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Medical Malpractice Insurance

What Every Physician Should Know About Malpractice Insurance

Medical InBrief

by Stuart M. Caplen, MD

Depending on the employment arrangement, a malpractice insurance policy may be owned by the physician, or if the physician is an employee, the employer may be paying for the coverage. There are also hospitals that either partially or fully self-insure their employed physicians.[1] There are two main types of policies a physician can be covered by, claims-made and occurrence. A physician should be aware of the type of policy they have, and the ramifications if they change insurance carriers, jobs, locations, or retire.

Claims-Made Malpractice Insurance

Claims-made insurance provides malpractice coverage only for ...

Other Topics covered in this InBrief include:

  • Occurrence Malpractice Insurance

  • Statute of Limitations

  • Consent-To-Settle Clause

  • Policy Limits

  • Statistics about Malpractice and Malpractice Insurance

  • Likelihood of a Physician Getting Sued for Malpractice

  • Malpractice Litigation Outcomes

  • Conclusion and Summary

Read the conclusion of the Medical Malpractice InBrief. includes our Library, CME, Compendium, and Annotate.

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Author’s Note: There are hospitals and medical centers that have a formalized error communication and resolution process which can reduce the litigation and settlement costs of medical errors. If you wish to learn more about this process it is discussed at the link below in the FibonacciMD blog article, The Medical Apology, Is It a Good Idea?, for which AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ are available.


[1] Malpractice Insurance: What You Need to Know. J Oncol Pract. 2007;3(5):274-277. Retrieved from:

[2] Rekieta R. Is your tail covered? Why physicians must consider tail coverage when switching practices. Practicelink. January 11, 2021. Retrieved from:

[3] State-by-State Medical Malpractice Laws and Deadline Requirements. NOLO, 2022. Retrieved from:


[5] New York Medical Malpractice Laws & Statute of Limitations. NOLO 2022. Retrieved from:

[6] Guardado JR. New Data Show the Highest Prevalence of Medical Liability Premium Increases in 15 Years. AMA Policy research perspectives. 2021. Retrieved from:

[7] California Medical Malpractice Law. 2022.

[8] Guardado JR. Medical Liability Claim Frequency Among U.S. Physicians. AMA Policy research perspectives. 2017. Retrieved from:

[9] Guardado JR. Medical Professional Liability Insurance Indemnity Payments, Expenses and Claim Disposition, 2006-2015. AMA Policy research perspectives. 2018. Retrieved from:

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