How Physicians and Insurance Connect:
Physicians are qualified medical professionals that diagnose and treat a wide variety of injuries and physical and mental illnesses, diseases and disorders. Physicians and doctors often work in specialized fields which focus on a certain part of the body, a certain illness or injury, or a particular type of treatment. Physicians have gone through extensive training and education to ensure they have a strong understanding of both human anatomy and physiology. Additionally, physicians are required to have a strong grasp of medical ethics which inform their practice and enable them to treat others with compassion and humility.
Read on to learn what types of insurance a physician may need.
What Risks do Physicians Face in Their Field?
As medical professionals, physicians work in close collaboration with others to diagnose and treat injury, diseases, disorders and more. Throughout their professional careers, there is the possibility that a physician will not provide the right care to their patients. The care involved in a certain situation can vary from a diagnosis to a treatment plan. In some instances, to be properly diagnosed, a patient may need to seek out another doctor, to receive a second opinion.
Sometimes, a physician may simply make a mistake or not have all the information they need to diagnose a patient properly. In the event they do, and a patient does not receive proper care, the patient may feel that the doctor has negatively impacted their ability to get better. If this is the case, the patient may seek to sue the doctor or physician involved which can result in both reputational and financial consequences.
While physicians are at risk of negatively impacting their patients by providing improper care, they can also suffer from emotional, psychological and physical trauma. If a doctor or physician has a patient who is terminally ill, this can impact their mental health. For those working with patients who may be dangerous, there is the possibility that they may be physically hurt while providing care.
Mitigating Risks Associated With Physicians
As a physician runs the risk of either negatively impacting their patients or being negatively impacted themselves while working in their given field, it is important to have a way to mitigate these risks. Regardless of the circumstances, investing in insurance that provides you with safeguards is an important decision. Insurance can protect you if a patient sues you for improper care and you find yourself having to navigate the financial and reputational risks involved in such a scenario.
If your mental health deteriorates throughout the course of your career, you may need to take time off to recuperate and in doing so, may require access to different services and also wage replacement. Investing in Professional Liability Insurance, General Liability Insurance or Workers Compensation Insurance is a way to mitigate risk. Whatever risks are involved in your profession as a doctor or physician, insurance is a way to rest easy knowing that you have a viable solution available.
What type of insurance does this industry need?
- This coverage protects physicians and other licensed health care professionals (e.g., dentists, nurses) from liability associated with wrongful practices resulting in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage. The potential for a lawsuit is high in medical professions, and this coverage will help protect your business from the costs of damages and legal fees.
- This policy protects your business in case of third party claims, such as bodily injury or property damage. For example, the common "slip-and-fall" claim would be covered by your General Liability policy. General Liability insurance is often considered to be the core coverage, particularly for businesses that regularly physically interact with customers or sell physical goods. In addition, many businesses have a contract, like a loan or a lease, requiring that they have this coverage.
- This policy protects the business's physical assets and is appropriate whether you own or lease your space. Keep in mind that this policy will only offer protection in the case of covered events. If you need protection for certain scenarios, such as floods or earthquakes, you may need additional coverage. If you have a mortgage or a lease, you may be required to have property insurance. Even if you are not, this is the best way to protect the building you are in and the business property you have in case of a natural disaster or some other accident.
- Workers Compensation covers an employee's lost wages and the cost of resulting medical treatment if they suffer a work-related injury or disease. It also covers services needed to help the employee recover and return to work. Workers Compensation coverage is mandatory in most states. The number of employees after which it's required differs by state, but you will generally need coverage once you have employees.
- Umbrella insurance offers excess liability protection in the case that your General Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, and/or Employer's Liability coverage is insufficient. It essentially acts as a "back-up" plan, providing additional financial protection in the case that your business faces a particularly large claim that exceeds a single policy's limits. This policy can be particularly valuable for a business that faces a variety of risks and has multiple liability policies.
- This insurance protects the business in the case of any incidents involving a vehicle that has been hired by the company to be used for business-related purposes. It also provides coverage in the case your business uses other vehicles which are not property of the business, such as having delivery drivers use their own vehicles. If your company hires vehicles or allows employees to use their own vehicles for business purposes, you will want to consider this insurance.