Medical Malpractice Insurance in Vermont
What is Medical Malpractice Insurance?
Providing medical care is a much-needed, noble and potentially profitable career, but treating patients comes with a substantial amount of responsibility and risk. Insurance will never be a substitute for responsibly rendering the highest level of care possible in a given situation, but it can give providers financial protection if mistakes are made -- or even allegedly made. Medical malpractice insurance may help many medical professionals in Vermont from some of the liability risks that they’re exposed to.
Medical malpractice insurance policies are highly specialized professional liability policies that have been specifically designed for doctors and other medical providers. Because these policies are so specialized, it’s particularly important to work with a knowledgeable agent who focuses on this area of insurance when reviewing coverages and selecting a policy.
Who in Vermont Should Carry a Medical Malpractice Policy?
The most widely known form of medical malpractice coverage is professional liability insurance for doctors, and nearly every doctor who practices medicine in the State of Vermont needs to carry at least the state’s minimum level of liability insurance for their position. Most medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, chiropractors and dentists need and/or ought to have this insurance.
Moreover, medical doctors generally need insurance regardless of what their specialty is. While a surgeon might want to carry more professional liability insurance for doctors than a primary care internist does, both positions usually require coverage. It’s generally illegal to practice medicine without sufficient coverage in place, and doing so also leaves a doctor open to potential expensive liability lawsuits.
Professional liability insurance for doctors isn’t the only form of medical malpractice coverage that’s available, however. There are also malpractice policies available to:
- Hospitals and medical clinics
- HMOs and health care groups
- Medical spas and skincare clinics
- Weight loss clinics
- Ambulatory services
- Search and rescue teams
Even emergency medical technicians and paramedics may need or want coverage in order to protect themselves if someone files a covered lawsuit against them. Often, however, volunteers and employees at this level have insurance through their organization.
Do Medical Providers Have Medical Malpractice Coverage Through Their Employers?
As noted, many EMTs and paramedics receive medical malpractice coverage through their employer or volunteer organization. The same holds true for many doctors and providers at other levels. Surgeons, other doctors, nurses and technicians frequently have coverage through the organization they’re working for.
Before relying on this coverage for protection, however, there are few important limitations that providers should be aware of.
First, whatever coverage is provided is typically determined by the employer or volunteer organization. While this meets state minimum requirements in most cases where those are relevant, not all organizations purchase as much coverage as their providers would like to carry.
Second, any coverage that’s provided by an organization is often limited to only times when care is rendered within the organization’s scope of work. In other words, a doctor who has professional liability coverage for doctors through their group might not be covered by their group’s policy if they volunteer on the weekend as a ski patroller. The ski patrol unit might offer coverage for the weekend work, but this is another scenario and coverage need to consider.
Should providers be concerned about what coverage their organization does or doesn’t offer, they can work with a knowledgeable agent to see whether there’s an individual policy that could be purchased to supplement any organizational protection.
How Much Do Doctors Pay for a Medical Malpractice Policy?
Medical malpractice policies aren't inexpensive because of the potential lawsuits that can arise from mistakes or alleged mistakes. And, doctors typically pay some of the highest premiums in the medical field since they provide the highest level of care.
Even with these considerations, however, a medical malpractice policy is normally affordable. It doesn’t cost too much in relation to what’s charged for care, and having a policy is almost certainly less costly than facing a major suit while unprotected.
How Can Vermont Providers Get Medical Malpractice Insurance?
For help finding medical malpractice insurance, contact the independent insurance agents at T.S. Peck Insurance. Our agents can help you assess your coverage needs, and then they can show you the most affordable policies that are available in Vermont and meet your particular needs