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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance for Doctors?


According to a report from the Delhi Medical Council, the number of cases filed for medical negligence has increased by 30-40% over the last few years. The council, with a mandate to investigate these incidents, reports that it receives around 25 to 30 such cases each month. Even though only a handful of cases among these turn out to be genuine, their investigation can continue for several years.
This situation can be detrimental to a practising doctor, both professionally and financially. Nevertheless, professional indemnity insurance for doctors, introduced by various financial institutions in India can help reduce the financial liabilities arising from such situations to quite an extent.
Following is all you wanted to know about indemnity insurance for doctors.

Why does one require this insurance cover?

This liability cover was introduced to aid medical practitioners to safeguard themselves from various professional risks. The professional indemnity insurance cover is the need of the hour given the rise in the number of litigation cases and fraudulent charges against doctors.
With this insurance cover in place, medical professionals can be financially protected against the compensation claims and legal costs that might arise in due course of a legal tussle with a patient.
The sum assured under this insurance can be utilised to cover the legal expenses incurred while paying for damages to a third party in relation to any negligence, error or omission on the part of the insured person.

Instances covered under this insurance policy –

Professional indemnity insurance for doctors provides comprehensive coverage against numerous professional risks. Some of the liabilities covered under it include –
       Third-party damage compensation
       The cost incurred in due course of a legal defamation case
       Loss of important documents and their re-issuance
       Confidentiality breach
       Damages incurred due to any profession-related incident that occurs within the coverage period, under the pre-determined coverage territory.
       Cases of slander or libel
This policy, thus, provides all-round coverage against all the risks that can arise in a medical professional’s career. Further, such insurance policies provided by financial institutions like Bajaj Finserv also provide added benefits of the high coverage amount, speedy claim redressals, an easy claim process, etc. to make the insurance cover even more advantageous.

How does one choose the sum insured for this policy?

Usually, the sum insured under this policy is determined based on the limit of indemnity. This limit is decided according to per policy period or per accident and is known as Any One Year (AOY) or Any One Accident (AOA) limit respectively.
The AOA or AOY limit signifies the maximum amount payable under this policy during a claim. These limits are given by ratios – 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, which gives the amount payable by the insurance provider against the expense borne by the insured individual. These offerings of AOA or AOY limits are determined at the discretion of insurance providers.
The limits of indemnity can be explained further with the help of an example.
For instance, if a medical practitioner has professional indemnity insurance for doctors amounting to Rs. 10 Lakh with AOA limit of 1:2. If he/she is liable to compensate an amount of Rs. 7 Lakh for any case, the insurance provider will reimburse Rs. 5 Lakh, since the policy is required to cover 2 accidents in the same year.
Further, he/she will have Rs. 5 Lakh left from the insurance cover as compensation for any other liability arising in the same year.

How to file a claim under this policy?

Indemnity insurance for doctors has an easy claim process. These are –
       Individuals will have to first submit a written notice to the insurance company.
       Submit all requisite documents like incidence report, claim forms, documents to support the reported claim, etc.
       The claim will then be settled with the settlement amount being confirmed within 30 days of filing the claim.
This cover, thus, makes for an extremely hassle-free way to be financially protected against financial risks. Individuals should, however, verify that they comply with all the eligibility criteria put forth by their insurance provider before applying for the cover to ensure that this process is hassle-free.

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