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Looking to Buy Malpractice Insurance? Here’s What You Should Know

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Looking for a quick guide on buying a malpractice insurance policy? The information below is a short summary of facts you need to know on your search for a policy offered by malpractice insurance companies. If you’re looking for information on malpractice insurance for other professions, visit our page on Errors and Omissions (E&O) / Professional Liability Insurance.

Who Needs to Buy Legal Malpractice Insurance?

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While not an exhaustive list, the following healthcare practitioners are required to buy malpractice insurance:

  • Acupuncturists
  • Audiologists
  • Chiropractors
  • CPR & First Aid Instructors
  • Dentists, Dental Hygienists
  • Dieticians and Nutritionists
  • EEG Technicians
  • Home Healthcare Providers
  • Medical offices and Clinics
  • Massage therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Ophthalmologists, Opticians, Optometrists
  • Personal Support Workers and Aides
  • Pharmacists and Pharmacy Assistants
  • Physicians
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counsellors
  • Registered Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Speech Therapists 

Facilities that provide healthcare services also need to buy malpractice insurance to attract and retain top talent in their field. 

As the definition of ‘healthcare’ is a fluid one that continually includes more providers and new treatments emerge that fall under the healthcare banner, if you’re unsure about whether the care you provide requires you to buy malpractice insurance, you can speak to an ALIGNED advocate to discuss the limits of liability and the specifics of your practice.

Medical malpractice insurance policies are available in two options: per occurrence and claims-made. Knowing the difference between them before you buy malpractice insurance can help you make the right choice for your practice.

Buying Malpractice Insurance on a Per Occurrence Basis

Per occurrence coverage can provide coverage for claims made if you were insured at the time of the event in question regardless of when a claim is filed. So even if you’ve retired, moved on to another field or clinic, your policy has ended and an allegation of malpractice is made against you, you can still be eligible for coverage under the policy that was in force at the time. Per occurrence tends to be costlier than claims-made malpractice insurance but buying malpractice insurance on a per occurrence basis will give you greater peace of mind when thinking about defense costs and is generally recommended if you’re starting a new practice or opening a new healthcare facility.

Buying Malpractice Insurance on a Claims-Made Basis

With claims-made malpractice insurance, your policy is retroactive to the earliest date of coverage or policy period and needs to be current when you file a claim for that claim to be insured. This means that even if you were insured at the time of an alleged incident, if you’ve cancelled the policy, you will not be covered for the claim. If you choose claims-made malpractice insurance, you may need to buy prior acts coverage if you’re taking over an established practice or tail coverage if you plan on retiring in the near future.

If you have any further questions about buying malpractice insurance coverage from a qualified insurance company, contact an ALIGNED advocate.

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