After graduation, one of the many tasks you will be responsible for involves obtaining professional liability insurance. Malpractice insurance is required to practice optometry in the United States and will give you piece of mind as an OD.
Purpose of Malpractice Insurance:
- Malpractice insurance is critical in giving ODs the confidence to practice while protecting themselves and their license.
- It protects your personal assets.
- It also allows for credentialing with medical and vision plans.
- Lawsuits are timely and costly and repercussions can be debilitating. Malpractice insurance helps protect against damages awarded in a lawsuit.
Costs of Malpractice Insurance:
- It generally costs less than most other medical professionals.
- It usually ranges between $500-800 per year, depending on what state you are practicing in and what insurer you use.
- Discounts may be available for new graduates depending on what carrier you use.
Key questions to ask yourself as you look for coverage:
- Is the insurance carrier familiar with optometry and are they equipped and experienced to handle claims against optometrists?
- Does the policy grow as your practice grows?
- Does the policy cover you for all services under the scope of practice in your state?
- Does the policy offer comprehensive coverage to protect your personal assets as well?
- What limits should I obtain?
Where to get professional liability insurance?
There are many insurance carriers that offer professional liability insurance for ODs. Of the many available, there are two in particular that most of my colleagues have utilized.
- AOA Alliance with Lockton Affinity
- Optometric Protector Plan with Brown & Brown (Previously with Zurich North America)
Both provide great coverage and the highlights of each policy can be seen below. Click the name of the policy to get an in-depth listing of all policy features.
- Provides coverage encompassing your state's scope of practice
- Underwritten by carriers rated A+
- Up to $500 per day per claim is provided to replace income lost when your practice is suspended
- Defense costs paid in addition to policy limits
- Coverage for a substitute optometrist working in your practice in your absence is available at no additional charge
- Provides an instant quote
- New Graduate Discounts (50% first year of practice, 25% second year of practice)
- Underwritten by carriers rated A++
- Loss of earnings per day when contributing to defense
- Fully Portable
- New to practice credit and part time credit
- Quote is obtained by filling out a form and then an agent in your state will contact you with a quote
Malpractice insurance is a necessity to not only practice optometry, but practice to your full scope comfortably and confidently. There are many insurance carriers available, the key is to do your due diligence in searching for a carrier that meets your needs and expectations.
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