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Just as your patients need to maintain insurance coverage, so should you. Your medical office comes with a unique set of risks and a specialty medical office insurance policy can keep you protected against a loss.
The risks your medical office faces.
While the list of every possible risk your medical office faces is lengthy, you can get specialized insurance to bring you comprehensive coverage and peace of mind. Here are some of the most common risk factors in the medical industry that can be covered with the right insurance policy in place:
- Medical Malpractice
- Spoilage of Medical Supplies
- Needlestick Injuries
- Medical Equipment Replacement
- Cyber Crime
- Employee Lawsuits
- Regulatory Billing Errors
- Fiduciary Crime
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Medical Malpractice / Professional Liability
Doctors and licensed staff face a high risk of being sued by patients for such things as claiming a wrong diagnosis or treatment. Some high claims settlements could even force the office or practice to close its doors.
Professional liability insurance, commonly known as medical malpractice insurance, can protect a doctor and other licensed staff from a lawsuit that could become quite costly.
Many medical offices unknowingly underestimate the costs associated with replacing medical equipment. It’s not uncommon to find out that there is not enough coverage to replace it, and sometimes it’s already too late.
With a business owners policy (BOP), most medical and general office equipment is included as business personal property and would be protected in the event of a covered loss. For specialized, high-valued equipment, a separate policy may be required. Your agent can help you to make that determination.
Medical Records Coverage
What would you do if a fire destroyed your patient records? Maintaining medical records is important not only for patient care, but also in the case of a potential lawsuit defense.
Medical records coverage can be included within a business owners policy. This protects your practice and covers the cost of recreating your paper or electronic medical records in the event of a loss.
Business Income / Business Interruption
What would you do if a fire impacted the operation of your practice? Or what if a pipe leak caused a system outage or extended downtime? These and other events can destroy your ability to treat patients and bring in revenue, which can have a major long-term impact on the viability of your practice.
Business interruption insurance compensates you for lost income if your practice cannot operate as normal due to damage that is covered under your commercial property insurance policy, such as fire or water damage. This type of insurance covers the revenue your practice would have earned, based on your financial records, had the incident not occurred. The policy also covers continuing operating expenses such as rent, electricity, and ordinary payroll.
With an estimated 800,000 healthcare workers suffering needlestick and sharps injuries each year, chances are you or someone you know has already been affected.
Workers’ compensation typically covers the cost for the employee’s initial blood test. That way, any resulting infections can be identified and treated much sooner. Employer’s liability insurance may also be considered to offer additional protection if your employee files a lawsuit. Check with your agent to see if your insurance coverage offers this type of protection.
Cyber Liability Insurance
The Internet has spun a whole new web of liability exposures. E-commerce, social networking, cloud storage, and other technologies bring great benefits to large and small practices alike. But with these benefits also come challenges, including protection of privacy, data, and the financial information of your customers.
Cyber liability insurance protects your practice in the event of unauthorized access to electronic data or software within your network. It also provides coverage for spreading a virus, extortion, accidental release of personal identifiable information and resultant damage caused by a lost or stolen laptop or other mobile device. This coverage is quickly becoming more and more important as you embrace technology to help run your practice.
Regulatory Billing and Errors Insurance
Have you ever faced billing error allegations by the federal government or private payers?
Errors and omissions liability insurance can provide reimbursement for defense costs, fines and penalties, as well as shadow audit expenses incurred in billing error proceedings brought by government agencies, contractors, and commercial payers. This is typically a specialized type of coverage, so it’s important to check with your agent to determine if your current coverage is sufficient to addresses this exposure.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
As a business owner, you've worked hard to build a solid practice. But what happens when the unexpected occurs? Are you covered?
A business owners policy is uniquely designed to protect your most important assets, including your practice, its continuation, and your way of life. Discuss the details of this coverage with your agent to ensure that you're protected.
General Liability Insurance
Practices are susceptible to many risks, such as claims due to bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and more.
General liability insurance is an absolute necessity for any practice. It provides broad coverage when you are deemed responsible and liable, and will also pay to defend any covered lawsuit or action, regardless of its merit. Additional limits are also available with a commercial umbrella insurance policy.
Employee Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
On average, it's estimated that three out of five businesses will be sued by their employees. While there is nothing you can do to prevent someone from filing a lawsuit, you can limit the costs of defending a legal claim with proper insurance coverage.
Obtain employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) to protect your practice and its directors, officers, and employees from alleged employment-related acts such as wrongful termination, failure to promote, discrimination, and sexual harassment.
If one of your employees receives an injury or becomes ill due to a work-related occurrence, you are required by law to have the proper coverage in place.
Workers’ compensation protects your employees in the event that a job related injury or sickness occurs during the course of their employment. This coverage is required by law, so be sure that your practice has it.
Crime, Fidelity, and Fiduciary Liability Coverage
What would you do if one of your trusted employees were to be found guilty of doing something dishonest or if you find that the funds have been mismanaged in your pension plan?
Crime and fidelity coverage is designed to provide coverage for employee dishonesty, forgery and depository, theft, destruction, disappearance, and more. Fiduciary liability coverage also meets ERISA requirements to protect the funds in your pension plan.
Spoilage – Perishable Medicines and Medical Supplies
Your healthcare practice’s refrigeration system may suffer a mechanical breakdown which could cause the supply of vaccines on hand to spoil.
Spoilage coverage can be provided as an added endorsement to your business owners policy. This type of coverage will protect your practice from large costs associated with perishable medicines and supplies.
Commercial Umbrella Policy
What happens when your practice faces a large liability loss that exceeds the basic limit of your standard policy?
A commercial umbrella insurance policy provides high limits of insurance, typically between $2,000,000 and $10,000,000. Coverage is extended over your general liability insurance, workers' compensation, and business auto insurance. It provides a great safety net and helps ensure your practice is well protected.
The business side of medical offices.
Naturally, such insurance can include more common business risks such as damage to property, personal injury, and liability for visitors and loss of income if your office is temporarily unusable. However, it also includes some specific risks for the medical profession.
Coverage against risks related to medical offices.
For example, if you had an electrical failure or a mechanical breakdown, medical goods such as vaccines could spoil. A data breach or computer hack could be particularly devastating given the sensitive information you store. Paper records could be costly to replace after a fire. All of this can be covered.
Medical malpractice as a separate coverage.
Don’t make any assumptions about your policy, however. Medical office insurance is highly unlikely to cover medical malpractice and other liabilities relating to the advice and treatment you provide, so you’ll need to get such coverage separately.
For more information on medical office insurance, contact us today.
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