Medico-legal cases are no longer a rarity in India. They’re piling up faster than you’d imagine. A 2016 study by the India Medical Times shows that there has been a 110% rise in medical negligence cases in India each year. The CIA World Factbook reveals that there are 0.73 physicians for every 1,000 people in India. In the US and UK, the doctor-to-patient ratios are 2.55 and 2.73, respectively. This increases the chances of medical negligence. The fact is that with growing awareness of medico-legal cases, patients are quick to file a lawsuit demanding compensation. This makes professional indemnity insurance essential for doctors.
The policy will cover you from risks such as:
- Employee fraud
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Loss of documents
- Breach of confidentiality
- Libel and slander
But, before you sign up for indemnity insurance, here are some tips on how to choose the best policy.
1. Check for coverage
Professional indemnity insurance for doctors varies from policy to policy. Thoroughly understand the features and coverage offered by each policy. For example, a basic indemnity policy may only cover legal expenses and damage to the third party. A more evolved policy will provide coverage against staff dishonesty as well. Pay special attention to the coverage to ensure that you pick a policy that caters to the risks you face. A basic policy might not cover you beyond damages for a third party. But, an advanced indemnity policy will provide coverage for employee negligence.
2. Do a cost analysis
Yes, professional indemnity insurance for doctors is more expensive than your average insurance policy. But, it is important to note that the coverage offered is of a higher value as well. You must always check and ensure that your insurance policy provides value beyond the premium you pay. Pick a policy that is cost-effective and worth the investment in terms of the protection that it provides your practice.
Additional Read: What are the costs involved in setting up a medical practice?
3. Study claims handling
In case of a crisis, you want your indemnity insurance provider to be able to act quickly and efficiently. So, it is worth taking the time to study the cases that they’ve handled in the past, their ability to contain the crisis and their response procedures. Ideally, pick a policy offering services of a specialised claims team. Moreover, suppose a provider is willing to take you through the protocol and procedures well in advance. In that case, you can rest assured that they know what they are doing and can handle emergencies well.
4. Inspect flexibility
Will the insurance provider you have in mind allow you to increase or decrease the sum that your practice is insured for in the middle of the tenor? Is the claims procedure hassle-free? Do you need to complete a lengthy documentation procedure? These are all factors that give you an idea of how rigid or flexible your professional indemnity insurance provider is. You should pick a provider who provides maximum flexibility and convenience.
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