Hospital Liability Insurance
We have all heard of instances when patients sued their physicians for malpractice and won exorbitant amounts of money due to negligence on the part of the doctor. Medical malpractice insurance actually covers a broad spectrum of health care liability insurance among which is hospital liability insurance. There are a number of reasons why suits are filed against hospitals, among which many are directly related to hospital services and personnel while others result as an extension of a suit filed against a doctor who may or may not be on staff. Needless to say, this is probably the most important type of insurance a hospital can carry in order to safeguard against financial ruin.
What Does Hospital Liability Insurance Usually Cover?
The primary consideration in carrying hospital liability insurance is to provide coverage that would be the result of being held liable for any services that were rendered, or not rendered as required, by the hospital. This also includes a case being made in a court of law for malpractice, mistakes and omissions. Sometimes the coverage extends to one patient being injured by another which could be the result of negligence on the part of hospital staff who should have been monitoring both patients in their care. Other times hospital liability insurance is called upon to cover injuries to a person being treated in a hospital ambulance. This would not include injuries received while being transported by EMT personnel in transit by the fire department, for example. Liability insurance also helps to pay the cost of attorneys and court costs when defending against groundless law suits.
Factors that Affect Premiums for Hospital Liability Insurance
The cost of any type of insurance is always based on the amount of perceived risk the insurance company will need to carry. Unlike automobile insurance, hospital liability insurance is not experience based when it comes to cost. As an example, when a motorist is involved in an accident, that accident will most likely affect the premiums he or she pays on future car insurance whether or not the insured was at fault. Hospital liability insurance, on the other hand, is based on other factors which usually include the geographic location of the hospital as well as whether or not it is a ‘specialized’ medical care facility. For instance, a cardiac hospital would most likely pay higher premiums than a community hospital with no areas of specialization. However, hospitals are somewhat affected by ‘experience ratings’ and most often only an amount up to 25% of their premiums will be based on whether or not suits have been filed in the past, the frequency of suits and of course, the outcome.
Most commercial liability insurance providers offer hospital liability insurance and if you are an administrator or on the board that determines which insurance company to use, it is in your best interest to do a little research prior to choosing an insurance company for your medical facility. Although coverages may be similar, premiums may be significantly different based on the amount of weight each insurance company places on experience ratings. If your hospital has had claims filed against it within a short period of time, you should find an insurance company that places less evidence on experience and more on geographic location. By searching online, it is possible to obtain a number of quotes so that you can compare coverages and premiums between various insurance companies. Whether you are entrusted with the decision making process or are part of a team on the board of administrators, you should be aware of the fact that it is possible to cut costs by finding hospital liability insurance with the lowest premiums possible.