How to Negotiate Your Medical Malpractice Insurance with a Potential Employer

Person signing contract We get calls every day from physicians joining practices who are looking for medical malpractice insurance coverage. And, while nobody wants to take a job with one foot out the door, the reality of medicine today is that health care providers tend to change jobs often. (But high turnover also means that you can negotiate to your advantage.) So, how can you best negotiate your employment and prepare for the likelihood that you will one day leave your current employer?

One of the best things you can do is negotiate a medical malpractice insurance tail with your employment contract.

1. From a liability perspective, you want to make sure that you’re covered after you leave the practice. With a claims-made policy, which 95% of physicians tend to have (vs. an occurrence policy), coverage is only during the time that the policy is active. Once the policy has been terminated, or the coverage cancelled, you typically have to purchase a tail to cover you in case any medical malpractice cases are brought against you after the coverage stopped.
2. Tails are expensive! Typically, tails cost about 2x the expiring premium of the policy. Many of our physicians are shocked to hear the cost of a tail and are often angry that they had no idea that they would be expected to purchase this once they left the practice.
3. It’s one less thing for you to do when you leave. Usually when physicians leave a practice, it is because they have found another position. And, generally, this time of transition is very hectic. Thus, by not having to worry about getting tail coverage, you’ve crossed a big item off of your To Do list and it’s one less loose item that you have to tie-up before leaving.