The world of medical malpractice is quite vast, encompassing all aspects of health professionals’ work, including times when they’re not actually working. In the lifespan of a medical career, a person may change jobs a handful of times, crossing state lines and moving higher up in their specialty. This is where special policies and additions come in. Here are the fundamentals of medical malpractice tail coverage.
Medical Malpractice Policy Basics
To appreciate the scope of tail coverage, you must grasp the basics of medical malpractice insurance. Each policy is different based on the doctor’s location, specialty, and coverage preferences. However, the fundamental purpose remains—it supplies financial aid to clients in legal trouble per the policy agreement.
Bringing Tail Coverage Into the Picture
Once a policy term ends and payments cease, most insurers cease their coverage. Some stipulations or special insurance types cover insureds post-policy. However, medical malpractice policies often lack this longevity.
Tail coverage is the add-on insurance that insureds can purchase at an additional price. This coverage will extend the time frame of the policy and cover the insured for patient malpractice claims from the time of the policy.
When Tail Coverage Matters
Medical careers are no different from other careers—people will move cross-country for the right opportunity. If a medical professional moves states, changes their scope of practice, or takes a break from their work, their insurance policy will end. This is completely normal, but it does come with risks that many people overlook.
Moving Across State Lines
Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding medical malpractice insurance types, policy limits, and choices. Doctors crossing state lines will need new insurance but could still receive claims from their previous patients. In this case, tail coverage will decrease the risk that these past issues will follow the doctor to their new location.
Changing Scope of Practice
Similarly, when a medical professional gets a promotion or changes their position, their scope of practice changes as well. Their policy should change to reflect the increased or decreased risk of malpractice. This often results in new insurance in which the old policy is no longer in effect. Tail coverage will keep patient claims during their previous role from damaging them now.
Ceasing Work for a Time
Doctors may take time off for childbirth, sabbatical rest, or retirement. In any of these cases, this person is no longer working and not paying for insurance due to their professional hiatus. The only issue with these cessations is the risk that past patients will level a lawsuit against them. Tail coverage provides peace of mind to new parents and retirees alike, making career choices easier to bear.
Knowing the fundamentals of medical malpractice tail coverage can help medical professionals manage their careers amid change. If you need to update your insurance policy or find new malpractice insurance for healthcare professionals in your area, reach out to our team today at Baxter & Associates.