wikipedia’s definition many professionals would benefit from having Professional Liability Insurance. As much as we may wish nothing would ever go wrong, it does. People make mistakes, things are over looked; let’s just face it, “stuff happens”. Remember what Uncle Bud had to say. Don’t you want your “toilet paper” in place before you need to use it? Get your insurance in place today!

SMA Services, Inc. can help you decide if you need this type of insurance. Give them a call. They will help you make the right choice on the amount and types of coverage you need according to the profession you are in.

Our Customer Service Representatives can help you. Just give us a call. 1-800-423-4332