For licensed professionals, claims of wrongdoing and negligence are not surprising. In fact, even when you follow the proper procedure, defending yourself from claims will cost you a considerable amount of money, depending on your case. This is where professional liability insurance, also called malpractice insurance, comes into play.
This kind of insurance will protect you in case your clients say you made mistakes or committed accidental wrongdoing while offering your services, and they sue you for the damage.
Today, there are plenty of malpractice insurance companies out there. But keep in mind that not all of these can be trusted. It means they are not all equal. Read on if you’re planning to get such insurance that is highly recommended if you’re a licensed professional.
The following is the list of considerations you need to take into account when evaluating a malpractice insurance company to ensure that you get the most out of your investment:
- The Company’s Reputation
When selecting an insurance provider for your malpractice insurance, it’s very important that you research more about its reputation. While most insurance companies wouldn’t stay in the industry without establishing a good reputation, you need to know whether they’re measuring up.
Learn more about the company’s history with its clients. Then, ask an insurance agent directly to talk about how it handles claims. If you’re knowledgeable of their track record, you can decide whether you should work with the company or not.
- Financial Strength
Considering a company that has financial strength and longevity to last until you retire from your career and beyond is very important. As a matter of fact, this is highly crucial, especially if you’re getting an occurrence policy. It’s because you depend on the company to be there no matter when a complaint is filed against you.
- How The Company Handles Claims
The common reason people apply for malpractice insurance is to have protection when a claim occurs. Hopefully, the coverage will never be used. But when the time comes, it’s beneficial that you have an idea upfront when it comes to the claims-handling practices of your prospect company.
When evaluating a company for your professional liability insurance, make sure to ask about its claim-handling process. For instance, you can ask whether they’ll be working with a call center in the claims process or with one claim adjuster. If they’re working with an adjuster exclusively, is the adjuster local, and if yes, ask whether the client be meeting with the adjuster through a telephone conference or in person.
Please note that navigating the process of claims, especially if you’re not familiar with it, can be stressful and time-consuming. Thus, having local and personalized support from a skilled claim adjuster can be helpful for defendants.
Some companies usually go to trial on cases more often than others, taking a difficult defense stance. Others, on the other hand, may settle for nuisance value when given the opportunity. As a client, it’s crucial that you ask more about the company’s claim-handling processes; after all, it’s for your safety and good.
For an insurance company to operate legally where it’s located, it must have the proper licensing. If licensed, the insurance company is regulated by the state and considered an admitted insurance company.
With a licensed insurance company, you can rest easy knowing that you’re dealing with a credible business and not with a scammer. It means, if a lawsuit is filed against you, there is someone who can help you legally.
Another essential factor you need to consider when assessing a malpractice insurance company is the cost of their insurance. There are many reasons insurance companies differ when it comes to pricing.
Usually, a lower cost may mean lesser coverage. Remember, less coverage will mean more money out of your bank when a loss takes place.
Furthermore, a lower price might mean that the company is just new to the market and that it doesn’t have the experiences other insurers would. So, it’s best that you discuss the differences with your insurance agent. Nevertheless, make sure to work and choose an agent you can trust to ensure that everything is working properly.
- The Structure of The Company
Professional liability insurance companies are typically structured in many different ways. However, individual licensed professionals will usually buy coverage from a mutual company where policyholders focus on the long-term ways to satisfy all their policyholders. This can affect the product offerings and direction of the company or a stock company where shareholders own the company and receive proceeds in the form of dividends.
Both structures can have income from investments and policy premiums. But a stock company can raise funds through selling stocks as well.
- Offered Malpractice Policies
Know that there are different types of malpractice insurance: occurrence and claims-made. Some companies offer both, while others only have one policy.
Claims-made malpractice insurance will insure you from malpractice claims made by a patient only when your policy is active. If you’re planning to leave with this type of insurance, it’s highly recommended that you also invest in tail coverage. This coverage will protect you in the event that claims are made after your policy lapses for incidents that happened when you’re covered.
On the other hand, occurrence-based malpractice insurance can offer coverage for any event that takes place when the policy is active, despite when a claim is made. This means you don’t need to buy tail coverage. In general, the occurrence is known as better insurance since it can offer more security and, at the same time, less hassle, though it is more expensive.
Choosing the right coverage is as important as choosing the right malpractice insurance company. It is very easy to gloss over the information when buying professional liability insurance and yet every detail, even the smallest one, is very important. The moment you start looking around, you may notice that it’s a very competitive market.
Buying malpractice insurance can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be as long as you know what you are doing. The best companies will provide you with different policies tailored to the industry they serve. They are reliable companies that offer competitive prices, several coverage options, and have a high financial rating.
Hopefully, the information mentioned above has helped you assess every company you come across to ensure that you will end up with the right insurance company.