Liability Coverage for Multispecialty Physicians
Lately the agents at MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com have been working with more and more physicians that have been trained in, and are practicing in, multiple specialties. In this situation, medical liability insurance for multispecialty physicians can sometimes be straight-forward and easy to secure. But, other times, special customized coverage is required.
First, multispecialty physicians should NEVER assume that they just need medical liability insurance coverage for only one of their specialties and that the other specialty (or specialties) would then be covered under that plan. A medical liability insurance carrier needs to know every specialty that a physician is practicing and what percentage of time he or she is practicing each specialty. Not doing so could be disastrous from a medical liability standpoint.
In most cases, a medical liability insurance underwriter will review the different specialties and then rate the doctor under the classification that has the higher, or the most, liability. For instance, a rural country doctor who does family medicine, but also delivers an occasional baby, would probably be placed with an OB/GYN rating. And, under the OB/GYN rating, any family medicine practices would be covered, but the premium would be quite high.
However, not all multispecialty plans are so straightforward. For instance, we recently placed coverage for a Board Certified pediatrician who was also a Board Certified gastroenterologist and a licensed nutritionist. This physician took a wholistic approach to caring for his patients, and although he was classified as a pediatric gastroenterologist, there were many instances where his patients would remain in his care after they turned 18. Because most insurance companies restrict a pediatric gastroenterologist from treating patients that are older than 18 years old, this is another reason it is important to shop for coverage, and clearly let your insurance agent know how you practice medicine, and look for a company that will cover you under every circumstance. Thus, this multispecialty physician required a special, customized medical liability insurance policy.
Because many multispecialty physicians are often rejected for their multispecialties, often they need to consider going with a non-admitted carrier that is less restrictive. While this may mean that the coverage will be more expensive, at least the physician knows that they are covered, no matter what the situation, which is essential.