Five Inexpensive Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Medical Practice Right Now

Posted in: Risk Management Consulting

Physicians and other high net worth individuals I counsel understandably have the feeling they have targets on their backs. We live in a litigious society, and it isn’t becoming any less so. Spend an evening watching local television and you may come away with the impression that the only businesses advertising today are car dealers and personal injury lawyers.  One misstep, an accident, or a lawsuit could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Unpleasant as these events are to contemplate, a few simple moves taken now could save you a mountain of trouble and buy you a lot of peace of mind—for a very modest cost.
 
Here are your 5 tips

1. Review your personal insurance coverage. The insurance limits on your liability policy should be at least $500,000 per person per accident and $100,000 for property damage; your homeowner’s policy should have at least $500,000 of liability protection

2. Buy an umbrella liability policy; $1 million in coverage can be purchased for about $200; if you have a domestic worker you pay more than $1,000 per quarter, you’re required to have a domestic worker’s compensation policy.

3. Buy disciplinary board legal coverage; this pays defense costs if you are brought up before the Board of Physicians; many malpractice insurers will not renew you if there is a Board action pending.

4. Buy employment practices liability insurance; lawsuits from employees for harassment, discrimination, and other issues can be extremely expensive to defend.

5. If you have a partner, you should consult with an attorney and prepare a buy-sell agreement covering what happens if one partner dies or becomes disabled; often an inexpensive term life insurance policy is used to fund a buyout.
 
These five simple and affordable steps (each typically costs under $1,000 per year) can go a long way toward protecting you, your practice, and your family from a wide range of threats and accidents. I discussed these issues in greater detail in the April/May issue of Maryland Physician Magazine.

If you don’t already have these very valuable coverages, I urge you consult with your insurance professional, or contact us if you would like to learn more.