Medical professionals face an array of practice risks while rendering services to patients. Such risks can result in legal claims made by patients, third-party, etc.
As per a survey conducted on 1,200 resident doctors in Maharashtra, 30% of medical negligence claims result from non-fulfillment of patient expectation while 20% account due to limitations in technical understanding and anxiety of patients.
Also, 15% of these cases are a result of genuine error as well as negligence. Irrespective of the reason accounted, these risks pose a threat of extreme financial losses for healthcare professionals.
To minimize such risks, the financial market has introduced indemnity insurance policies. Take a look at what such insurance policies entail and how they can effectively bring down the losses so posed below.
What do insurance plans for professional indemnity comprise?
Professional indemnity insurance plans for healthcare professionals come as liability coverage policies.
Doctors receive financial coverage protection against legal claims made by patients or third-parties for injuries, financial losses, harm, or even death resulting from an insured medical professional’s consultation, service, or advice.
As these claims can cause severe financial damage running up to lakhs, the insurance policy, also known as E&O or errors and omissions insurance policy, comes with a high-value sum assured. Annual premiums for these policies usually range between 0.3% and 1% of such sum assured.
What are the coverage benefits of the insurance policy?
Doctors should care to invest in professional indemnity insurance plans as they bring along coverage benefits for the following risks.
– Misdiagnosed health condition
The eventualities of misdiagnosis of medical conditions can result in huge financial claims from patients. The presence of these insurance plans thus helps protect medical professionals from paying the claim amount.
– Errors in surgical procedures
Surgical errors have been one of the major risks concerning doctors and acquire a significant chunk of the total claims for negligence. An indemnity insurance cover thus helps protect against such risks as well, allowing a healthcare professional to focus on the practice.
– Unfit or inadequate treatment course
Treatment course prescribed that turns out to be unfit or inadequate can also invite claims from patients, whose risk of financial loss can be covered with such insurance policies.
– Slandering and libel
Third-party damages like slandering and libel can pose a risk of hefty financial losses purported through legal claims.
Taking pre-emptive actions like investing in an indemnity insurance policy helps overcome any business losses suffered through such claims.
While this was all about indemnity insurance for doctors and how it can help them avail coverage for practice risks, doctors must observe a few considerations to select the right coverage plan as per the risks they are exposed to.
How to select the best insurance policy for professional indemnity?
Take care of the following parameters before investing in an insurance policy for professional indemnity.
i. Understand and consider the coverage offered under your selected policy, such as third-party claims, legal damages, etc.
ii. You must go through a cost analysis of the policies available as these indemnity covers come with premiums a little over other regular policies.
iii. Also, consider the insurance provider’s claim handling efficiency for quick and hassle-free settlement.
iv. Consider other flexibility options as well, such as the possibility of changing the sum assured during the policy tenor, documentation requirements, etc.
Alongside an insurance policy for professional indemnity coverage, medical practitioners can also look to approach their practice with additional financial infusion through a professional loan.
Advances like a loan for doctors are available from reputed lenders against minimum eligibility requirements.
NBFCs like Bajaj Finserv also make the financing process convenient and quick with their pre-approved offers. You can avail of these offers on several financial products, including business loans, personal loans, etc.
As for the medical practice, adopting investment and funding strategies with the right mix of indemnity coverage and a professional loan can help drive growth for doctors. These medical professionals can also expand their practice with digital platforms like Lybrate.