As a healthcare practice, your liability exposure is not limited to just medical malpractice. There are many risks to consider, including employment practices, directors’ and officers’ responsibilities, data security, and more. While all of these are liability risks, there is not an “umbrella” liability policy that covers everything, and a well-insured practice should have a variety of policies to cover all exposures.
But having coverage is only the first step in protection. Reporting a claim appropriately is the next step. Since not all events or claims are straightforward, it can be tricky to determine which policy might respond when a loss or event does occur. Therefore, the first step in the event of an incident is to identify which carrier to contact based on the type of claim you are experiencing. Fast response to a claim can minimize risk, and once contacted, your carrier can assist you with next steps and assign legal counsel, if needed.
Identifying What Type of Claim You Face
Different lines of insurance serve different purposes and cover different incidents. So, when you have an incident or claim, you must identify the type of threat, then determine which policy this might fall under. Some examples of threats against your practice and the type of policy to respond include:
The above are just some examples of the types of claims that could be leveled against your medical practice. After identifying the type of claim, you should contact the appropriate carrier and notify them as soon as possible. They will help you resolve the threat, advise on how to proceed should the claim go to litigation, and provide compensation for settlements.
Prevention and Adequate Coverage Are Key
Your insurance policies will protect you should a claim arise, but as always, the best protection is through prevention. Preventing a claim through risk management will always be the most cost-effective way to protect your practice.
Professional Risk and your insurance carriers can identify your practice risks and help you institute best practices to safeguard your patients, employees, and data.
Whether it’s reviewing your employee handbook for EPLI threats, instituting a two-step verification process for your cyber security, or providing continuing education for your physicians, there is a wealth of techniques your practice can you use to reduce its risk.