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Guide for Physicians in Choosing a Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Policy It is important for physicians to be covered with malpractice insurance since they are needlessly exposed to personal liability. It is the premium costs that protect the physician’s coverage limit that attracts most physicians when they are looking for a medical malpractice liability insurance policy. This means that the insurance company will only pay for losses sustained by the policy holder up to a certain dollar amount, and if the loss exceeds that dollar bracket, then the physician will need to shoulder the excess payment. This coverage limit is expressed in two types of inclusions: a per-occurrence limit where the insurance would state how much they would pay for a single loss or claim (commonly known as “an occurrence), and the aggregate limit is where the total amount stipulated in the policy is the amount that the insurer will pay in a given policy period -typically one year or $3 million per occurrence for aggregate limit and $1 million for per-occurrence limit. There are several complicated issues that physicians should be aware of when they are dealing with coverage limits in connection to what the petitioner can claim. The position of most insurance companies is that even if there are two separate demands that an insurer is entitled to claim, if the case arises from a similar set of related phenomena, the insurance companies would treat it as a single occurrence instead of two occurrences. It is therefore important to know this beforehand because if multiple claims are considered a single occurrence for insurance purposes, the claims will be governed by a single per occurrence coverage limit.’
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When physicians go to shop for a medical malpractice insurance, they should also be mindful of defense cost. Defense cost meaning, attorney, expert, and court fees – these are usually not included in the coverage limit. What this means is that the net amount for a single occurrence that a claimant earns after a trail will be deducted the cost of your defense. There are medical malpractice insurance companies that lowers down coverage limit to cover defense costs. Insurance companies only defend a physician up until the coverage limit is reached, and physicians should take note of this. Then the physician should hire his own attorney at his own expense. However, you can still find some policies that continues to defend you even after you have reached the limit of your coverage.
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Another safeguard for a physician is what is known as “excess insurance”. When the limit of the physician’s policy is surpassed, this umbrella policy covers the excess.

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