The Need for Tail Coverage with Indiana Claims-Made Medical Malpractice Insurance
Medical Malpractice insurance is designed to respond to liability claims against doctors and other medical professionals arising out of their treatment of patients. Coverage typically includes negligence claims as well as other claims alleging that a medical professional’s conduct breached his or her duty of care. Attorney fees and other legal costs are also typically covered. In addition, there are features and options that can be a part of a comprehensive medical malpractice policy including tail insurance coverage.
Tail coverage is necessary when a claims-made medical malpractice policy is cancelled or terminated and the insured physician cannot secure prior acts coverage from a new insurance carrier. Tail coverage is basically an extended reporting period endorsement offered by the physician’s current malpractice insurance carrier, which allows him or her the option to extend coverage after the cancellation or termination of a claims-made policy. This may occur because the physician has switched medical facilities, has been terminated or retired.
Most medical malpractice and professional liability policies are written on a claims-made basis, requiring that a claim must be both made against the insured and reported to the insurer during the policy period for coverage to apply. Without tail insurance, coverage may not be seamless should a claim occur even if medical malpractice is in place with another employer.
It’s also important to note that when a physician leaves a group practice, he or she may have a contractual obligation to buy/pay for tail coverage upon departure and may not be aware of that obligation. Many physician employment agreements are either silent on or ambiguous about who bears the expense of malpractice tail coverage in the event a physician leaves a group.
Moreover, the decision to not have tail coverage today could affect a physician’s credentialing practices and ability to have hospital staff privileges due to gaps in malpractice coverage. In fact, if a physician pursues employment with a hospital a gap in malpractice coverage can very well impact employment negotiations.
At Caitlin Morgan, we specialize in Medical Malpractice insurance for large and small physicians and surgeon groups and hospital staff in the state of Indiana. We offer med mal on a claims-made and occurrence basis. Our claims-made policy can be designed with an extended reporting period (tail coverage). Give us a call at 877.226.1027 to discuss our Indiana Medical Malpractice program.