If you are a physician with a medical malpractice policy, then you have likely heard the importance of also obtaining tail coverage, or a tail insurance policy. If you retire from practice, take a sabbatical, or if your medical malpractice policy cancels or expires for any other reason whatsoever, it behooves you to consider purchasing tail insurance.
Below, you will find answers to all of your common tail insurance questions, from what tail is, to how much you can expect your premium to cost.
What is tail coverage for medical malpractice?
Tail protects a physician or extender against claims that are reported after the termination (expiration or cancellation) of a claims-made medical malpractice policy, for services that were performed while the policy was in effect.
Who needs tail coverage?
Any physician who terminates their claims-made policy, and does not continue the coverage, needs a tail policy. Purchasing tail coverage will ensure that their retroactive date is maintained.
Is a tail insurance policy necessary?
If you have a claim to report after canceling a claims-made policy, and there was no tail coverage included, then there is no coverage.
Some think that if all their assets are safe or in their spouse’s name, then they do not need tail coverage. If the claimant prevails, they can attack your income.
Also, if you lose a medical malpractice case because you cannot pay for a defense (as you have no tail), you will be likely to face the Medical Board with no defense.
How long does tail coverage last?
Tail coverage can last forever, including after death, if a claim is made against the provider’s estate.
Some insurers only offer 1- to 5-year tail policies, which can be problematic.
Should you buy a stand-alone tail policy?
Buying a stand-alone tail insurance policy may be wise. The reason is, if you have a claim to report after canceling a claims-made policy, and tail coverage was not included, then you do not have any coverage.
Some think that if all their assets are safe or in their spouse’s name, then they do not need tail. But if the claimant prevails, they can attack your income.
Also, if you lose a medical malpractice case because you cannot pay for a defense (as you have no tail coverage), you will be likely to face the Medical Board with no defense.
Purchasing a stand-alone tail policy will mean that you are covered after your medical malpractice insurance policy cancels.
What are the other tail policy options?
It is always a good idea to shop and compare the offer from your current insurer. A stand-alone tail insurer can charge 20 to 30% less.
How much does tail insurance cost?
The cost of coverage depends on the period of the coverage; however, 200% of your current premium is a good ball park estimate. Costs are often spelled out within medical malpractice policies.
Can I finance my tail insurance?
Normally, there are no financing or payment plans available, so the entire tail premium must be paid upfront.
However, there is one standalone insurer available that can provide no-charge financing, so the provider is not faced with a huge cash payment upfront, which is the norm.
How to find the best rates for tail insurance?
To find the best rates for tail insurance, it is a good idea to contact a reputable insurance brokerage, such as HCP National.
At HCP National, our number one goal is to help you decrease your costs and improve your coverage. We built our insurance brokerage by helping our clients identify areas where they can save money, while keeping their organization fully covered.
Click here to contact us regarding your tail coverage. Our sole purpose is to ensure that you receive the best service and coverage possible, at an affordable and competitive rate.