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Do Hospital-Based Physicians Require General Liability Coverage?

Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Why Do I Need General Liability Coverage If I Am a Hospital-Based Physician?

Most physicians who contract out their services (Anesthesiology, Radiology, Pathology and Emergency Groups) are based in the hospital, have no outside office, and therefore assume that they have no general liability exposure. While these groups may not have an actual office, they do have a “virtual” office, and along with that comes exposures only insurable through a general liability policy. Fortunately, this coverage is very inexpensive, typically less than $750 for a $1,000,000 limit, and it can be written on a Business Owners Policy (BOP).

Contractual Most hospital servicing agreements contain insurance requirement provisions. In order to be compliant with these contracts, a BOP policy is an easy solution.

Claim Example: A physician was running through the halls of a hospital, and he collided with a visitor. The visitor sued the hospital and the physician’s employer.

Personal and Advertising Injury Provides protection in the case of a libel or slander lawsuit. Included in the General Liability coverage is protection against Libel and Slander lawsuits.

Claim Example: Dr. A informs a patient that they should not go see Dr. B because he has a bad reputation. Dr. B eventually finds this information out and files a slander lawsuit against Dr. A’s practice.

Employee Benefit Liability Provides protection arising out of errors and omissions in the administration of employee benefit plans. If you make an administrative error and forget to add someone to one of your benefit plans, this coverage will pay for any claims uncovered by the health plan.

Claim Example: Dr X is newly hired and completes the necessary BCBS paperwork to get added to the group health policy. The paperwork gets buried on the administrator’s desk. Three months later, Dr. X’s spouse is diagnosed with cancer, but BCBS denies the claim because Dr. X was never added to the policy.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Provides protection for the corporation or partnership in the event one of the employees is involved in an auto accident while in the course of employment. This policy does not provide coverage for the auto or driver; however, it does provide protection for the corporation.

Claim Example: Dr. C is on call and is driving to the hospital for a patient. Dr. C collides with a car, causing bodily injury and property damage. In the course of discovery, the plaintiff attorney realizes Dr. C was “working” and adds the practice group to the lawsuit.

Outside Business Activities Provides coverage for outings, fundraisers and seminars, or anytime an employee is traveling on business and causes some type of damage or becomes involved in a third-party bodily injury claim.

Claim Example: Dr. P, while at a convention in Las Vegas, runs into an elderly lady with a luggage cart at the airport. The lady falls, breaks her hip and sues Dr. P and his practice.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.