In any practice where more than one doctor is present, entity malpractice insurance is standard. However, many doctors do not fully understand what is covered by their entity malpractice policy. If you work in or own a practice with multiple oral surgeons present, it is vital that you have a firm grasp on how this coverage works.
The Basics of Malpractice Insurance
Medical malpractice insurance is required of any practicing doctor or surgeon. While doctors do not go to work expecting to make a mistake, over the course of a career, some are bound to happen. Medical malpractice insurance protects medical practitioners from lawsuits that might arise due to their own error or the error of another doctor in their practice.
Typical malpractice insurance will cover things like lawyer fees, court costs, bodily injury of patients, and any damages awarded as the result of a trial. This coverage can be used on cases both with and without merit, and can cover a countersuit when the accuser makes a false claim. Common malpractice claims for oral surgeons include misdiagnosis, errors in prescriptions, and surgical errors.
Entity Malpractice Insurance vs Individual Malpractice Insurance
Entity malpractice insurance and individual malpractice insurance are very similar to each other in that they both cover all the items that malpractice insurance should cover. The primary difference between the two is who they cover.
Individual malpractice insurance strictly covers the individual doctor or surgeon should something go wrong. Entity malpractice insurance covers all practitioners within the entity (practice). This would include the doctors and surgeons as well as the support staff, including assistants, nurses, and anesthesiologists.
The limits of liability may vary depending on the specific job of the individual covered. For example, a surgeon would have a higher limit of liability than an assistant would. However, amongst those with the same job titles, the limits of liability should be the same, ensuring that no one person is made to fund more of a claim than another.
The cost of entity malpractice insurance is based on the number of people covered and the type of coverage selected. Most policies will only protect those who are employed by the practice at the time that the claim is made. However, the policies will usually continue to protect the entity itself from claims made against past employees.
Should You Carry Both Individual and Entity Malpractice Insurance?
The answer to this will vary based on individual circumstances, but in general, it is a good idea to carry both individual and entity malpractice insurance. This is especially true for those who work for a practice but do not own the practice in whole or in part, as they are more likely to move on to another practice in the future.
Why is this the case? Because the vast majority of entity malpractice insurance policies are claims-made policies. This means two things. First, the policy will only cover claims that are regarding an incident that occurred during the coverage period—which is standard with all types of policies. Second, the policy will only cover claims that are made during the coverage period—which is what separates claims-made policies from other types of medical malpractice policies, such as occurrence policies.
Now, you might still be wondering what this means in terms of individual malpractice insurance. Let’s say that you took a position working for a practice at the start of 2015 and then decided to move on at the end of the year; your entity malpractice policy would have terminated on the last day of employment. Then, at some point in 2016, a claim is made against you regarding an incident that occurred in 2015 while you were employed at your former practice. The entity malpractice policy would provide you with zero coverage. However, if you have a secondary individual malpractice policy, it will still cover you.
For Medical Practice Owners
If you own a practice, carrying entity malpractice insurance is vital. Even if you ask that your employees carry their own, individual malpractice policies, you are liable for any errors that your employees make while they are under contract with you. Entity malpractice insurance is the only way you can truly protect yourself and your practice from malpractice claims.
If your practice is small, you might be able to add entity insurance onto your personal policy. However, a full entity policy will offer you the greatest amount of coverage. While there are many entity malpractice policies you could choose, and you need to ensure that you select the correct option for your practice.
Selecting the Right Provider and Policy
The most common way to obtain coverage is to go through an insurance broker. You want to find one who specializes in malpractice insurance for medical providers, and if you can find one who further specializes in coverage for oral surgeons, that is best. They will help connect you with carriers who have a strong track record of success when working against medical malpractice claims.
As with the broker, you will get the best service from an insurance carrier if you find one who specializes in covering oral surgeons. The top entity malpractice insurance provider specifically for oral surgeons is OMSNIC.
OMSNIC Free Entity Malpractice Insurance Coverage
OMSNIC (Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons National Insurance Company) was started by a group of oral surgeons and is designed to exclusively protect them and their practices. Their experience working in the field gives them a unique perspective when it comes to fighting for you, and their 94% success rate at trial proves how effective they are at it. OMSNIC is the most popular entity malpractice option for oral surgeons, with over 83% of all oral surgeons in the United States choosing them for their insurance needs.
OMSNIC offers discounts to new practices, as well as tail coverage that is given for free under certain circumstances. Their price structure is competitive when compared to other options over a five-year period. To learn more, contact the OMSNIC sales team to determine what entity malpractice for oral surgeons will cost you.