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 5 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 5 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 5 best companies that we recommend:
- Berxi: Best discounts
- 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
Berxi: Best discounts
Physician Assistants save as much as 20% when they buy directly from Berxi. As part of Berkshire Hathaway, they have the financial stability they need to pay claims when it counts. You adjust your policy to different levels of coverage, and the online quote process is quick and easy.
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.
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.