Medico-legal cases in India are no longer a rarity. They have been rising at a much faster rate over the past years. With consumers being more aware about their rights and duties, they are more likely to file a lawsuit against the alleged doctor. There have also been instances where patients have cross-questioned the prescribed treatment given by the concerned doctor on the basis of the information available on the internet. Medico-legal cases against doctors have been crowding courtrooms throughout the nation. The majority of the reported cases are accusations of overcharging, performing unnecessary medical procedures or performing medical procedures without proper consent, malpractice, etc.
According to a recent survey conducted by National Law University, Bangalore, medico-legal cases in India have risen by almost 400%. Though 10-15% of the cases are based on genuine scenarios, the rest 85% are still left to defend (source: TOI). This statistical data substantiates the need to be financially & legally insured.
Being a professional comes with a lot of responsibility and with responsibility comes liability. Doctors are professionals who are exposed to financial/legal liability in the course of rendering their medical services to patients. A minor error during the course of discharging duties like issuing an incorrect prescription, wrong treatment timing, wrong medication, etc might lead to the patient filing a legal suit against the doctor. Such legal suits result in huge defense costs and compensatory damages, which are running into lacs and sometimes even crores. There might be cases where you may not be at fault actually and still, the patient feels that there has been inaccuracy/mistake on the doctor’s part. This is where Indemnity Insurance for Doctors, also known as errors and omissions insurance comes as a rescue!
Table of Contents:
- Why Is Professional Indemnity Important For Doctors in India?
- Factors To Consider Before Buying a Professional Indemnity Cover
Why is Professional Indemnity important for doctors in India?
A Doctor’s Professional Indemnity Insurance acts as a safety net to safeguard doctors against financial & legal liabilities. A Professional Indemnity policy covers legal costs & compensatory damages (if awarded by the court) arising as a consequence of a legal suit. This insurance can be availed by any qualified medical practitioner (such as Physician, Surgeon, Radiologist, Anaesthetist, Gynaecologist, etc) and medical establishments to protect themselves against any financial and legal liability. Professional Indemnity Insurance for medical establishments and clinics offers a wide coverage to hospitals against claims made by dissatisfied patients, including coverage against medical negligence on the part of qualified and unqualified staff.
It is very important to choose a Doctor Professional Indemnity Insurance that suffices all your professional needs. Before purchasing any indemnity cover it is very important to consider the following pointers to make sure you choose the best-suited coverage!
Factors to consider before buying a Professional Indemnity cover:
- Choose adequate sum insured:
Sum insured is the amount that the insurance company is liable to pay to the policyholder in case of occurrence of an insured event. If the chosen sum insured is not enough to cover all legal / compensatory expenses then it defeats the entire purpose of buying an indemnity insurance. Thus, one should opt for adequate coverage to suffice all your medical practice requirements!
- Choose coverage benefits that cover all professional needs:
Choose a Professional Indemnity policy that is comprehensive and provides 360° legal & financial coverage.
- Do a premium comparison:
Always ensure that the chosen insurance policy provides optimum value in comparison to the premium you pay. Choose an indemnity policy that is cost-effective as well as worth in terms of value offered.
- Choose appropriate AOA:AOY ratio:
Indemnity Insurance for doctors has a concept of AOA:AOY. AOA refers to any one accident and AOY refers to any one year. This ratio is referred to as the limit of indemnity. This limit of indemnity ratio determines the maximum claim amount the insurance company is liable to pay. The AOA:AOY ratio should be chosen considering factors such as your field of specialization, type of patients you are rendering services to, city of practice etc.
- Evaluate past claims history:
In case of an occurrence of an insured event you would want your insurance provider to serve you in an efficient and prompt manner and so it is very important to evaluate and analyze their crisis handling capability. Choose an insurance provider that has an in-house claim settlement team to walk you through the entire claim process. The in-house claim team will not only provide end-to-end claim assistance but also ensure prompt responses.
- Review flexibility:
Make sure the chosen Professional Indemnity policy is flexible enough to be customized as per your professional requirements. The insurance provider should not be rigid and should allow flexibility in terms of increment/decrement of sum insured, hassle-free claim settlement etc. The more flexibility the opted indemnity insurance provides, the more convenient it will be for you!
- Check for add-ons:
Make sure to check for add-ons while buying indemnity insurance to make your policy even more inclusive!
- Financial stability & reputation:
Choose an insurance intermediary with financial stability and good reputation with a sound and hassle-free claims settlement track.
- Customer service:
Look for an insurance intermediary that has a prompt, responsive & empathetic customer support service.
- Industry expertise:
Buying Professional Indemnity Insurance from an insurance intermediary who has experience in insuring professionals and understands the risks and challenges faced by the medical fraternity and also their professional requirements.
- Buy Indemnity Insurance through CoverYou:
If you are looking to buy Professional Indemnity Insurance for doctors exclusively to protect your medical practice, look no further than CoverYou. Our team of insurance experts will walk you through the entire process, understand and answer all your queries in a prompt manner so that you choose the best suited coverage for your practice. Our insurance product is sure to provide you protection against all odds in case of a lawsuit or against any allegation related to your professional services. We have successfully tied-up with 60+ Medical Associations over the years and are currently serving 1.5 lac+ doctors. Cover all your financial & legal worries with CoverYou’s Professional Indemnity Insurance!
Wrapping it up:
Choosing the right Professional Indemnity cover is really important to ensure a worry-free practice! Make sure you compare various plans to choose the right policy that protects the legal and financial implications of your medical practice!