What Is Medical Office Insurance?
Medical offices are susceptible to property damage, liability lawsuits, data breach, cyber-attacks, and much more. Staffed by nurses, physicians, physician assistants, and administrative staff, your medical office is exposed to various types of liability. While your patients rely on their health insurance to support their financial health, getting your staff and medical office insured will serve as a financial safety net for your practice. General practitioners, dentists, dermatologists, gynecologists, pediatricians, and all other medical professionals should seek the appropriate insurance coverage. Medical Office Insurance includes the following coverage:
Malpractice insurance, also referred to as Professional Liability, protects doctors and other licensed medical professionals for wrongful acts or negligence while practicing medicine. Though there are different types of policies for this coverage, whether it’s an individual physician’s policy, a medical practice’s policy, or a hospital professional liability policy, they all strive to do the same thing. Protect the professionals and the organization for wrongful acts, errors, and omissions in the practice of medicine which cause injury or loss to their patients. This insurance is designed to cover expenses related to defending and settling medical malpractice lawsuits, attorney fees, court costs, arbitration and settlement expense, medical, punitive and compensatory damages. This is a very specialized coverage, typically written on a “claims made” coverage form which is different than most other insurances which are on an “occurrence form”. In addition, there are varying state requirements throughout the U.S. relating to this coverage.
General Liability Coverage
General Liability includes two types of coverage, one for your premises and another is for your product and completed operations. For the premises coverage, office owners or tenants are often held responsible for injuries occurring on the premises not relating to medical services. Your business may be held liable to pay for medical bills if a client or guest has a slip and fall due to the floors being wet from recent rain and injures themselves. Your General Liability Insurance will protect you from such claims and suits if they arise. The completed operations coverage would come into play If you’re medical office sells products such as nutritional supplements, prescriptions or splints and braces. If, after purchasing the product, the patient becomes ill or suffers from the use of your product, they may hold you responsible and file a claim or lawsuit. Products and completed operations coverage protect you from lawsuits arising from products you sold that caused property damage or bodily injury after the product is sold or put to its intended use.
Commercial Property Coverage
Property Insurance covers your office building and contents, including expensive medical equipment, furniture, fixtures, computers, printers and scanners. This coverage protects your business property against loss due to theft, fire, hurricane, tornado, lightning, riot and other perils covered in the property policy.
Business Income Coverage
Business Income Insurance covers lost income due to the suspension of your operations due to covered direct physical damage to your premises. For example, a dentist’s office suffers a serious fire or hurricane resulting in a total loss of the building. Business Income Insurance will cover the lost income resulting from the shutdown and during the period of recovery while your office building is rebuilt. Always include extra expense coverage with your business income as this would assist with the cost of setting up a temporary office in another location or expediting delivery or new medical equipment so you may continue your practice.
Picture the following scenarios as a practicing medical professional to understand the risks involved in your business:
- Scenario 1 - An elderly patient comes for a routine appointment and they stumble over the leg of the chair and fall breaking their leg. Your liability insurance will pay for the medical expenses and if sued, the defense and any court-awarded bodily injury damages.
- Scenario 2 - Your accountant detects a data breach in your system while going through inventories. The cyber insurance will ensure that your patients’ data is retrieved and secured.
- Scenario 3 - Your office manager slips and falls, breaking their hip. Your worker’s compensation insurance will cover their lost wages and medical bills.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
The BOP is a comprehensive package comprised of general liability, property and business interruption insurance. This trifecta will protect your medical office from covered occurrences such as client injury or property damage, loss or damage to your owned business property, and lost income.
Professional Liability Insurance
Physicians, dentists, technicians, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, and other medical professionals are already aware of the risks their profession poses; one mistake could literally cost someone their life. Even with all the expertise in the medical professions, we are all human beings after all and mistakes can and will happen. If you are sued for malpractice, your professional liability insurance will respond on your behalf to these types of claims and lawsuits.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Employees are valuable assets, and you and your business are responsible for their physical safety and wellbeing while on the job. Suppose one of your janitorial staff contracts an infection or contagious disease due to incorrect disposal of a hypodermic needle and is pricked while collecting trash. Your. Your workers’ compensation insurance will cover your employee’s medical costs, a percentage of lost income, and Employers Liability, typically included in the Work Comp policy, will defend your business if sued for negligence from improper medical waste disposal.
The number of cyber-attacks and the financial losses involved are sky rocketing in the US. What once was believed to only happen to the big businesses, now are happening to all sizes of business, no business is safe from these types of losses. This insurance is made up of first party coverage (payable to your business) and third-party coverage, the liability ensuing to those persons that were harmed by a digital attack. What first comes to mind with cyber risk and a medical practice is your patient’s personal and health information held within your system. The liability surrounding a breach of private data probably stands out most as damaging to your patients and your business. This type of event incurs many expenses, there are legal and regulatory costs, privacy breach management (notification, credit monitoring for patients), security and forensic expense, crisis, and reputational management costs, just to name a few. Not even considering if your system is inoperable following an event and your office is unable to continue operations. After malpractice, Cyber is the next most needed coverage for all medical professions.
Our agents will recommend customized coverage based on the specific needs and operations of various medical professionals and their practices.
Who Benefits From Medical Office Insurance?
All medical professionals and their practices will benefit from Medical Office Insurance. Following are just a few to mention: