Pediatrician Malpractice Insurance

Pediatrician Malpractice Insurance

Pediatricians are medical specialists who focus on the primary health care of children and infants, and the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and study of their diseases and conditions.

Recent research shows that around 3.1% of pediatricians face a claim each year. Of those claims, 0.3% result in monetary damages. For physicians in this speciality, the median indemnity payment is $160,000 and the mean is over $520,000. Even though they are often considered low risk, many pediatricians -- about one third -- face medical malpractice claims over the course of their careers. Thus, pediatricians must still be adequately covered with quality malpractice insurance.

Data from the Physician Insurers Association of America shows that errors in diagnosis are the most common basis for malpractice lawsuits against pediatricians. The most common particular misdiagnoses are of meningitis, appendicitis, nonteratogenic anomalies, pneumonia, and infant brain damage. Thoroughly documenting these high risk cases helps avoid liability in the case of malpractice claims. Also, pediatricians must nurture relationships with patients, as this specialty is focused on the personal care of children. Without an emphasis on relationship building, you could be increasing the risks of malpractice claims should anything go wrong.

How Much Does Pediatrician Malpractice Insurance Cost?

In general, pediatrician malpractice insurance can cost from $10,000 to $50,000 annually. These insurance costs cover the cost of legal defense and settlements, reviews from peer panels, monetary damages, and more. The insurance must also be cogent with the state’s malpractice minimum requirements. Also, pediatricians should seek insurers able to customize coverage to individual needs.

Many factors influence cost. Insurance cost averages for pediatricians can fluctuate according to state, for example. States like Idaho have lower annual insurance costs for pediatricians, while states like Florida have annual costs up to 5 times as much. Urban or rural location, the desired level of coverage and individual physician history are also significant factors. Other important influential factors are:

  • Time worked
  • Insurer competition
  • Tort reform (regarding non economic damage caps)
  • Policy limits
  • Individual practice
  • Implementation of “defensive medicine”

Types of Insurance Coverage for Pediatrician Malpractice

There are two types of insurance coverage: occurrence and claims-made. "Occurrence" applies to claims made for the time the policy was active, even if it isn’t anymore. "Claims-made", however, applies to only malpractice claims with events that occurred during the time the policy is active. Claims-made policies can include “tail” coverage, which is extra coverage for time after the policy ends.

It is important for pediatricians to obtain their own individual insurance coverage, in addition to an employer's policy. Though many pediatricians work in groups or hospitals, they may treat patients or give advice after hours and this won't be covered by an employer's policy. Doctors in this specialty must be covered at all times in case of a malpractice lawsuit via individual coverage as well.

 


Are You In Need of Malpractice Insurance?

We offer malpractice coverage to pediatricians all across the United States. If you want quality insurance as part of a community of excellent pediatricians and compassionate people, contact Capson now for a fast, free quote.