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Medical malpractice insurance can be one of the biggest expenses for a physician or practice, and buying it can be complicated. As a physician, you know that having all the information is important, and that is just as true in the insurance industry as it is in healthcare. The tips below will provide you with the knowledge you need to get the best coverage at the best price.
1. Use an agent who can shop your insurance coverage to many companies.
From publicly traded companies to physician-run mutuals to special insurance entities like risk retention groups, there is a wide range of insurers in the marketplace, and there can be a wide range of prices to match. Though it’s certainly possible to simply find a company and purchase a policy, many physicians will discover that an independent insurance agent can find better coverage at a more affordable price. Independent agents contract with many insurance companies, so they can shop coverage to many insurers, allowing them to find the best coverage at the best rate for each individual client. Best of all, there is no cost to the purchaser, as commission amounts for agents are already included in the premium amount.
2. Understand Premium Discounts and Credits
Premium discounts and credits can make an insurance policy much less expensive. Most providers offer a wide variety of premium discounts and credits, including for being claims-free, working only part-time hours, being new to practice or for membership in a particular professional association or completing risk-management coursework. Be sure to factor in these discounts and credits when comparing different policy options, as they can have a profound effect on premium amounts – often providing discounts of 20 percent or more over published rates.
3. Location, Location, Location
Physicians know that the state their practice is located in can have a profound effect on their malpractice insurance costs. But, many don’t realize how much smaller location differences can influence their insurance costs. In many states, counties located next to each other can have very different insurance premiums. And, in certain states like Ohio, even smaller differences in location can have a big impact on pricing – to the extent that physicians might want to consider switching locations to save money on their policies. Be sure to research pricing in your state (click here to see Historic Rate Data by state and county) or consider using an agent who is familiar with these state, county and local variations, and can advise you on the best policy option for your location.
Medical malpractice policies need to be renewed each year and many physicians will just automatically sign up with their current insurer, without exploring other options that could save them money. Even if you like your current insurer, it is always better to shop your coverage to different companies. Independent agencies will automatically shop your coverage each year when your renewal rolls around to ensure that you are still getting the best price. Often, your current insurer will give you a discount as a result.
5. Tail Coverage
Tail coverage can be expensive, and many physicians automatically purchase it from the insurer they are leaving. Be aware that it is possible to purchase an independent tail coverage policy, which could be less expensive than buying one from your current insurer. If you are switching to a new insurer, you can also obtain Prior Acts coverage, which will eliminate the need for a tail policy. An agent can help you explore these options at no cost to you.
Give us a try and find out how much you can save on your medical malpractice insurance costs this year. Fill our our free, no obligation quote form below or call us at and let one of our med-mal specialists