Many doctors find it is somewhat difficult to find a medical liability insurance broker who is an expert in medical professional liability insurance and who devotes their days to the placement of medical malpractice risks. In this business it is continuous hard work to keep our physicians and surgeons interests ahead of our own, and you will find there are many brokers that do not.
There are several ways for you to find an honest and reputable broker:
- Consult a colleague
- Respond to a Medical Malpractice Insurance Company’s marketing piece and ask them for their appointed representatives.
- Use eQuoteMD.com to be put in touch with a knowledgeable broker.
- Once you contact a broker, ask them about their experience in your market, insurance carrier options, etc.
How Do You Know If Your Broker Is Performing Well?
- If your coverage is in the standard, admitted market, then you most likely have a cost-effective and strong policy form with adequate coverage for your needs. Also, you have some protection from your state’s insurance guarantee fund in cases of insurer insolvency.
- If your coverage is in the non-standard, non-admitted market, then in most cases, your broker should shop the market each year and attempt to help you re-apply to the standard market. The non-admitted market is also referred to as the surplus lines market. Risk Retention Groups are also non-admitted insurance companies. Surplus Lines insurance companies and risk retention groups do not have access to the state insurance guarantee fund. They do however have more flexibility in crafting a policy to fit unique physician malpractice insurance needs. These companies have creative ways of using deductibles and limits of liability to fit the doctor or hospitals needs.
- Check all quotes to confirm your specialty, practice location, and retroactive date (if applicable), are included and correct. If any of those are incorrect or missing then the coverage for prior and some future acts may be jeopardized.
- Some policy premium may contain added fees (e.g. broker fee, policy fee, stamping fee, surplus lines taxes etc.). These fees are normal and most common when purchasing medical malpractice insurance from the non-standard market. These fees could range from a total of $150 to $400 (or more). Many of these fees are non refundable as they are used to pay regulatory costs imposed by the state or department of insurance.
Whether you are a Family Practice, Internal Medicine, General Surgeon, Orthopedic Surgeon, physician, or a hospital, urgent care center, medical clinic, medical spa, teleradiology etc, using a medical malpractice insurance broker for representation in the marketplace is the most cost-effective and value based decision a medical practice can make. Unless you want to spend your limited, yet valuable time learning the insurance brokering business, it is best to consult an expert medical liability insurance broker. Utilizing a brokerage service will not cost you anything, as it is a value added service. All brokers are paid the same commission rate, dependent upon carrier and geographic location. This commission rate is built into the physician malpractice insurance premiums, at no direct cost to you. Note: If you work directly with an insurer, not using a broker, you will pay the same premium amount, as the insurer will not remove the “commission charge” from your premium. Therefore, it is in the best interest of your time and money to use a broker for representation.
A good broker will be able to shop the insurance market yearly to confirm you have the best coverage at the best price. They will be an advocate for you when dealing with your insurer during claim events and otherwise and will be able to explain the intricacies of your policy.