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What is Malpractice Insurance?

Professionals who earn their living through a learned expertise are expected to apply their skill and knowledge correctly when hired. If they make an error, the affected party may seek compensation for any injury, damage or loss incurred. Malpractice insurance helps professionals in Massachusetts safeguard themselves from covered liability lawsuits that clients may file if an error is made.

Malpractice insurance is a specialized type of liability insurance that’s uniquely designed for professionals. Most policies will cover legal fees, settlements and judgements associated with valid claims regardless of whether a professional is at fault.  

What Professionals in Massachusetts Need a Malpractice Liability Insurance Policy?

Most professionals who work in Massachusetts can benefit from having a malpractice liability insurance policy. The list of people who might need or want coverage includes:

     • Medical providers (i.e. doctors, chiropractors, physician’s assistants, nurses, etc.)
     • Cosmetology professionals (i.e. estheticians, hair stylists, etc.)
     • Tradespeople (i.e. general contractors, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc.)
     • Engineers and architects
     • Certified public accountants

Is Malpractice Liability Insurance Expensive?

How much malpractice liability insurance costs depends on many factors, of which a professional’s vocation is normally one of the biggest. Other items that insurers may consider when setting rates are where a practice is located, whether the insured professional works full- or part-time, and a policy’s limits and deductible.

For the vast majority of professionals, getting a malpractice liability policy is a wise investment. Even when coverage isn’t inexpensive, it’s usually still more affordable than potentially facing an expensive claim without protection in place.

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Do Professionals Have Malpractice Liability Insurance From Their Employers?

Many businesses that employ professionals like those listed above carry liability insurance that extends to employees. Before relying on this policy for malpractice liability coverage, however, professionals who work for employers should carefully review exactly what protections their employer’s policy offers.

First, professionals should confirm that their employer does have a policy and that the policy affords good protection. Not all businesses carry liability policies for employees, and those that do sometimes get only basic policies.

Second, professionals also need to know exactly what activities are covered by any policy that their employer has. In many cases, employers policies only extend to work-related activities. They often won’t cover side gigs or volunteer work.

Any insurance agent who specializes in this form of coverage can help professionals determine what protections their employer’s policy might offer (if their employer has one).

What’s the Difference Between Occurrence, Modified Occurrence and Claims-Made Policies?

Malpractice liability policies may be underwritten as occurrence, modified occurrence or claims-made policies. The difference lies in what claims a policy covers:

     • Occurrence policies usually cover claims that are reported within the reporting period, which is often extended beyond the policy’s effective period
     • Modified occurrence policies usually cover claims that are reported within the reporting period, and unlimited tail coverage that extends the reporting period            indefinitely is often available
     • Claims-made policies usually only cover claims that are submitted during the policy’s effective period

Of the three, modified occurrence policies tend to offer the most generous protection and claims-made policies typically have the most limited coverage.

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How Can Massachusetts Professionals Get Malpractice Insurance?

Selecting a malpractice insurance policy should be done with careful consideration of a policy’s terms, conditions and coverages. For help finding a policy that has the coverages you need, contact the experienced insurance agents at John P. Russell Insurance. Our team has helped many Massachusetts professionals find the liability protection they need, and we’d be happy to assist you.

What Our Clients Say

"Thank goodness I have an agent who will go the extra mile for a client. I deeply appreciate it!"

Andrea, Stoughton, MA

"John, you and your office have done a great job for us and I really appreciate it. You guys are very professional and considerate. That goes a long way with me".

Karen, Medfield, MA

"Your staff did an exceptional job helping me with a recent claim. They took care of everything in a professional and prompt manner. They were very nice, extremely helpful, and took the burden off of me. Their help was greatly appreciated".

Lori, Quincy, MA

"Thank goodness I have an agent who will go the extra mile for a client. I deeply appreciate it!"

Peter, Brockton, MA


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