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Do I need tail coverage?

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  • Do I need tail coverage?

    My new company is providing me nose malpractice coverage. Do I need to purchase tail malpractice from my previous company's insurance in this scenario? The previous employer won't provide tail malpractice. I had a claims made based policy.

  • #2
    If there is any chance you could be sued from care you've given (which there is, no matter how good you are or how well things went), then I would say Yes.

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    • #3
      But wouldn't nose coverage from the new job cover me?

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      • #4
        Yes it would. Tail coverage from your prior insurer would be redundant in this case. Pl make sure you ask carefully that the nose covers you for the entire duration of the prior coverage. Also, if you had any situations where a lawsuit may be brewing/possible (letter of intent, lawyer inquiries, request for medical records, etc), please clarify with your new insurer. Those situations are generally excluded from coverage. All the best with your new job!

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        • #5
          It's just nomenclature.  Nose coverage from a current employer is the same thing as tail coverage from a previous employer.  That being said though, you should do your due diligence to make sure it will cover all prior acts.

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          • #6
            if you leave your next employer (who is providing the nose coverage), does that nose coverage travel with you or do you have to then rebuy tail coverage or get new nose coverage?  if you have to rebuy tail coverage.. is that even possible to do if it has been so long since you finished the first job?

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            • #7
              Let me explain this to the best of my ability.  As a disclaimer I am a doctor not a lawyer or insurance expert.  This is just my understanding.

              When you have a "claims made" policy at job A, you are covered for malpractice incidents only for so long as you work at job A.  If you leave job A, and a pt who you took care of during your time there later sues you, your policy will not cover you.  It only covers "claims made" while the policy was in effect.

              So, say you leave job A and get a new job B.  So, how do you protect yourself from lawsuits from pts you took care of at job A?  Remember, they have probably have around 2 years from the time a malpractice was discovered to sue you.  Read that carefully....2 years from the time the malpractice was discovered."  For a surgeon, a lap sponge left in a pt 8 years ago and discovered yesterday, starts the clock fresh.  Also, children generally have until they're 18-21 to sue for incidents that occurred any time from birth on.  So, it is very important to protect yourself in the future from these potential lawsuits.

              So what do you do?  Well, you can buy a "tail" from the insurance company that insured you at job A.  This is a one-time payment, and usually costs between 160-230% of your last annual premium.  For example, if you were paying $10,000 per year for malpractice insurance at job A, then the tail will probably cost you between $16,000-23,000.  One time, and then you are covered forevermore for any claims from job A.

              Another alternative is to buy (or have your new employer buy) "nose" coverage.  This can either be purchased from the same company that insured you at job A, as listed above, or (perhaps) from a new insurance company that will be covering you at job B.  Either way, it's again a one-time payment, and will protect you in perpetuity from any malpractice claims from job A.

              As a generality, it is much easier to ask a new employer to provide nose coverage, than to ask a former employer for tail coverage.  The new employer wants to incentivize you to come work for them, so offering to pay the nose (thru the nose?? ) is a recruitment tool.  Asking a current employer to pay your tail because you're leaving them is...well, good luck with that, is all I'll say.

              Hope this helps explain noses and tails.

               

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              • #8




                Let me explain this to the best of my ability.  As a disclaimer I am a doctor not a lawyer or insurance expert.  This is just my understanding.

                When you have a “claims made” policy at job A, you are covered for malpractice incidents only for so long as you work at job A.  If you leave job A, and a pt who you took care of during your time there later sues you, your policy will not cover you.  It only covers “claims made” while the policy was in effect.

                So, say you leave job A and get a new job B.  So, how do you protect yourself from lawsuits from pts you took care of at job A?  Remember, they have probably have around 2 years from the time a malpractice was discovered to sue you.  Read that carefully….2 years from the time the malpractice was discovered.”  For a surgeon, a lap sponge left in a pt 8 years ago and discovered yesterday, starts the clock fresh.  Also, children generally have until they’re 18-21 to sue for incidents that occurred any time from birth on.  So, it is very important to protect yourself in the future from these potential lawsuits.

                So what do you do?  Well, you can buy a “tail” from the insurance company that insured you at job A.  This is a one-time payment, and usually costs between 160-230% of your last annual premium.  For example, if you were paying $10,000 per year for malpractice insurance at job A, then the tail will probably cost you between $16,000-23,000.  One time, and then you are covered forevermore for any claims from job A.

                Another alternative is to buy (or have your new employer buy) “nose” coverage.  This can either be purchased from the same company that insured you at job A, as listed above, or (perhaps) from a new insurance company that will be covering you at job B.  Either way, it’s again a one-time payment, and will protect you in perpetuity from any malpractice claims from job A.

                As a generality, it is much easier to ask a new employer to provide nose coverage, than to ask a former employer for tail coverage.  The new employer wants to incentivize you to come work for them, so offering to pay the nose (thru the nose?? ? ) is a recruitment tool.  Asking a current employer to pay your tail because you’re leaving them is…well, good luck with that, is all I’ll say.

                Hope this helps explain noses and tails.

                 
                Click to expand...


                This was very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to explain this thoroughly.

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                • #9
                  As a practice leader buying malpractice insurance for incoming docs who have left another practice to join us, we cover the nose but do not buy a separate "nose policy", as suggested above. What happens is that if you hire a physician with no prior practice history (ie. someone out of training), the fee for med mal insurance ramps up over time. When you think about it, in Year One of practice, it is extremely unlikely to be sued as it takes time to have an issue and for that issue to come to your attention in the form of a lawsuit. If an experienced partner costs (hypothetically) $10,000 to insure, the new doc out of train might cost $3000 in the first year, ramping to $7000 in the second year, and then maturing to $10,000 in year three.

                  If you purchase the tail before you move to the next job, your new employer will get to pay the Year 1 rate of $3000 (assuming you are deemed to have a clear record and not considered to be higher than average risk). If you have your new employer cover the nose, the new employer will pay the Year 3 (and on) rate of $10,000.

                  If you have a history of adverse events, these numbers will be higher.

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