You’ve worked hard to graduate and become a Physician’s Assistant. Naturally, you’ll want to protect yourself from mistakes and malpractice claims, which seem to multiply every year. What companies are worth getting a quote from? Who are the best providers of malpractice insurance?
- The 6 Best Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Physician Assistants
- What is Malpractice Insurance for Physician Assistants?
- How Much Does Physician Assistant Malpractice Insurance Cost?
- Claims-Made vs. Occurrence: What’s the Difference?
The 6 Best Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Physician Assistants
We gathered some quotes and crunched numbers to come up with these recommendations. We said we were a full-time physician assistant working in Delaware, and not a recent graduate. If we were asked, we said we wanted occurrence coverage. Below are the 6 best companies that we recommend:
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- Simply Business: Best for finding low-cost coverage
- HPSO (Healthcare Providers Service Organization): Best for a stellar reputation in the industry
- CM&F: Best thanks to the endorsements of American Academy of Physician Assistants
- Proliability:Best and cheapest premiums
- BaxterPro: Best option if you need financing
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
CoverWallet is a digital broker, specializing in business insurance. They work with several leading business insurance companies and are able to provide quotes from their partner companies. As soon as you provide your information on their quote form, which only takes a few minutes, you will have several quotes to compare and select the best (and the cheapest) one for you. If you want to get the cheapest malpractice insurance policy and don’t spend a lot of time researching several companies, working with CoverWallet can be a great option.
After buying a policy through CoverWallet, you can use their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policy 100% digitally from downloading the certificate of insurance to filing a claim and renewing your policy.
Simply Business: Best for finding low-cost coverage
Simply Business is a broker specializing in small business insurance. They work with many carriers with a focus to help you find low-cost coverage that your business may need, including medical malpractice insurance. They vet the carriers that they work with carefully to ensure that all of them have excellent financial ratings. They select the carriers that can offer low-cost coverage even if these carriers may not be well-known and small businesses may not have access to them otherwise.
- Easy to get and compare several quotes online
- Able to get quotes from A-rated carriers which you may not be aware of and offer low cost
- Knowledgeable agents that are available to help you along the process
- If you prefer a particular carrier that Simply Business doesn’t work with, you may need to look elsewhere
- Have to file a claim directly with the carriers
HPSO (Healthcare Providers Service Organization): Best for a stellar reputation in the industry
HPSO or Healthcare Providers Service Organization insures only healthcare professions. Our prepared quote is for $1 million per occurrence with a $5 million aggregate. You’ll have portable coverage that goes wherever you do, and it covers you 24/7.
Although we were able to get online quotes for other healthcare professions, we were advised to print an application and mail it in for physician assistant insurance—we tried a number of states, and it happened every time. In spite of this, HPSO has glowing reviews and is still worth a look.
CM&F: Best thanks to the endorsements of American Academy of Physician Assistants
CM&F is the only physician assistant policy endorsed by the American Academy of Physician Assistants. They’re a family-owned business that’s been around since 1919. You can get a 10% discount if you complete at least one online legal medicine activity. Our quote was for $1 million/$6 million.
Proliability: Best and cheapest premiums
Proliability offers liability insurance for many healthcare professions. They have the easiest online quoting and purchasing of malpractice insurance that we’ve seen—get a quote, click buy and you’re all set. If you’re a member of a professional organization or a student you’ll get a discount. They have an excellent reputation and over 10,000 positive reviews on TrustPilot. Unlike some other quotes, this quote covers $1 million per incident but only a $3 million aggregate.
BaxterPro – Best option if you need financing
BaxterPro works with over 50 different specialties and promises to get a quote for you the same day. It’s not almost instantaneous, though, like a few of our other recommendations. However, they claim they have low premiums and they are no deductibles. They also include free tail coverage and easy financing with 20% down.
What is Malpractice Insurance for Physician Assistants?
Physician Assistants get sued for malpractice less often than doctors do, but they do get sued. The most common reasons PA’s get sued are:
- Treatment errors
- Medication errors
- Surgical errors
You probably will have some malpractice insurance through your employer—the question is, is it enough? You should be aware that your employer is protecting themselves, not you, and if they were to be sued, it’s entirely possible they would blame you for mistakes. If you have your own malpractice insurance, you’ll be provided with a lawyer who will represent you and only you if you get sued.
As a PA, you could make a mistake that is not the supervising physician’s fault. This can happen if the supervising physician gives you the correct advice, but you fail to carry it out or misinterpret it. And of course, you don’t have to be guilty of anything to be sued in America. Even if the lawsuit is dismissed, that’s a lot of legal fees and court costs.
How Much Does Physician Assistant Malpractice Insurance Cost?
Rates vary but expect to pay between $2,000 and $6,000 a year. When you compare policies, make sure you consider how much coverage you get—most common is $1 million per occurrence/$3 million annually, but policies can vary.
Below is the comparison table of 3 providers. CM&F doesn’t offer $1M/3M coverage option, we have to go with a higher coverage, which results in a higher premium. Proliability offers the cheapest annual premiums of $2,158. In general, you can expect to pay around $2,000 – $4,000 for annual coverage. Be sure to shop around to get the best price.
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Physician assistant malpractice insurance costs from $2,000 to $4,000 a year. It is not cheap. However, be glad you’re not a doctor: they pay up to $50,000 a year in malpractice insurance.
As you can see, different insurance companies offer different quotes. And your quotes from these companies will be different. Make sure to shop around with a few companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet or PolicySweet to compare several quotes to choose the cheapest one for you.
Claims-Made vs. Occurrence: What’s the Difference?
Claims-made coverage protects you from any lawsuit filed while the policy was in effect. Once the policy expires, you are no longer covered. Occurrence based coverage protects you for any claims that occur during the policy period, regardless of when the lawsuit is filed.
This is a bit confusing, so let’s consider an example. Sandy works as a PA and has malpractice insurance from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2019. She sees a patient, Mary, in September of 2018. Mary decides she is unhappy and believes she suffered harm due to Sandy’s treatment and decides to sue. She files in March of 2019. If Sandy had claims made insurance, she would not be covered because the policy had expired by the time Mary filed her lawsuit. If, on the other hand, she had an occurrence policy, she would be covered because the policy was in effect when the incident occurred.
You could get tail coverage, which applies to acts that occurred when your policy was in force but the claimant didn’t file suit until after the policy ended. Nose coverage is address incidents that occur before your new policy’s start date. They’re kind of like riders in case you’re in between insurance policies.
Mistakes can be made, whether due to simple human error or something else. It may or may not surprise you to learn that a good bedside manner is more effective at reducing malpractice claims than ordering extra tests or procedures. Take the time to treat patients with respect, explain things thoroughly, and don’t rush patients through appointments. It can go a long way towards making you a physician assistant that patients trust and want to see.