Medical Malpractice

Your Medical Malpractice Insurance Options

Helping medical professionals stay protected with a customized medical malpractice insurance plan.

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Medical Malpractice Insurance

Heffernan Insurance Brokers stands apart from other healthcare liability insurance brokers by going beyond the expected to provide services that help solo practices and even large groups be more efficient and effective.

Heffernan offers affordable customized medical malpractice insurance policies that help keep the moving parts of a practice running smoothly. We only work with the best carriers, and we’re free to recommend the plan and options that are best for our clients, without any hidden agendas. The depth of our experience enables us to help clients in all aspects of the business of healthcare.

We Help With Operations

One of our unique strengths is our group management expertise. Heffernan acts as a back office operations for healthcare groups keeping operations running smoothly by helping with onboarding, processes, technology, project management, reporting and more. We also help solve problems and anticipate any issues that may arise so you can focus on patient care.

Providing Solutions for all Levels

No two healthcare groups are exactly the same. Heffernan has hands-on, real-world experience working with solo practices and large groups – and everything in between. Our role can change from being a partner to the physician to being an added resource for a practice manager.

We Are Growth Partners

At Heffernan, med-mal insurance is just the beginning of what we offer. Our holistic approach includes a long list of services with the goal of helping you grow and meet your needs as much as possible. We look at your practice as a whole and review all your needs – then help create an overall effective solution.

What is Medical Malpractice (med mal) Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance, also known as med mal, is a professional liability insurance policy protecting you as a healthcare professional if someone makes a claim stating you failed to give proper medical care or made a mistake causing injury or harm.

It protects healthcare professionals like physicians, nurses, dentists, opticians, physical therapists, or anyone else who is a service provider in healthcare or wellness. This protection is essential for preventing expensive lawsuits resulting in the loss of a practice or medical office as well as protecting from the loss of personal assets.

In a situation where an allegation of negligence or a lawsuit has been brought up, medical malpractice insurance covers all the related expenses like defense attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments that may occur.

Who Needs Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance is for healthcare, wellness, and fitness professionals.

Some of the most common specialists who need medical malpractice insurance are:

  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Medi-Spas
  • Non-Standard Risk Physicians & Professionals (more information below)
  • Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Optometrists
  • Outpatient Surgery Center & Ambulatory Surgery Centers/Surgicenters
  • Personal Trainers
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physician Assistants
  • Physicians
  • Radiation Therapy Centers
  • Radiology & Imaging Centers
  • Registered Nurses
  • Specialty Clinics, such as Sleep Centers & Rehabilitation Centers
  • Urgent Care Centers
  • Yoga Instructors
  • And Many More

The three broad categories of medical professionals needing medical malpractice insurance are Physicians, Healthcare facilities, and Ancillary Healthcare Providers:


Physicians, Dentists, Chiropractors, Podiatrists, Medical Directors, Allergists, Occupational Medicine Physicians, Psychiatrists, Dermatologists, Pediatricians, Neurologists, Neonatal Specialists, Family Medicine Physicians, Plastic Surgeons, Hand Surgeons, Bariatric Surgeons, and Trauma Surgeons to name a few.

Healthcare Facilities:

ER Hospitals, Urgent Care Centers, Surgery Centers, Imaging Centers, Medi-Spas, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Birth Centers, Blood Banks, Dialysis Centers, Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care Facilities, Rehabilitation Centers, Telehealth Centers, and Community Health Clinics are a number of examples.

Ancillary Healthcare Providers:

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Medical Technicians, Blood Bank associates, Cardiology Technicians, Laboratory Technicians, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s), Medical Assistants, Chiropractors, and many more medical professionals who provide some form of care or service to another person.

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Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage for Non-Standard Risk Medical Professionals

Physicians or other medical professionals that are considered non-standard risks, can be difficult to create a risk profile for compared to more standard risk professionals. Some health care providers can find themselves in extreme situations like previous malpractice claims, board actions, substance abuse, licensing issues, criminal pasts, or practicing in more risky situations like clinical trials or even laser tattoo removal.

If you consider yourself a non-standard risk medical professional, we can also provide you with a customized med mal policy. Some insurance providers will refuse to work with you, but we will do our best to implement a plan that’s affordable, effective, and protects you and your patients or clients. Whether you are looking to overcome a professional issue like licensure, board, or claims, or you’re looking for insurance for a unique type of procedure or practice–we have a number of non-standard malpractice options ready for you.

What Happens if You Don’t Have Medical Malpractice Insurance?

If you practice medicine without malpractice insurance, you will find yourself personally responsible for paying for any settlements or judgements resulting from a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some states, medical malpractice insurance is not required, but in others it may be required to practice medicine.

The following states do not require medical malpractice insurance to practice medicine: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

However, even if you practice medicine in a state that does not require medical malpractice, we strongly recommend medical malpractice insurance for medical professionals.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 1 out of 14 doctors face a medical malpractice lawsuit every year.

You don’t want to be stuck paying for a large medical malpractice lawsuit when you have the opportunity to protect yourself.

What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cover?

Medical malpractice insurance is able to cover the costs of a lawsuit that a medical professional faces from allegations of errors, omissions, and acts resulting in some form of harm to a person. However, it’s important to know medical malpractice insurance does not cover intentional or criminal acts.

Some of the common forms of medical practice lawsuits result from:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Childbirth injuries
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Hospital infections
  • And more.

In a situation where a medical malpractice lawsuit occurs, Heffernan Insurance Brokers can offer risk management services through other trusted carriers. There are other services, like management education, that can be added to an insurance policy depending on the particular needs of the healthcare professional.

How Much Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost?

The cost will vary depending on a number of factors. The most common factors affecting the price of a medical malpractice insurance policy are:

  • Medical specialty and/or services provided
  • Claims history and currently open claims
  • How often you work
  • County and state
  • Revenue and patient visits

What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Include?

A med mal insurance policy can include a number of things depending on your type of medical profession, and your particular situation. A policy can include the following:

  • Good samaritan coverage
  • Medical malpractice lawsuit expense coverage
  • Defense counsel
  • Information privacy coverage (HIPAA)
  • Defendant expense benefit/deposition representation
  • Reputation coverage
  • License protection
  • Defendant expense benefit/deposition representation
  • Reputation coverage

“Heffernan Insurance Brokers continues to supply our group with cutting edge products at competitive premiums”
– (Group Practice Manager)

What Types of Medical Malpractice Insurance are Available?


In a claims-made policy, an insurer only provides coverage for claims resulting from services provided while the insurance policy is in effect. Claims-made policies usually start with a lower premium and increase over 5 years. One of the downsides of a claims-made policy is that coverage will only apply if treatment occurred after the policy’s retroactive date and within the policy period. And another large detractor for this particular form of coverage is the necessity to have “tail” coverage to protect you after another policy is terminated and you are transitioning to another carrier or stop practicing. So if a claim is made against you and you have a cancelled Claims-made policy, you have no coverage unless you have tail coverage added on.

Claims-made coverage may appear to be “cheaper” than other forms of medical malpractice insurance, but it actually can be more expensive and not actually protect you when you are at your most vulnerable. Tail coverage is very expensive depending on the state you practice within. In most cases it’s around 140%-220% higher than an average premium cost. A common med mal policy recommendation that provides terrific coverage, is affordable, and doesn’t require tail coverage, is Occurrence medical malpractice coverage.

Tail Coverage

(also known as Extended Reporting Period)

Tail coverage, or extended reporting period, provides coverage for medical professionals who cancel a claims-made policy. Free tail coverage can be provided by some insurance carriers due to death, disability or retirement as long as requirements are met. Unfortunately most Tail coverage policies also require payment in full within 30-60 days of a policy cancellation.

So if you have a medical malpractice insurance policy with Claims-made, you are more likely than not going to need to have Tail coverage as well to fully protect yourself. And rather than choosing a medical malpractice policy requiring 2 forms of coverage, why not go with Occurrence coverage allowing you to be fully protected at a reduced cost? Occurrence policies do not require Tail coverage.


Occurrence policy provides protection for a claim brought from a service provided during the term of the policy even after a policy has been terminated or lapsed. This policy can allow you to gain flexibility for things like relocation, a sabbatical, or even parental leave. It can also help you simplify the negotiation process when you decide to sell your practice or medical facility. And there are limits that don’t expire at the end of the policy year compared to other policies. If you want to reduce unfunded liability on the corporate balance sheet then occurrence is also the policy you’re most likely looking for. You can learn more about the benefits of the occurrence policy here.

Occurrence is definitely a better policy to go with in our recommendation compared to claims-made coverage, because claims-made only provides coverage during the current policy year. Occurrence coverage actually has a separate set of limits each year to protect you when there are allegations of errors occurring during a policy period. And this is regardless of when a claim is made against you. We can offer an easy transition to convert to occurrence if you’d like to do that. We have a custom convert to occurrence calculator to give you an idea of the premium you’ll be paying when you make the switch.

Why Choose Heffernan for Your Med Mal Insurance?

Heffernan Insurance Brokers has been a trusted leader in medical malpractice insurance for over 50 years. Heffernan maintains its leadership in the industry by being members of reputable organizations like Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS), AmSpa, and others.

What Do You Need to Obtain a Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy?

Choosing a medical malpractice insurance policy is not something you want to rush into choosing. That’s why our trusted med mal insurance practice leader is ready to assist you in helping you prepare all of the necessary information and documents you’ll need to protect yourself from a medical malpractice lawsuit. We have prepared a list of things you’ll need in order to get you started on your search for an ideal medical malpractice insurance policy.

The list of things needed are:

  • A physician needs to have a copy of their Declarations page, which is usually the first page of a policy, and it gives information about the most recent insurance policy.
  • A medical professional needs to have a claims loss for the previous 10 years of practicing medicine. This can be retrieved from a previous insurance agency.
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV), and a copy of letterhead.
  • If applying for a corporation or other individuals, some additional materials may be required.
  • A completed insurance policy application form including coverage history, physician education, specialty/types of procedures performed, practice information, and previous claims history.
  • Depending on the particular situation, there may be other questions and requirements needed to customize a med mal insurance policy.

If you are ready to work with a trusted leader in the medical malpractice insurance space, then let’s get connected so we can learn how we can protect your integrity in the healthcare industry.

Account Executive

Rhonda Yount

D: 925.295.2598
[email protected]

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