What is Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Insurance which provides necessary financial protection to a different type of professional advisers is termed as professional indemnity insurance.
This type of insurance helps cover the cost of defending claims and paying any damages; in an event where the client suffers financial losses due to assumed error; omission or neglect on the clients part.
Though it may be good that today the consumers’ expectations of service and quality of advice is growing in all areas of business; however with it the number of claims on professionals for breach of duty is also increasing. This is making professional indemnity a necessity for most professionals.
Why Professional Indemnity?
The need for professional indemnity has increased and has even become imperative for certain professionals like doctors. Without the right insurance a professional can easily be putting themselves; their business and personal assets at risk.
Generally, people act on recommendations of professionals and if in the case a person is impacted in the wrong way; there is a possibility of a lawsuit which the professionals may be unable to pay through their normal income. Professional indemnity insurance protects against compensation claims caused due to such an incidence. Moreover, the cost of defending oneself can also be covered through such an insurance policy.
Varied professionals will have differed policies depending on their risk profile and so do different type of doctors. A medical consultant’s risk profile is lower than that of a heart surgeon and so on. It is best to consult someone experienced in this field before choosing your insurance premium; trusted insurance companies like SecureNow, a leading insurance broking firm offers advice on the best type of indemnity insurance for doctors to help protect them; their clinic and other assets against any sort of loss.
Importance for doctors
With rising consumer awareness and courts becoming more consumer-friendly, instances where medical professionals, doctors, hospitals have been charged with lawsuits have increased. In most cases, courts have held the doctors or hospitals liable to pay up.
In a certain case few years back the All India Institute of Medical Sciences was ordered to pay Rs 5 lakh in damages; this was because one the doctors working at the institute wrongly diagnosed a woman with cancer. Besides this, there have been various other such cases which are making professional indemnity highly important for all doctors.
Professional indemnity insurance is also known by some insurers as professional liability insurance.
There are many different reasons why a claim may be made against a doctor such as perhaps the diagnosis of a patient was not done properly resulting in worsening of the situation and other such instances where claims can be made against a doctor. Despite best intentions, things can go wrong, hence being protected by professional indemnity is good option for doctors; as without the same they would be liable to pay the claims themselves.
Benefits of professional indemnity to doctors:
The insurance will help reimburse any legal expenses that may be accrued including defense costs (costs, fees, expenses) incurred while investigation, cost of representation, compensation etc. Beneficial not only to the doctors but also to their patients & their dependents as the insurance company takes care of the compensation
It is a precautionary measure as it prepares the doctors for varied types of risks associated with their work. It provides an ability to handle varied possible future mishaps that can otherwise leave a person bewildered and panicked
It acts as a safety rope giving enough protection against future perils which cannot be anticipated or made arrangements for normally
It acts as a support system providing doctors the much needed monetary support; as well as a team of people who can help the doctor through various unplanned and misfortunate ordeals
Limit of liability
In professional liability, the sum insured is quantifiable and is known as the ‘limit of liability’. When a property is insured one takes into account the worth of the property; but here as the claim amount is unknown the insurers set a limit of liability. Beyond that, the loss will have to be borne by the doctor.
The premium generally depends on factors such as profession, experience, income, limits, jurisdiction and claim experience, and so on. Generally, the professional is more likely to accurately assess the amount of cover appropriate to their profession; as they have a more realistic view of the industry.
Hence, professionals must work side by side with insurance advisors while picking the policy as being under-insured can be almost as financially disastrous as being without insurance at all.