Demand for anesthesiologists has been growing steadily for the past 7 years, with more than 6,000 specialists needed to fill new positions by 2026. If you are an anesthesiologist planning to change employers soon, or open a private practice, you need to put Extended Reporting Period (ERP) coverage, or medical malpractice “tail” insurance, at the top of your “to do” list.
Before your current malpractice insurance expires, your employer will probably offer you the option to buy a tail policy – typically at around 200% of the premium cost of your expiring claims-made medical malpractice policy. MEDPLI has a better – and more affordable – way to get the best standalone tail policy for your anesthesiology specialty and practice location. Experienced MEDPLI tail insurance brokers are ready to show you how to save an average of 20% on tail insurance.
What is Tail Insurance?
Your employer-provided malpractice policy ends on your last day of work. Tail insurance provided by “A” rated carriers through MEDPLI is a standalone policy that protects you from liability for any future malpractice claims made on incidents that occurred during the time of your previous employment. Coverage is retroactive for any claims made on incidents occurring from the first date of work with your former employer. Tail insurance is necessary only if your previous policy was a form of claims-made, or claims-paid, malpractice insurance.
Why Anesthesiologists Need Tail Insurance
When changing jobs or starting a new practice, you need a tail insurance policy to cover you in a lawsuit if a patient you treated during your former employment files a claim against you. Talk to a MEDPLI insurance broker about tail insurance options for anesthesiologists long before you turn in your resignation. It’s best to have tail coverage in place before your current malpractice policy expires.
Anesthesiology is a high-risk specialty. Despite an anesthesiologist’s extensive experience and training, unexpected errors and patient reactions can occur, resulting in serious or life-threatening patient injuries and complications. In fact, anesthesiologists are among the top 10 specialists most frequently sued for malpractice. More than 50% of the anesthesiologists surveyed in the Medscape Anesthesiologist Malpractice Report 2021 indicated that they have been sued for malpractice at least once during their career.
Consider what would happen if a former patient makes a malpractice claim several months or years after the incident occurred. Without tail insurance, you would be personally liable for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and indemnity payouts. Just like regular medical malpractice insurance, a tail policy will cover all expenses at trial, and the tail policy carrier will provide your legal defense.
How Tail Insurance Provides Liability Protection For Anesthesiologists
Tail insurance covers anesthesiologists for liability in malpractice claims for incidents which occurred during previous employment, but the patient’s complaint may not trigger a lawsuit until months or years later. Here are a few examples of previously occurring incidents that may result in future malpractice claims covered by a tail policy:
- Brain damage, nerve damage in neck or esophagus, arrhythmia, stroke, perforated trachea, vocal cord paralysis, and injuries to mouth, lips, or teeth due to intubation and extubating errors.
- “Anesthesia awareness” in which the patient wakes up during surgery. Possible long-term effects suffered by the patient include emotional disorders, such as PTSD, insomnia, and anxiety.
- Negligence by accidentally or intentionally turning off patient monitoring machines that alarm if the patient’s vital signs suddenly drop during surgery, resulting in severe complications or death.
- Allergic or fatal reactions to anesthesia drugs that were not noted in the patient’s medical history.
In some cases, the patient or patient’s family choose not to sue for malpractice when the incident occurred. However, you can still be at risk for a lawsuit if the patient changes their mind within the statutes of limitations for malpractice claims, which vary from state to state. Your MEDPLI tail insurance broker will work with you to find the best tail coverage to fit the risk factors of your anesthesiology specialty and state statutes of limitations where you previously worked.
How MEDPLI Helps Anesthesiologists Save On Tail Insurance
Malpractice insurance premiums are increasing in 2023, and that means employer provided tail insurance premiums will be higher, as well. Your MEDPLI insurance broker can help you save 20% on average on standalone tail policies, plus:
- Save you time, effort, and money by finding the right standalone tail insurance policy and rates to cover the unique malpractice risks and requirements of your specialty.
- Obtain tail policies from “A” rated malpractice insurance carriers known for their excellent track record in defending orthopedic surgeons against claims, as well as for the company’s business and financial stability.
- Provide you with all viable standalone tail insurance options from a wide range of carriers as an alternative to exorbitantly priced employer or hospital-provided policies.
Moving to a new hospital or private practice? Get a free tail insurance evaluation from MEDPLI now.
Call today and talk to a MEDPLI insurance broker about your standalone tail insurance needs. Find out how you can save 20% on tail policy rates – and how to get the best protection against malpractice claims from your previous employment.
Call us at 800-969-1339, or fill out a contact request form.