Physicians spend decades preparing to practice their specialty. Unfortunately, the likelihood of a need to defend against allegations of medical malpractice at some point in one’s career are high. As such, doctors are wise to choose a medical malpractice insurance provider that offers the right type of protection.
But the amount of protection is just one factor. Physicians may also want to have a say in how the insurance provider moves forward when it handles a medical malpractice case.
In the past, physician did not always have a say when it came to medical malpractice claims in Florida. A recent change to the law has allowed physicians more control by increasing the ability to consent to a settlement instead of fighting a claim in court. As a result, some insurance providers will give physicians more control over whether they want to settle the claim or move forward with litigation. Others may only provide a limited right of consent in these situations.
Has this law affected medical malpractice claims in Florida?
Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation recently released its annual report on the medical malpractice insurance market for 2020. The group provides this information to help physicians learn about the culture of various medical malpractice insurance providers in the state. Some may have a high closed claims rate, which can show a likelihood to settle claims while others are more likely to fight the allegations in court. There is variety in coverage as the rates reportedly range from 40 to 93%.
This report has also found evidence that some insurance providers will give physicians 100% consent when moving forward with a malpractice claim showing that the law has had a direct impact on malpractice insurance options in the state.
What if my med mal insurance provider is fighting my claim?
It is not uncommon for an insurance provider to fight a claim. The company may claim that coverage does not apply for a variety of reasons including allegations of fraud or reckless behavior.
There is a path to resolve this type of dispute. The first step in these situations is generally to request a written explanation for the denial of coverage. If their explanation is unreasonable, you can generally appeal the denial. If this fails, you could consider a lawsuit against the provider.
Even with increased options for coverage, it is important to know that you can fight back if your insurance provider is not meeting your needs.