The benefits of Medical Malpractice Insurance - Barnes Commercial Limited

The benefits of Medical Malpractice Insurance

The benefits of Medical Malpractice Insurance

If you are a medical professional, you are already aware of the importance of having insurance cover to protect yourself financially if a claim is made against you. When arranging your insurance there are typically two approaches you can take. The first approach, taken by many medical professionals, is to join a defence organisation such as the Medical Defence Union. These organisations will typically include discretionary cover within their annual membership fees. The alternative is to take out a Medical Malpractice Insurance policy directly from an insurance company or arrange it through a specialist broker.

There are some crucial differences you should be aware of before making your decision. We explain each type of cover and look at their pros and cons.

The benefits of Medical Malpractice Insurance

Discretionary Cover

As the name suggests, Discretionary Cover is offered at the discretion of the provider.  This means there is no contractual agreement in place to provide reassurance if a claim is made against you.

Discretionary cover is often included in the annual membership fee of major defence organisations, such as the Medical Defence Union or the Medical Protection Society.

A benefit of this type of cover is that it gives providers the flexibility to offer assistance when an alternative tightly worded insurance contract would prevent you from receiving compensation. However, as cover is discretionary and no contract of insurance exists between the medical professional and the provider, specific policy exclusions won’t be outlined to you in policy wording. Therefore it can be unclear what you are actually covered for.

And since there is no contract in place, there is no legal redress if a claim is declined. In addition, discretionary cover can be voided at any time, sometimes without reason. Your provider can even opt to decline your claim if they have had a poor year for claims and don’t have the funds to support it. Discretionary cover also rarely accommodates those with a poor claims history.

This is what makes discretionary cover a cheaper option to standard Medical Malpractice Insurance.

Medical Malpractice Insurance

Unlike discretionary cover, Medical Malpractice Insurance is a contractual indemnity meaning the terms of the contract will outline the conditions of the cover. For example, the maximum amount of cover provided, the details of situations that are covered, and any stipulations or exclusions will be stated in the policy wording. It is also possible to secure Medical Malpractice Insurance even with poor claims history.

One of the benefits of Medical Malpractice Insurance is that the policies are bespoke to an individual or a company, due to the detailed quotation process you and your broker or insurance provider go through to understand exactly what cover you need. This can help to provide peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you will be financially protected.

Medical Malpractice Insurance is a legally binding contract. If your business experiences a loss and you need to make a claim, unless that event is excluded from your policy or certain policy conditions are not met, the claim will be settled .

Contractual cover is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which requires insurers to treat all policyholders fairly, and to hold adequate financial reserves to meet claims. This means that even if your insurance provider has had a poor year for claims, the funds will still be available to support your claim.

We’re here to help

Robust Medical Malpractice Insurance will protect you against financial losses that may occur as a result of a claim made against you. It will also cover legal fees, costs associated with defending the claim and any compensation that may be payable.

We can arrange Medical Malpractice Cover for medical practitioners, surgeons, dentists, and GPs, even if you have a claims history. We have partnered with a carefully selected panel of A rated insurers, to allow us to offer insurance solutions that will provide complete peace of mind.

As an independent commercial insurance broker, we provide impartial advice so you can be confident that the medical malpractice cover we recommend will meet your needs.

To speak to an expert adviser, please call 01480 272727, or send an email to

George Wilkinson

Authored by: George Wilkinson

Business Development Executive

27th April 2023

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