Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cover Your Ass, Assets That Is

As a PA you may be curious about liability insurance, maybe something a student or pre-PA student may not be as worried about, but definitely something to consider for the future. Recently, AAPA endorsed the use of a personal professional liability insurance policy. 

What does this mean for PA's? 

This means protection for YOU against malpractice allegations. Think about this, the flip side is that your employer provides insurance that insures you on their policy, either specifically or generally. 

What can YOU do?

When looking for a job, ask your employer to reimburse you for a personal professional liability insurance policy for protection against malpractice allegations. If the company does not agree to the terms, you may have to pay out of pocket. This may be an intelligent decision considering malpractice lawsuit costs can soar high above what your employers insurance may cover, dipping into your own PERSONAL assets. After all, malpractice means YOU are ultimately responsible for any errors or omissions inuring your patients. 

What's the CATCH?

The catch is that most insurance plans have premiums too high to afford your own personal insurance and this is because insurance companies know you're already covered by your employer for some amount. 

What's the SOLUTION?

AAPA Insurance Services offers PA's already covered by an employer's group policy a professional liability policy at a discount. This can be as low as $2 per day! This is important if you want to protect YOUR OWN assets at the end of the day - yes, this means your money, $aving$, etc! Because your employers insurance policy isn't about YOU, it's about THEM. When insurers pay out settlements and verdicts, those payments go to the National Practitioner Data Bank and that amount is divided among each defendant (physicians and PA's responsible for malpractice) based on an assessment of who was most responsible for the error. If you are not represented during the negotiating, you will have no say in how much fault is attributed to you, and thus, you could owe lots! Better hope your employer likes you!!  

Tell me MORE. 

This new plan does NOT replace the old one, but it is in addition to what your employer already provides for you and it is also NOT conditional on whether your employers insurance policy stands or fails on you. The plan has a limit maximum liability of $100,000, but legal fees are covered in ADDITION to that amount. This means that even if you settle for $180,000, but your fees cost $700,000, the fees are covered. Keep in mind that this also means that this $180,000 would be more than your plan is worth, so you'd count on your employers insurance to pay the extra $80,000. I hope that makes sense. This is a great example of how important personal liability insurance policies are to protect your own assets. 

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