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Guide for Physicians in Choosing a Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Policy With their exposure to personal liability, it makes it necessary for physicians to be covered with malpractice insurance. It is the premium costs that protect the physician’s coverage limit that attracts most physicians when they are looking for a medical malpractice liability insurance policy. What this means is that up to a certain dollar amount, the insurance company will pay for the losses of the physician, and if the amount exceeds the dollar bracket, then the physician will have to pay for the excess. This coverage limit is expressed in two types of inclusions: a per-occurrence limit where the insurance would state how much they would pay for a single loss or claim (commonly known as “an occurrence), and the aggregate limit is where the total amount stipulated in the policy is the amount that the insurer will pay in a given policy period -typically one year or $3 million per occurrence for aggregate limit and $1 million for per-occurrence limit. When physicians are dealing with coverage limits in connection to what a petitioner can claim, there are other several complicated issues that they need to be aware of. The position of most insurance companies is that even if there are two separate demands that an insurer is entitled to claim, if the case arises from a similar set of related phenomena, the insurance companies would treat it as a single occurrence instead of two occurrences. Physician’s need to know this beforehand because if multiple claims are considered a single occurrence for insurance purposes, then this claims will be governed by a single pre occurrence coverage limit.’
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Defense cost, is another issue that a physician should be mindful of when they go out to shop for a medical malpractice liability insurance. Defense cost meaning, attorney, expert, and court fees – these are usually not included in the coverage limit. What this means is that the net amount for a single occurrence that a claimant earns after a trail will be deducted the cost of your defense. There are medical malpractice insurance companies that lowers down coverage limit to cover defense costs. Insurance companies only defend a physician up until the coverage limit is reached, and physicians should take note of this. When this happens, the physician is then responsible to look for his own attorney and pay for all the expenses. There are some policies thought that do provide continued defense even after the coverage limit is reached.
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Excess insurance is another safeguard for physician. When judgment exceeds the limit of the physician’s primary policy, this umbrella policy kicks in to cover the excess.