3 Things to NEVER Assume About Your Liability Policy

Surgeon with Nurse It is quite common for a new client or soon-to-be client to call us with questions about their physician liability policy. We always go over the policy very carefully with our new clients and we attempt to explain not only what the policy covers, but what the policy doesn’t cover.

Here are three very important situations that you should never assume are covered by your physician liability policy:

1. Never assume that your policy covers part-time locums work, moonlighting, or volunteer activities. Because of the high turn-over in medicine, coupled with the opportunities for physicians of every specialty, there are many opportunities for physicians to work on a part-time basis. Many times, a physician will assume that their full-time coverage covers any and all of their activities. This is rarely the case. Most policies specifically exclude part-time and moonlighting positions and it would be a risk to assume that you are covered. Part-time moonlighting policies are very easy to secure and are typically inexpensive and highly discounted.

2. Never assume that your policy covers patients that you treat outside of your state. Because many doctors practice in border cities between states, and see patients from multiple states, it is extremely important to know that your physician liability policy may not cover patients in states other than your home state. Most insurance companies can easily provide you with coverage for the work you do across the border, but it is extremely important to let your agent know about this work.

3. Never assume that the right to settle (or litigate) is up to you. Most admitted insurance policies will let the physician control the claim process, and specifically, the claim settlements. However, there are some physician liability insurance policy policies that take away control of the claim from the physician, and instead, put that control in the hands of the insurance company. You should always understand your policy and be aware if your policy has a Hammer Clause, and understand what that means in terms of a claim.

Of course, if you’d like to discuss these topics further, or would like to discuss your physician liability policy and/or needs, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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