8 Things to Look For in a Medical Professional Liability Insurance Carrier

Questions to consider when selecting medical professional liability insurance to find a carrier that will best protect your practice.

It is important for physicians and practices to know what to look for when selecting a medical professional liability insurance carrier. As this decision will have impact on the protection of your career and assets. This impact can be seen when the unexpected occurs but also picking a carrier that offers guidance can help reduce your risk of claim from ever occurring.

Here at Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona (MICA), we specialize in medical professional liability insurance. Our team of experts has identified key coverage features to look for when selecting your medical malpractice insurance carrier.

1. What is the carrier's financial strength and A.M. Best Rating?

It is ideal to choose a medical malpractice insurance carrier with an A.M. Best Rating of A- or better. A.M. Best financial strength ratings provide an independent third-party evaluation to help determine the ability of an insurer to fulfill its financial obligation to you. 

2. What is their specialization and reputation of service to their physicians and practices?

Some carriers move in and out of the medical professional liability marketplace. They may lack in providing high touch support and have limited knowledge of your local laws and market. Choose a carrier that has a history of being dedicated to serving their insureds and focuses on providing medical professional liability insurance in the local area.

3. Do they have a history of raising rates?

Rate stability and longevity in the jurisdiction can be an important factor when selecting your insurance carrier.

4. How do they handle defense costs?

Defense costs should be in addition to the limit of liability to avoid exhausting your limit. Find a carrier that does not charge the defense costs against your limit of liability.

5. Do they offer incident reporting?

Allowing incident reporting locks in coverage. By selecting a carrier that allows you to report incidents that you believe might become a claim you are able to be protected and possibly prevent that claim from moving forward.

6. Do they have a "hammer clause"?

The hammer clause gives your insurance company the right to decide if you go to trail or settle -- this takes away your choice in the decision. You'll want a carrier that gives you the choice to either settle your claim or to take your case to trial.

7. Is it a mutual or stock company?

A mutual company is owned by its policyholders, and when claims experience has been favorable policyholders may receive a dividend distribution. A stock company is owned by shareholders or investors, and any profits earned are distributed to those investors.

8. What type of risk management and claims services do they offer?

An experienced claims team should provide you with a dedicated claims representative who will guide you at every step of the process, works with the top defense attorneys, and offers coaching services, if a claim were to happen. 

Risk management support should be available to help you reduce risk in your practice by experienced consultants who provide personalized services, up-to-date accessible resources, and patient safety programs that help ensure positive patient care outcomes. 

If you have questions about MICA's coverage features, please call our team at 800-681-1840 or fill out this form for a personalized quote. MICA offers medical malpractice coverage in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.

The content of this publication or presentation is intended for educational purposes only; is not an official position statement of Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona (MICA); and should not be considered or relied upon as professional, medical, or legal advice or as a substitute for your professional judgment. Consult your attorney about your individual situation and the applicable laws. The authors, presenters, and editors made a reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of publication or presentation but do not warrant or guarantee accuracy, completeness, or currency of such information. As medical and legal information is constantly changing and evolving, check for updated information and consult your attorney before making decisions.

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