Why Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Insurance Agent?

There are many reasons you want to work with an agent when seeking malpractice insurance, and some are certainly more important than others.

I just worked with a hand surgeon in Miami, Fla., who recently went through a personal trauma. Mired in the trauma’s distraction, he didn’t pay attention to a “missed payment” correspondence from his medical malpractice insurance company in Florida. This might seem like a simple error with little or no ramifications on the surface, but it’s not.

The Florida hand surgeon explained that the missed payment was completely his fault; he thought he had set up an autopay for his premium.

As his story unfolded, it became increasingly obvious this was going to be a tough situation. The policy had indeed cancelled months ago, and he had been practicing without medical malpractice coverage for quite some time. But it gets worse.

The way the Florida hand surgeon ultimately learned he was practicing medicine without malpractice insurance coverage was a painful story in and of itself. He walked into his office one morning, and when the mail arrived, he started to go through it like he had done every day prior. This morning would be very different. He received a notice that he was the subject of a medical malpractice claim.

The hand surgeon immediately contacted his medical malpractice insurance company, like he should, and calmly described the claim notification he had received. The insurance company placed him on hold for 10 minutes. When they finally returned, he received the worst news possible. His policy had cancelled months ago. He had no malpractice insurance coverage. He was on his own with this claim — 100 percent out-of-pocket expenses. The insurance company also told him they were not going to reinstate his coverage either. Panicked, he wanted to know what he can do now.

We had a long conversation about his medical malpractice insurance moving forward and what options he has with his former medical malpractice insurance company. None of them were very good.

This Florida hand surgeon’s story is a tragic reminder that having an advocate in your corner is extremely important when it comes to your medical malpractice insurance. Let’s play out this scenario again, but this time with the hand surgeon having been working with a medical malpractice insurance agent.

As soon as the late notice from his malpractice insurer was sent out, his agent would have called and emailed the doctor repeatedly, making certain he knew he was behind on his premium payments. The payment would have been made and when the claim hit, the doctor would have been covered for his defense costs and indemnity.

It may seem small and insignificant, but in today’s fast pace world, things fall through the cracks. Having a professional medical malpractice insurance agent ally look out for your best interests is critical.

The hand surgeon learned the hard way, but he now has the guidance of a medical malpractice insurance agent moving forward.  

If you are in a bind when it comes to your malpractice insurance or want to discuss your options, give me a ring at 708-848-2300.

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