Medico-legal cases are no longer a rarity in India. In fact, they’re piling up faster than you’d imagine.

A 2016 study by the India Medical Times shows that there has been a 110% rise in medical negligence cases in India each year. A quick look at the CIA World Factbook reveals that in India, there are 0.73 physicians for every 1,000 people. In the US and UK, the doctor to patient ratios are 2.55 and 2.73 respectively. This increases the chances of medical negligence and is also the reason why most Indian doctors aren’t able to spend sufficient time with each patient. Either way, the fact is that with awareness of medico-legal cases, patients are quick to file a lawsuit demanding compensation. This makes professional indemnity insurance essential for doctors.

The policy will cover you from risks such as:

  • Employee fraud
  • Incorrect diagnosis
  • Loss of documents
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Libel and slander

But, before you sign up for indemnity insurance, here are some tips on how to choose the best policy.

1.   Check For Coverage

Professional indemnity insurance for doctors varies from policy to policy.  Thoroughly understand the features and coverage offered by each policy. For example, a basic indemnity policy may only cover legal expenses and damage to the third party. A more evolved policy will provide coverage against staff’s dishonesty as well. Pay special attention to the coverage to ensure that you pick a policy that is catering to the risks you face. For instance, your assistant adds extra tincture drops to homeopathic medicines. If damages are extensive, your patient can sue you. A basic policy might not cover you beyond damages for third party. But, an advanced indemnity policy will provide coverage for employee negligence.

2.   Do A Cost Analysis

Yes, professional indemnity insurance for doctors is more expensive than your average insurance policy. But, it is important to note that the coverage offered is of a higher value as well. Having said that, you must always check and ensure that your insurance policy is offering value that goes beyond the premium that you pay. Pick a policy that is cost-effective and worth the investment in terms of the protection that it offers your practice.

3.   Study Claims Handling

In case of a crisis, you want your indemnity insurance provider to be able to act quickly and efficiently. So, it is worth taking the time to study the cases that they’ve handled in the past, their ability to contain crisis and their response procedures. Ideally, pick a policy offering services of a specialised claims team. Moreover, if a provider is willing to take you through the protocol and procedures well in advance, you can rest assured that they know what they are doing and are capable of handling emergency situations well.

4.   Inspect Flexibility

Will the insurance provider that you have in mind allow you to increase or decrease the sum, that your practice is insured for, in the middle of the tenor? Is the claims procedure hassle-free? Do you need to complete a lengthy documentation procedure? These are all factors that give you an idea of how rigid or flexible your professional indemnity insurance provider is. It goes without saying that you should pick a provider who provides maximum flexibility and convenience.

Studying flexibility, cost, coverage and claims handling are four of the most important factors when it comes to choosing professional indemnity insurance for doctors. A provider who ticks all the boxes is Bajaj Finserv. Their Professional Indemnity Insurance for Doctors offers additional coverage as compared to other policies and boasts of an excellent claims handling team.

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