Going Bare? There IS A Better Way!
Timothy R. Bone, President, MedMal Direct Insurance Company // October 02, 2011
Six years ago medical malpractice insurance premiums hit their peak, forcing many physicians and surgeons to “go bare”; i.e., practice medicine without having any medical malpractice insurance at all. In my 37 year career I have handled thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits and can assure you that this works great until the physician or surgeon is actually served with a lawsuit alleging negligence in the practice of medicine. Then, the legal bills begin in earnest and the exposure to paying up to $250,000 in a settlement or jury verdict looms on the near horizon. There is a better way.
Doctors may purchase an “indemnity only, high deductible” insurance policy from an insurance company that is approved and regulated by the State of Florida. Select a company that is not only financially stable, uses the best defense attorneys and has the best price; but also a company that is willing to provide you with the following specific insurance product: a 250/750 policy, with unlimited defense costs, and a $250,000 deductible that applies to the indemnity limit only. This medical malpractice insurance policy has a $250,000 indemnity limit per incident, but also has a $250,000 deductible on that limit – which you only pay if there is a settlement or a verdict. The policy also provides unlimited defense costs, which is what you truly need. And the cost of this policy is 63% less than if there were no deductible at all. This will be, in most cases, a much lower cost than paying defense-only coverage or paying a law firm a monthly retainer. Plus, the physician is able to utilize the true expertise of the highly trained and experienced claims department of the medical malpractice insurance company, which is retaining the best defense attorneys at hourly rates that are much lower than those which the physician could negotiate on his/her own. For the first year of coverage at my Company, for example, that’s around $2,000 for an Internist and $7,000 for a General Surgeon!
In short, stay within the insurance system; a system that is highly regulated, audited and approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. But utilize this “indemnity only, high deductible” policy to lower your costs by 63%. This is better than bare. This is a good night’s sleep.