Understanding Malpractice Insurance for Locum Tenens

Whether you’re working as a locum tenens provider or in permanent practice, having malpractice insurance coverage is essential for all doctors. As a locum tenens provider, malpractice insurance may be confusing. You may not know how locum tenens malpractice insurance works or what you should know about coverage options. But studies show that if you’re in practice for five years or more, it’s highly likely that you’ll be named at least once in some kind of medical liability action. Malpractice insurance will protect locum tenens providers from the financial impact of any legal action arising from any adverse events.

The good news is that it’s possible for you to fully enjoy the many advantages of the locum tenens lifestyle while limiting the risk of any career-limiting events. A significant advantage of working with a locum tenens staffing agency like TinkBird is that your malpractice insurance is provided through the full length of your assignment. Still, we always want our physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners considering locum tenens work to understand the basic concepts of malpractice insurance. Facilities hiring locum tenens providers should also understand the critical elements of malpractice insurance for these employees.

Below are a few facts you may not know about malpractice insurance for locum tenens providers.

Types of policies

When it comes to malpractice insurance for locum tenens providers, there are two main types to consider.

Claims-made policy

A claims-made policy will cover a physician for incidents that occur during the time the policy is in force. Be sure that your company has prior acts coverage, ensuring a tail is included in the policy. The tail is essentially extended coverage for a period of time to ensure enough coverage in the event of termination, retirement, disability or death. 

Occurrence policy

Occurrence policies cover you for claims that are reported during the time you were covered under the policy, regardless of when those incidents become a claim. With an occurrence policy, the coverage limit stays the same throughout the duration of the policy. It is your job to be sure this amount is adequate before signing a contract.

In-state coverage

As a locum tenens provider, you should always ensure that the malpractice insurance provider offers coverage in the state where you are assigned to work. This may seem obvious, but better safe than sorry!

Physician advocates

If a claim is filed, the locum tenens staffing agency will act as the liaison between the malpractice insurance provider and the physician. They will serve as the physician’s advocate by facilitating communication between all parties.

As many of the point above express, it’s in the provider’s best interest to use a well-qualified locum tenens staffing agency to help them navigate the insurance process. TinkBird offers experienced locum tenens staffing and provides a claims-made malpractice coverage to all our locum tenens providers. If you’re an existing locum tenens provider or you’d like to explore your locum tenens options for the first time, see our open positions or reach out to a healthcare recruiter at TinkBird.

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