Fact-Checked: Myths About Malpractice Insurance

Protect Your Assets and Career

December 7, 2020

You may think you understand the ins and outs of malpractice insurance. But CM&F has been protecting healthcare professionals since 1947, and they’re here to help PAs understand all the complexities of malpractice insurance. They debunked the top five most common myths they hear when talking to PAs about malpractice insurance.

Myth: As long as your employer has you covered you don’t need your own insurance.

Most employers do provide some level of malpractice insurance for their employees. But the only way to know for certain you are covered is to ask for a certificate of insurance every year to confirm that you are a “named insured.” To be sure that they are protected in all instances, millions of medical professionals purchase personal professional liability insurance, and PAs should too. It’s important to have personal coverage that is portable from job to job, protects your license, your personal assets, and your financial future.

Think about it this way: Most malpractice claims are not made until 18 – 24 months after the date of treatment. If you decide to change jobs, how can you be certain your previous insurance will protect you? Is the practice still open? Have they since merged into a hospital or another practice? Who is assuming that liability moving forward? Did your prior employer purchase tail coverage which allows for you to make claims after the policy has ended? The only way to know for sure that you have coverage is to have a personal liability policy like one from CM&F that can move with you from job to job.

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Myth: I’ve been working at my job for many years, so there’s no need for gap coverage.

This is partially true. Many PAs have a great relationship with their employers and have no reason to leave or change jobs. In this situation CM&F always recommends that you require annual Certificates of Insurance (COI) to understand what your rights are within the insurance policy. CM&F can support you by answering questions regarding your COI and current insurance coverage.

Myth: Malpractice insurance is simply not affordable.

It depends; malpractice insurance can be quite expensive depending on specialty and state of practice. CM&F offers many different policy types and liability limit options to make the insurance as affordable as possible. Your best bet is to inquire for a free personal quote.

Myth: Having your own malpractice insurance implies distrust in your employer.

Having your own malpractice insurance does not imply a lack of trust in your employer. It puts you in full control of your professional and financial assets. More often than not, an employer’s policy is in their best interests. Your own policy protects you alone. There is also the possibility that an employer can make a mistake by not adding you to their coverage, or if you change jobs and have the option to continue that coverage (in order to be insured after you leave that job), they may not activate that part of the coverage. In summary, having your own malpractice insurance is less about distrusting your employer and more about protecting yourself and your assets.

[What PAs Need to Know About Malpractice Insurance]

Myth: Having personal liability insurance makes me more of a target for lawsuit.

This is absolutely not the case. In the event of a lawsuit, the injured patient’s lawyer will typically name everyone who was involved in the patient’s care. Lawyers have no way of knowing who does or does not have malpractice insurance, as there are no public registries of private insurance contracts. Having a personal liability policy will provide coverage immediately upon notice. That is the protection you need.

Visit AAPA’s Malpractice Insurance Basics page today to find out more about the value of having your own liability policy, details on how to get your own malpractice insurance coverage, and more.

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