What is Medical Indemnity Insurance?

Donn Saylor

Medical indemnity insurance is a type of insurance for medical practitioners to protect themselves against any unforeseen liabilities. The insurance can be purchased by doctors, nurses, aides, or paramedics; it may also be obtained by alternative medical specialists, like massage therapists, homeopathic physicians, or yoga instructors. Medical indemnity insurance is considered a sensible safeguard against potential lawsuits.

Medical professionals may have medical indemnity insurance to protect them against unforeseen liabilities.
Medical professionals may have medical indemnity insurance to protect them against unforeseen liabilities.

A variety of different liabilities necessitate the need for medical indemnity insurance. These liabilities include physical or mental injury afflicted by a medical professional, neglect of a patient, misdiagnosis, errors or omissions during medical care, and missing or damaged physical property belonging to a patient. Any of these liabilities can be considered medical malpractice, which is a frequent subject of lawsuits and insurance claims against medical providers.

Medical indemnity insurance protects doctors in the event of a misdiagnosis.
Medical indemnity insurance protects doctors in the event of a misdiagnosis.

Under a medical indemnity policy, the indemnitor will pay compensation to the individual filing a successful claim against the indemnitee. Who exactly is covered under a plan, however, varies from one medical indemnity insurance policy to the next. Many policies include basic coverage, which encompasses the most instrumental individuals in the medical practice, and offer additional coverage for an extra cost. An example of additional coverage might be the inclusion of clerical or administrative professionals in the terms of the indemnity insurance plan.

Paramedics may need medical indemnity insurance to protect them if an injury occurs during CPR.
Paramedics may need medical indemnity insurance to protect them if an injury occurs during CPR.

Not every plan will pay the same amount in the event a successful claim is filed against the indemnitee. Some plans, for instance, may cover the majority of a claim but may not provide the indemnitee with legal defense costs. Since many medical malpractice cases possess the possibility of going to trial, the indemnitee will need a solid defense lawyer fighting on his or her behalf. This can be costly, and an insurance plan may not cover it. Though each plan in unique in coverage, the fine print always spells out precisely what is and is not covered; also, client specialists working for insurance companies excel at helping customers understand their plans.

Some yoga instructors purchase medical indemnity insurance.
Some yoga instructors purchase medical indemnity insurance.

Medical indemnity insurance is available for medical professionals in individual practice or for entire hospitals and clinics. Other practices that may make use of medical indemnity insurance include nursing homes and other long term care facilities, managed care organizations, allied health groups, and integrated health systems. Many insurance companies offer additional types of insurance geared toward professionals in the medical field; examples might include medical billing fraud insurance, worker's compensation for employees of the practice, and assault insurance should a medical professional be physically attacked by a patient.

A massage therapist may look into obtaining medical indemnity insurance.
A massage therapist may look into obtaining medical indemnity insurance.

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