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How long do I have to keep paying for malpractice tail coverage?

Home Asset Protection How long do I have to keep paying for malpractice tail coverage?

  • Avatar Myrtiform1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 05/07/2019

    I practiced Gynecology and office aesthetics until May of 2010.

    Since then I work as an employee for a hospital.

    I have been paying malpractice tail coverage since closing office as sole proprietor and this is making it nine years out. As there was no OB in this practice , how much longer do I have to keep paying for a tail? Is there a statute of limitations for possible malpractice claims to be made against me?

    Or is this a thing that I have to keep on providing until I retire from medicine.

    Any resources I can use to study this issue if you dont have a good answer?

     

    Thanks

     

    #212951 Reply
    Avatar DCdoc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 410
    Joined: 06/14/2016

    What is your state statute of limitations?

    #212957 Reply
    IntensiveCareBear IntensiveCareBear 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 137
    Joined: 12/22/2018

    Probably well worth the $400-500 or so for an hour of med mal attorney time to discuss this issue (decent specialist attorneys don’t do free consults).

    I would guess that you’ve been flushing your tail coverage money down the toilet for years now (as well as any money you’ve been spending storing that office’s medical records), but that’s just my guess… it varies by state. Ask an expert who is barred in that state and preferably even local to that former practice.

    Regardless of the outcome, just remember that there are always many more people wasting even more money on insurance than you did. GL

    #212958 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    You have been paying a tail or simply kept up the old policy? Paying a tail should be a known up front sum, which can be spread out and I’ve heard of some that are time limited, but this seems out of the ordinary.

    This sounds like you simply kept the old policy on board as a tail.

    #212966 Reply
    hatton1 hatton1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2919
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    Yes a tail is usually a lump sum I believe.  My carrier does not require you buy one if you had 10 years of continuous coverage and are retiring.  If you change jobs and keep the same carrier as I have done a couple times there is no tail.  I changed jobs last summer so I paid close attention to this issue.

    #212967 Reply
    Liked by Tim, jz, Zaphod
    q-school q-school 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2338
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    my state would be 7 years and they insisted i pay the whole thing up front.

    ymmv

     

    #212969 Reply
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 748
    Joined: 02/06/2016

    I have seen tail coverage paid as a lump sum, and another time with 10 monthly payments. This was for tail coverage for any future claims.

    It is not clear, are you simply paying to keep the old policy active for new claims made as you go?

    In my state, the statute of limitations is 2 years, but that is from the time of discovery, so a bit undefined, but not much more than 2 years.  For peds, the statute is theoretically aging up to 18 years old plus 2 more years, so in theory you would have to pay for a permanent tail or for at least 20 years of coverage.  However, this is more theoretical.  In my state, 4 years of coverage would be more than enough for >99% of the potential exposure.

    I have also seen a policy kept active for 2 years post practice and then dropped, as this was less costly than the tail.

    Final question, have you spoken to your insurance broker, or have you requested quotes from other brokers?  This is their line of business and they will educate you at no cost as you shop through them for better options.

    #212982 Reply
    eyecandy eyecandy 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 20
    Joined: 10/01/2018

    When I bought a tail in 2016 I called my medmal insurance, they quoted a 4 figure $ paid as a lump sum. This covered the full statute of limitations (4 year I think in CA).

    My initial thought was that with OB/GYN you’d need to be covered for pediatric statute – 18yrs. But with no OB then you should be more than covered by now! Agree sounds more like you continued the old policy and didn’t pay for a tail. Who knows, but call your insurance broker tomorrow AM!

    #213076 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod, hatton1
    hatton1 hatton1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2919
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    OB tails are very expensive.  GYN would be less.

    #213085 Reply
    Avatar Myrtiform1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 05/07/2019
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    This is my policy that I have been renewing since May 2010. No Ob. Just gyn and aesthetics. CA practice.
    So is there a statute of limitations?
    I have not had lawyers after me since closing so I believe there has been no medicolegal litigation pending .
    Do I need to continue with coverage? Do I need a tail?
    Would CA medical society know these answers?

    #214373 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5647
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    In CA the statute of limitations is one year, but in reality its about 13-15 months. Some specialties have different specifics (peds, etc…).

    You should have bought a tail immediately after, it would have been much much cheaper.

    Talk to your malpractice carrier. Only you can decide if you really need a tail, likelihood at this point seems very low, but that doesnt really make me feel good enough to sleep at night.

    #214385 Reply

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