How to find the best medical professional liability insurance companies in Canada  
 
 

How to Find the Best Medical Professional Liability Insurance Companies in Canada

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For all medical professionals, professional liability insurance is a requirement, even those operating in Canada.  The government-funded health care system does not exempt medical professionals from liability and lawsuits, though it does shoulder some of the costs.  Professional liability insurance protects you in the event that a patient or client makes claims against you and your practice in relation to your professional services.  Even an unfounded claim can cost you a great deal of time and money to defend against.  Claims assistance and legal representation are included under medical professional liability coverage. 

Litigation against professionals in Canada has increased dramatically in recent years.  More people are choosing to sue over real or perceived problems with their medical care.  Failure or negligence in providing professional medical services can result in courts attributing responsibility as a percentage of damages.  This can amount to a very significant amount of money in many cases.  High risk procedures such as obstetrics, orthopedics and neurosurgery can be especially vulnerable to these kinds of suits.  Even if you work in a lower-risk field, there is always the possibility that you will be sued.

As fees for professional medical liability insurance rise, many small practices may find that it is financially difficult for them to maintain their businesses.  Older doctors may choose to retire earlier because of their inability to find affordable liability insurance.  This contributes to the scarcity of qualified professionals in the country.  While the government pays around seventy percent of the cost of insurance premiums, rising costs are being passed on to medical practitioners.  Different regions of the country are often assessed different rates, with some provinces, such as Ontario, having very high costs for insurance.  Malpractice award in that province over a ten year period were thirty percent higher than the rest of the country.  By comparison, awards in Quebec were fifty percent lower than the average. 

When looking for professional medical liability insurance, it is important to examine prospective providers closely.  Different insurers may offer vastly different rates and amounts of coverage.  Some fields, such as medical aesthetics or alternative medicine, may not be covered under the standard insurance package and must be added on or sought from another insurance provider.  Certain kinds of medical professionals might have difficulty getting full prior acts coverage or adequate limits for their practices. This is caused by tighter underwriting in the insurance market.  Physicians involved in Internet-related health care ventures, such as giving medical advice online, may have trouble getting insurance for these activities as well.

As with all insurance, the best way to get good medical professional liability coverage is to scout around.  Insurance providers operate for profit, so getting the best rate in this climate of increasing lawsuits can be tricky.  Asking other people who need professional liability coverage which providers they use can help you find a good company, as can examination of individual plans. 




 

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