Managing and Controlling Coverage Gaps

Your professional liability policy (aka malpractice insurance) renews annually. Renewal applications may not be requested for the policy to renew. This is a terrific convenience for you; however, renewing your policy without considering how your practice has changed is ill advised.

Although you may renew your auto or homeowners coverage without a second thought, your professional liability renewal should not be taken lightly. The healthcare field is changing rapidly. You may be keeping up with the changes based on your patients’ needs and wants. As a result, your practice may not be the same practice it was when you initially applied for coverage.

It is important that your coverage keeps up with your practice changes to avoid gaps in coverage. Some hints for managing your professional liability contract renewal include:

  • Know when your policy renews
  • Set up a notification for yourself about 45-60 days before your renewal date to review the current contract and determine if changes need to be made
    • Read through the policy, especially the exclusion section in the policy itself and the endorsements, which can be found at the end of the policy.
    • Endorsements modify the policy by excluding or clarifying wording (and sometimes coverage) including in the body of the policy
  • Contact your representative to discuss changes that occurred over the past year (or years if you have not done this previously)
    • Consider if any of the following situations:
      • New employer or employees
      • New or additional locations
      • New or additional services
      • Increased or reduced practice hours
      • Newly filed, changed or dissolved entities which you have reported to the Secretary of State
      • New or changes in your primary specialty or area of expertise
      • An awareness of potential claim situations, requests for records, etc.
    • Ask your representative:
      • Are your limits of coverage consistent with others in your field? What are your options?
      • What is the A.M. Best rating of the insurance company?
      • What risk management options are available to you?
      • Has the premium or policy changed during the past year?
      • What coverages are included in the policy, such as board, peer review and locum tenens coverage?
      • How can they assist with any plans you have for the next year?
      • What are the steps to report any potential incidents when they arise?
      • Do you need cyber coverage? What are your options?

As always, if you have questions about your coverage, don't hesitate to contact us.