Why Errors and Omissions Insurance Should Be Part of Your Medical Gear
When the guy building your taco makes a mistake and leaves out an ingredient, even if it’s your favorite one, nobody’s going to die over the event. The same cannot be said when errors and omissions medical professional are created by a medical professional. When a doctor (or dentist or nurse, hospital, clinic, or other health-related entity, for that matter) makes a grave mistake, skips a key step in a process, or otherwise fails to apply the minimum standard of due care that is to be expected by someone working in that position, the result can be serious injury to a patient or even death. In today’s litigious society, a lawsuit would almost surely follow such an event—and that’s when you would rely on the specific coverage (also known as professional liability insurance) designed to provide protection in these matters.
The policy pays for the legal costs to defend you in a lawsuit, regardless of whether errors or omission have actually been judged to have occurred, and also pays the cost of claims (up to the limits of the policy) for which you as the insured medical professional are found to be liable. These types of claims are excluded from the standard general liability policy as they are not considered bodily injury or property damage as defined by that coverage. In contrast, the E&O policy does offer protection from bodily injury or property damage claims, as well as liability for personal injury such as mental anguish. The complexity involved in discovering the precise nature of the mistake in these cases often results in a higher percentage of premium dollars going toward defense and cost containment expenses. As a result, insurers spend quite a bit of funds to investigate and defend their insureds against claims when here is an adverse patient outcome.
Those in the medical profession have unfortunately come to realize that it’s not a question of will they be sued, it’s a question of how many times, for how much, did they win their case, and how much as the cost of the lawsuit. Thus, in this climate, errors and omissions coverage for medical professionals should be standard issue. Consult with a professional insurance agent to learn more about the right policy for you, and the amount of coverage that makes sense.