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Guide for Physicians in Choosing a Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Policy It is important for physicians to be covered with malpractice insurance since they are needlessly exposed to personal liability. 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. This means that the insurance company will only pay for losses sustained by the policy holder up to a certain dollar amount, and if the loss exceeds that dollar bracket, then the physician will need to shoulder the excess payment. In the coverage limit of the physician’s insurance policy, there are type times of inclusions – a pre-occurrence limit where the insurance would state how much they would pay for a single loss or claim, commonly known as an occurrence, while the aggregate limit is the total amount stipulated in the policy that the insurance will pay in a give policy period, typically one year or $ 3million per occurrence for aggregate and $1 million for pre-occurrence limit. There are other several complicated issues that physicians need to be aware of when dealing with coverage limits in conjunction to what the petitioner can claim. Remember that most insurers would take the position that despite the fact that there are two separate demands that an insurer is entitled to claim, if the case arises from a similar set of related phenomenon, most insurer would treat it as a single occurrence instead of two occurrences. It is therefore important to know this beforehand because if multiple claims are considered a single occurrence for insurance purposes, the claims will be governed by a single per occurrence coverage limit.’
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When physicians go to shop for a medical malpractice insurance, they should also be mindful of defense cost. Defense cost include attorney fees, expert fees, and court fees which are usually not included in the coverage limit. The amount of settlement received by the physician after a court case will be deducted the defense cost by the insurance company. This is however not the case of all medical malpractice insurance companies, but their coverage limits are actually lowered down to cover this cost. Another thing that a physician must take note of is that when he reaches his covered limit, the insurance company is no longer responsible to defend the physician. It now becomes the duty of the physician to hire an attorney and pay all other expense. However, you can still find some policies that continues to defend you even after you have reached the limit of your coverage.
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Excess insurance is another safeguard for physician. Excess insurance covers for the policy holder if the limit of the physician’s policy has exceeded.