Washington D.C. Malpractice Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. Malpractice Insurance. A type of insurance purchased by health care professionals (and sometimes by other types of professionals, such as lawyers). It protects such professionals against potential negligence claims made by their patients and/or employers.
Washington D.C. malpractice insurance covers bodily injury or property damage as well as liability for personal injury such as mental anguish. This includes the costs of defense and cost containment expenses.
Washington D.C. malpractice insurance protects your company from negligence claims with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Malpractice Insurance Policy Basics
Washington D.C. malpractice insurance comes in several basic forms:
- An occurrence policy provides coverage for alleged incidents (injuries) that happened during the policy year regardless of when the claim gets reported to the carrier. The claim can be reported at any time in the future, even if the policy has cancelled. The occurrence policy provides a separate coverage limit for each year the policy is effective. Occurrence policies offer a steady base premium that does not increase as the policy matures.
- With a claims-made policy, an incident must happen and be reported to the insurance company while the policy is effective. As can be seen, this requires that coverage must extend for a significant period of time to provide adequate protection since a considerable amount of time may elapse between when an incident may have occurred and when a claim is made.
- Tail insurance refers to a policy that the insured can purchase when he discontinues his claims-made policy. Tail coverage requires that the policy holder pay an additional premium. The issue, however, is that the additional premium coverage can be extremely expensive - sometimes 150 or even 200 percent of the price of a mature claims-made policy, depending on the medical specialty and the location.
Is DC Malpractice Insurance Mandatory?
There is no legal requirement to have medical malpractice insurance but it's important to protect yourself and your business against events you cannot foresee. Also, in today's society, people are increasingly ready to bring a claim against you if they feel dissatisfied - whether or not you are actually at fault. Claims can run into many thousands if not millions of dollars and having Washington D.C. malpractice insurance could be the difference between a business being able to survive a claim or not.
Buying Medical Malpractice Insurance
When shopping for a DC medical malpractice liability insurance policy, most physicians focus on premium costs. But physicians shopping for a malpractice policy should also focus on getting the right coverage limits. A coverage limit is a provision in a policy under which the insurance company says that it will only pay for losses sustained by the policyholder up to a certain dollar amount. If limits are too low, the physician is needlessly exposed to personal liability. Too high, and the physician is paying for more coverage than needed.
Malpractice Insurance: Costs and Components
Claims-made policies tend to be less costlier than occurrence policies because of the smaller insurance company time exposure to claims. Some other factors that determine how much the policy costs include:
- Physician or provider specialty (costs vary based upon exposure to risk).
- Type of coverage, occurrence or claims made.
- Limits of liability (aggregate amounts, deductibles and managed care requirements).
- Location of practice (costs vary widely by state, county and city).
- Loss history.
What Does Malpractice Insurance Cover?
DC malpractice insurance covers several expenses involved in defending and settling the malpractice suit; it also pays the damages if you are found liable. The covered costs include: court costs, attorneys' fees, settlement costs, arbitration costs, and compensatory damages and medical damages.
Medical malpractice will usually not cover liability arising from criminal acts, sexual misconduct or alteration of medical records. Other typical exclusions are for: punitive damages and specialized procedures (e.g., radial keratotomy) for which coverage may be "bought back" in return for additional premium.
Handling Malpractice Claims
In most cases, in order for your insurance policy to provide you with coverage, you should notify the insurance company as soon as reasonably possible of the problem. If you do actually become involved in a claim or lawsuit, for example, you receive a summons and complaint, before coverage is activated, you must notify the insurance company right away. Always follow up an oral notice in writing.
Why You Need Malpractice Insurance
Even the most competent professional can make a mistake and should protect against that possibility. Defending a malpractice lawsuit is often expensive even when the defendant wins. Health care professionals win most malpractice lawsuits, but the legal system rarely allows for the recovery of expenses by the winner. Since the cost of defense is high and a loss can be devastating, this insurance product is essential to every practice.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Medical Insurance
Discover small business insurance for medical and dental professionals. Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability that protects health care professionals from liability causing in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage.
- Ambulatory Surgical Center
- Art Therapy
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Dental Lab
- Dental Office
- Diagnostic Imaging Centers
- Healthcare Facilities
- Home Medical Equipment Dealers
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Medical Laboratories
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary
- Medical Practice
- Medical, Surgical & Hospital Supply Store
- Mental Health Counseling
- Occupational Therapy
- Physicians Office
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Speech Therapy
- Substance Abuse Counseling
Health care providers are the most trusted individuals in our society. Ironically, they are the same ones who can do the greatest harm. They actually have the right to invade our bodies with knives and to poison us with chemicals - all in the name of health care and with the goal of relieving our symptoms and hopefully bringing about a cure.
While the actions of these professionals normally benefit us, insurance coverage must be available for the times when mistakes happen and things go wrong. These professionals and their facilities have extensive property exposures that are becoming more and more intricate and whose values are increasing exponentially.
The 'one size fits all' approach that once could have applied to insurance for health care providers and their facilities no longer applies.
Professional liability offers protection against claims of malpractice for all sums that the medical professional becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of rendering or failing to render professional services.
Professional and medical malpractice exposures are the most expensive and difficult of all exposures for health care providers. The commercial general liability policy excludes these exposures so separate coverage is needed. Most professional liability policies are written on a claims-made basis and, as a result, tail coverage and retroactive dates are important coverage issues to be aware of when evaluating the insured’s coverage needs and comparing coverages.
The coverage provided is often called medical malpractice. For decades, many involved in the health care field and insurance companies that provide insurance coverage to providers have stated that malpractice lawsuits have created an ongoing crisis of restricting insurance availability, due to loss of insurance companies that write the coverage and significant rate increases.
As a result, state legislatures have taken the following actions to address the situation:
Imposed a dollar limitation of liability for malpractice suits.
Modified statutes of limitation to limit the number of years that a suit may be brought against a physician following a negligent act.
Modified when the statute of limitations takes effect. An example is beginning from a negligent act's occurrence rather than from its discovery.
Passed laws to modify tort law procedures and doctrines that relate to malpractice.
Because of differences in law by state it is important to know the states in which the covered health care providers are licensed and regularly practice. Some health care providers may practice in multiple states because of their particular specialty, their reputation or the demand for their services. Some hospitals may have ownership in facilities or provide services to patients that are outside of their main location state.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Physicians and Surgeons Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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