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:


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

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About Teddy Gillen

Teddy Gillen is the Regional Director of Southern Protective Group and has a degree in Risk Management & Insurance from the University of Georgia. Southern Protective Group is a specialized, market-savvy insurance brokerage practice based in Metro Atlanta. Licensed nationwide with clients coast-to-coast, SPG is one of the Southeast’s fastest-growing, premier insurance brokerage firms. SPG is the Southern Medical Association’s exclusive endorsed broker for medical malpractice insurance coverage.

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