What is Professional Liability?

Professional Liability (malpractice) insurance policy protects a professional in liability claims resulting from alleged negligence, professional misconduct, or lack of skill arising from treatment of patients.

What to look for in a Malpractice company/agent:

(click on any of the links below for more information)

Consent to settle — if it is not pure consent, without exception, then you can be losing control of a suit brought against you.

Occurrence or claims made — are you given the option of having either an occurrence or claims made policy, having the choice should be yours.

Financial stability— is the carrier financially sound and able to defend you when a claim comes?

Defense— when you need a strong defense, do they use experts in malpractice defense, do they have a team of expert witnesses and what is their track record like in court and closing cases without going to court.

Risk management — is the carrier able to provide you with a risk manager (not a claims manager) should you need help with handling a situation before it becomes a bigger problem?

Specialized Service — are you getting the expertise you deserve from your agent? Do they specifically work with physicians as Professional Insurance Plans does?

What is the difference between occurrence and claims-made policies?

Occurrence coverage responds to a claim based on when the dental treatment occurred, regardless of when the claim is actually made against you.  As long as the incident occurred during the policy period, your occurrence policy will respond according to the terms and conditions of the policy- even if the claim is made after the policy period expires.

Claims-Made coverage, by contrast, responds to claims based on when the claim is first made against the insured.  You must have a policy or an extension contract (tail)  in effect when a claim is filed regardless of when the incident actually occurred.

Click this link for more information on claims-made vs. occurrence.

What is “Tail” coverage?

“Tail” Coverage (Extended Reporting Endorsement) protects doctors against all claims arising from professional services performed while the claims-made policy was in effect but reported after termination of the policy. This coverage costs an additional premium. However, most carriers do offer this coverage for free due to retirement, death or disability.

What is Corporate (or entity) Malpractice?

This coverage covers the liability and vicarious liability of their practice. Vicarious liability involves any action that arises from individuals who are directly controlled by the ownership relationship. For example, a dental practice could also be held liable for the actions of its employees or independent contractors.