Between 1994 and 2003, approximately 4.4% of all medical malpractice insurance claims in Massachusetts were filed by anesthesiologists. In fact, a Columbia University study found that anesthesia is a contributing factor in about 280 deaths every year in the United States. That is why having anesthesiologist liability insurance is so important.
If you are an anesthesiologist or an anesthesiologist’s assistant in Massachusetts, a local independent insurance agent can help you find suitable malpractice coverage at a competitive price. Talk to an insurance agent near you to learn more about anesthesiologist liability insurance.
What Is Anesthesiologist Malpractice Insurance?
Anesthesiologist malpractice insurance (also referred to “anesthesiologist liability insurance”) is a professional liability insurance policy that is specifically designed to protect licensed medical practitioners who administer anesthesia to patients.
If a patient or a patient’s family sues following the death or injury caused by the administration of anesthetics, anesthesiologist malpractice insurance can cover expenses such as court costs, legal defense fees, settlements, judgements, and other financial obligations.
Do Anesthesiologists in Massachusetts Need to Have Malpractice Insurance?
There are no federal laws mandating malpractice insurance for anesthesiologist, but a few states, including Massachusetts, require it.
In this state, all medical doctors are required to carry malpractice insurance. State law also mandates that insurance companies must make this coverage available on an equal basis to all doctors as well as to certain other licensed healthcare providers who are willing to pay for it.
What Do Anesthesiologists Pay for Malpractice Insurance in Massachusetts?
Although lawsuits against anesthesiologists are not as common as they are for doctors practicing in many other specialties, when they happen, they can be quite expensive. That makes the cost for this coverage mid-range for medical malpractice policies.
On average, an anesthesiologist malpractice insurance policy costs about $12,000 a year. If you work for a hospital or medical center, these premiums will frequently be covered in part or in full by your employer. If you have a private practice, however, you will most likely have to pay for this coverage yourself.
Whether you are looking for a policy for yourself or to cover the doctors who work for you, comparison shopping for the best rates has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year. Independent insurance agents can save you time and money by doing the comparison shopping for you.
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What Does Massachusetts Anesthesiologist Liability Insurance Cover?
Lawsuits against anesthesiologists are often without merit. According to a Medscape survey, only about 2% of lawsuits against anesthesiologist that go to trial result in a judgement for the plaintiff. Even so, these cases can get very expensive by the time you are done paying for your legal defense.
Anesthesiologist liability insurance is designed to cover your costs if you are sued because of an injury or death caused by the administration of anesthesia. The Journal of Healthcare Risk Management reports that the top reasons for anesthesiologist malpractice claims in the US are the following.
- Tooth damage (20.8%)
- Death (18.3%)
- Nerve damage (13.5%)
- Organ damage (12.7%)
- Pain (10.9%)
- Cardiac arrest (10.7%)
The average amount paid out per anesthesia claim in 2014 was $309,066.
When you are buying an anesthesiologist liability insurance policy there are two types of coverage you can choose from.
- Claims-made coverage: These policies can provide coverage for incidents that occur and are reported while the policy is still in place.
- Occurrence-based coverage: This can provide coverage for any incidents that occurred while the policy was in place, even if the claim is filed after the policy has been terminated or expired.
In Massachusetts, all anesthesiology malpractice claims must be filed within three years of the incident. If you have a claims-made coverage policy, you can purchase a tail insurance endorsement that can cover you for three years after your policy expires.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about what anesthesia malpractice insurance can do for you and to get help finding an ideal policy.
What Does Massachusetts Anesthesiologist Liability Insurance Not Cover?
As with any insurance policy, anesthesiologist malpractice insurance has some exclusions. For instance, your policy will not cover the following.
- Claims that are related to sexual misconduct
- Claims that involve intentionally illegal acts such as inappropriately altering medical records to cover up errors
- Cases wherein it can be proven that the covered physician knowingly and intentionally misrepresented facts when applying for the policy
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about the limitations of anesthesiologist liability insurance.
How to Get the Best Anesthesiologist Liability Insurance in Massachusetts
If you are looking for a reliable anesthesiologist liability insurance policy at a great price, a local independent agent can help. These agents are free to work with several different insurance companies to help you find the coverage you need at the lowest available cost.
Independent insurance agents can answer your questions about anesthesiologist malpractice coverage as well as any other insurance products you may be interested in looking into, and they can offer you trustworthy guidance and advice as you shop for the best policy.
There are nearly 1,300 independent agents located in Massachusetts. Set up an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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