Do You Need E&O Insurance?

For medical practitioners doing side hustles and non-clinical work, it is worth examining if you have the right insurance. This article highlights the importance of Errors and Omissions (E&O) policies.

By FlexMedStaff


Subscribe to read more articles like this.

Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is not required for everyone, but all medical practitioners should be aware of it. E&O insurance is a type of professional liability insurance provided to all businesses and practitioners seeking coverage against claims related to errors, negligence, inaccurate advice, and omissions. A medical professional should consider obtaining E&O insurance if they provide their medical opinion without direct patient care or supervision. This is NOT meant to substitute for malpractice insurance. E&O insurance provides coverage for practitioners who are not directly treating a patient medically. To reiterate, malpractice insurance does not cover you for any medical advice or opinions you provide that do not involve the direct care of patients. 

What Services Require E&O Insurance?

There is a growing trend of medical professionals doing non-clinical work. E&O insurance can protect those practitioners involved in any of the following activities:

  • Online consults via synchronous or asynchronous platforms.
  • Independent medical examinations (IME).
  • Life coaching.
  • Professional advice published on websites or blogs.
  • Utilization reviews.
  • Disability reviews.
  • Professional 2nd opinions.
  • Expert witness work.

Basically, if you are using any of your knowledge gained from medical school or residency training but not directly treating patients, you should consider having E&O insurance. If you work through a company to do non-clinical work, they might already offer E&O insurance. This includes work where there is no direct patient care and medical treatment.

How to Get E&O Insurance?

When looking for E&O insurance, first check with your malpractice insurance carrier. Although most malpractice policies do not include E&O insurance, it is worth checking with your malpractice carrier to see if they can add E&O insurance to your policy. Many malpractice carriers do not provide E&O insurance, nor is it standard for E&O to be included within a malpractice policy. Thus, you may need to seek other alternative insurance carriers to provide E&O Insurance.

Many of the larger malpractice carriers offer E&O insurance. Thus, reviewing your options with your current malpractice broker or agent is worth checking. If your current broker or agent is not helpful, then reach out to other insurance brokers that have access to standard and non-standard policies to get you covered. E&O policies are usually “claims-made” and may require tail insurance, depending on your situation.

Please recognize that not all E&O insurance is meant to cover medical practitioners. Only a select number of insurance carriers provide adequate E&O insurance for medical practitioners providing medical advice. Don’t be tricked! Many insurance carriers online offer E&O insurance, but many of them have exclusions that exclude medical professionals. Thus, make sure you speak with a representative from the insurance carrier to determine if they can provide coverage for you.

This seems silly, but in some instances, insurance carriers do not offer E&O insurance when you go to them. Instead, you must go thru a broker to get the right E&O policy for medical practitioners.

What is the Cost of E&O Insurance?

E&O insurance is surprisingly not cheap for medical practitioners as it is for other professionals. Expect to pay at least $1,000 or more for the yearly premium. Depending on your specialty and location, you may have to pay a premium of $4-10,000. The premium will also be affected by the amount of income you make thru the services you require E&O insurance.

Your E&O policy will likely be claims-made, so recognize that the cost will go up over the next 4-5 years until the policy matures. You would then need to factor in the cost of continuing the policy, getting tail insurance, or doing nothing at all if you were to stop your non-clinical work.

If you find a cheap E&O policy for under $1,000, ensure that you are covered appropriately. Speak with an actual broker or agent representing the insurance product to confirm that the policy covers medical practitioners and your work. You don’t want to get caught with an E&O policy that excludes medical practitioners and your services. 

Conclusion:

Never assume that your malpractice policy covers you for your work that does not include direct medical care. Do your research and speak to experts about your need for E&O coverage. You don’t want to learn about this topic after a claim has been filed against you to know that you are not covered for these acts. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!