November 2019 Volume LIV Number 6

 
 
 
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Treloar and Heisel

November 2019 Volume LIV Number 6

Eight Questions to Ask Your Malpractice Carrier
Ken Thomalla, CPA®, CLU®, CFP®
Chief Operating Officer
Treloar & Heisel, Inc.
 
You pursued pediatric dentistry to serve patients and make a difference - not to become knowledgeable about malpractice insurance.
 
Protecting yourself, and your practice, is one of the best steps you can take to pursue peace of mind as a dental professional. Mak- ing the right malpractice insurance decision is less daunting when you know what to look for in a carrier. Here are a few questions you should ask to find a malpractice product, and carrier, that will offer the strongest protection.
 
1. How financially strong is the carrier?
It's important to understand a carrier's financial strength, because malpractice insur- ance is a long-term promise. Independent agencies - such as A.M. Best - determine insurance carrier ratings based on a number of factors. Typically, the higher the carrier's rating, the more financially secure the agency believes them to be.
 
2. Will my policy have a pure consent to settle provision?
Every malpractice policy has a provi- sion regarding who can "consent to settle" a claim - an insured or the company. But not every company offers a policy that gives the right to consent to settle a claim to an insured, without restriction. Not having these restrictions is also known as a "pure" consent to settle provision. Pure consent gives you control to refuse to settle a malpractice claim and is extremely important to have in your insurance policy.

3. Is Occurrence coverage an option?
Occurrence policies provide coverage for a claim based upon when an incident occurs, no matter when a claim is made. As a result, Occurrence policies provide coverage long into the future - no matter where you practice, if you take a break from your career, or change specialties. Both Claims-made and Occurrence policy types have specific benefits, and it's important to understand the difference so you can choose the right fit for your career plans.
 
4. What happens if I move states?
An insurance company's ability to move with you from coast-to-coast will make relocating a lot easier. That's why you want to make sure the company you're considering offers coverage in every state so you can make life changes without worrying about an inter- ruption in your coverage.

5. Will I have access to risk management resources?
A malpractice insurance company should give you tools to improve patient safety and identify areas of risk in your practice. Look for an in-house risk management team that is able to provide real-time advice. A great com- pany doesn't just defend claims, it actively works to prevent them.
 
6. How experienced is the claims team?
What if you're named in a malpractice lawsuit and left feeling confused and afraid? An experienced claims defense team trained to fight for you will help ensure you never feel alone and will usually walk away with winning results. After all, you're paying for the promise that your insurance carrier will show up when you need them most - with an experienced team.
 
7. Does the carrier understand my specialty?
Pediatric dentistry is one of hundreds of healthcare specialties, and your malpractice insurance policy should be specialized to you and your scope of practice. As a specialist, look for a company that offers additional coverages addressing your industry's needs, such as Medicare/Medicaid billing defense coverage, which will provide you with cover- age if the government audits your practice with a formal records request. For example, a policy with MedPro Group includes limits for this coverage up to $25,000 per incident and $100,000 for total incidents in the policy period.
 
8. Is the policy competitively priced?
The best doesn't always have to cost more - it may even cost less. A carrier should understand the value of comprehensive malpractice coverage that's created with your specialty in mind, and commit to providing just that - at a competitive price. Look for a carrier who provides discounts based on your scope of practice, years in practice, or membership affiiations. For example, Med- Pro Group offers an exclusive 10% discount to any pediatric dentist who is a member of the AAPD.
 
We care about the protection of AAPD members. That's why we're proud to promote the services of MedPro Group - one of the nation's leading dental malpractice insur- ance carriers. Through Treloar and Heisel, MedPro is able to give AAPD members customized coverage solutions and exclusive members-only discounts. Contact a member of the Treloar and Heisel team at (800) 345- 6040 or visit our website at treloaronline.com.
 
This document should not be construed as medical or legal advice. MedPro Group is the marketing name used to refer to the insurance operations of The Medical Protective Company, Princeton Insurance Company, PLICO, Inc. and MedPro RRG Risk Retention Group. All insurance products are underwritten and administered by these and other Berkshire Hathaway affiliates) including National Fire & Marine Insurance Company. Product availability is based upon business and/or regulatory approval and may differ among companies. © 2019 MedPro Group Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Property and Casualty are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, Inc.
Insurance products ojfered through Treloar & Heisel) Inc.
 

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