Most adults are aware they may need life, auto, and homeowner’s insurance. Business owners and employees may need additional forms of insurance to protect their income and business.
Doctors, dentists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and audiologists are medical professionals who may have a medical practice. If you’re a healthcare provider with practice, you may need additional insurance, including tail insurance.
What is tail insurance?
Insurance that covers medical professionals after they’ve left a job is called tail insurance. Healthcare providers need medical malpractice insurance to protect themselves from medical malpractice lawsuits. Malpractice insurance covers the costs of legal fees and settlements in the event of a malpractice lawsuit.
Once you leave your job, however, your medical malpractice insurance for that place of employment ends. This means you aren’t covered for any future claims related to your last place of employment.
You can protect yourself from future claims when you leave a job by securing tail insurance from an insurance company. The only living medical professionals who do not need to pay for tail insurance are those who become disabled or retire.
Tail insurance is expensive. Instead of paying additional premiums, policyholders must pay a one-time lump sum for tail insurance. Following a career change, insurers offer policyholders 30 days to obtain tail coverage.
Why do medical professionals need tail insurance?
Medical professionals may be sued for several reasons. Medical malpractice doesn’t just encompass active wrongdoing on the part of healthcare providers. Malpractice suits can be filed for negligence if the patient feels you haven’t provided the minimum standard of care required.
The needs of each client can complicate allegations of negligence. For example, when communicating with seniors, medical professionals must consider the unique needs of older adults. If you’re treating an older adult with Alzheimer’s, you may also need to communicate with caregivers or family members. This can present legal issues if the patient hasn’t assigned medical power of attorney to a caregiver or family member, because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prevents medical professionals from disclosing patient information without legal authorization.
Healthcare professionals may also face communication challenges if they’re treating patients whose first language isn’t English. Miscommunication can complicate healthcare delivery and lead to potential legal issues. Ultimately, securing tail insurance is a good idea because it ensures you can change your place of employment with peace of mind. If legal issues do arise, your insurance company has an active policy that will protect you from bearing the costs of legal fees and settlements.
How do healthcare providers obtain tail coverage?
Start by contacting your current insurance company to get a quote for tail insurance coverage. Once you’ve received the quote, contact other insurance providers to determine the best rate they offer and find the best tail policy option. For example, MEDPLI employs tail insurance specialists who strive to provide the amount of coverage required for the best rate possible. Comparison shopping is the best way to ensure you get the amount of coverage you need at the best price.
You can prepare for your career change by setting aside extra money to cover tail coverage costs. It’s normal for tail insurance to cost over $10,000.
What other forms of insurance do medical professionals need?
As a healthcare worker, you need multiple forms of insurance. You need medical malpractice insurance to protect yourself if you’re sued. Malpractice insurance pays for your legal expenses. It also covers the costs of a judgment or settlement.
You also need income protection insurance, particularly if you have a practice. Income protection insurance protects you if you’re unable to work. If you’re injured in an accident or become ill, your income protection insurance provides compensation while you’re off work. Since medical professionals are regularly exposed to viruses through their work, income protection insurance is the best way to protect your income.
You should also obtain a term life insurance policy. You can review policy options from life insurers by accessing life insurance quotes online. Follow the prompts to receive a free quote to determine how much coverage you can receive and your coverage premiums.
Medical professionals may face unique challenges that make it challenging to communicate effectively with patients. Since medical professionals can be sued for negligence, it’s crucial healthcare providers who change jobs obtain tail insurance. Tail insurance extends their malpractice insurance to protect them from lawsuits filed after they change their place of employment. Healthcare providers also need other forms of insurance, including income protection insurance and life insurance.