I thought I had seen this subject posted before but my searched yielded no results.

I am looking for your thoughts about having your own professional liability or malpractice insurance.  I spoke to my insurance broker on the phone today and it sounded like he thought I might have two heads.

As for my situation, I work mostly as a Paramedic/Firefighter for a small, rural combination fire department.  I am also in charge of our EMS program including readiness and training.  Outside of my full time job I am a part time federal employee as part of a Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT).

My thoughts are that it would be a good idea to have my own insurance.  I would hate to be named in a lawsuit and have my employer hang me out to dry.  Not to mention any cases that might involve former employers.

Anyway, I am not sure what the best way to go is and thought I would solicite wisdome from some of you!

Tags: Insurance, Liability, Malpractice

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Tim, I think I have seen this subject on here too but it's been a long time ago. I can understand your point of view and it would probably be a wise idea for that very reason BUT, insurance premiums for that type of insurance are VERY high (ask any doctor) and frankly I don't know anybody in EMS who could afford such a policy. Most of us are barely making ends meet now as little as we are paid. If there were an affordable policy in which a group of us might be covered for a low rate per person then you might be on to something good there that would benefit ALL of EMS. It would sure be worth researching.
I had not considered the expense very much. This company quotes me $160 a year. That doesn't seem very expensive to me but maybe its not very good insurance.
I got a policy through NAEMT for $160/year. They cover legal fees too.

The argument against professional liability insurance is that it makes you more of a target for litigation. Most EMS providers don't have enought money to be worth suing, but they would with insurance.

David Givot's Legal Guardian column has something about this on EMS1.com.
The last time I checked, EMTs and paramedics could get a professional liability (malpractice) insurance through NAEMT's member benefit program for around $200. I believe that it was underwritten by Howard Handler's "American Agency." NAEMT's web site indicates that the benefit is offered, but I couldn't find a price. http://www.naemt.org/become_a_member/member_benefits.aspx

HSPO also lists EMTs and paramedics as covered professions. Don't know what they cost - check out http://www.hpso.com/professional-liability-insurance/professions-co....

You might also ask your homeowners insurance agent about some sort of umbrella personal business rider. You might want some coverage for your "administrative" duties as well. You might be surprised at what is available for a reasonable price. Lots of EMTs and medics seem to be able to get the insurance they need for that new motorcycle - why not for a little extra malpractice protection?

Good luck.
Here is the link. It is a good, short read.

http://www.ems1.com/ems-advocacy/articles/733288-Provider-Insurance...

Robert Sullivan said:
David Givot's Legal Guardian column has something about this on EMS1.com.
Just my opinion, that is a lame and bogus argument. MOST malpractice suits are decided in favor of the professional. The problem is that you go bankrupt while winning the lawsuit - your lawyers fees, expert witnesses, etc. wind up bankrupting you.

The real benefit of insurance is that it buys you a law firm for your defense. Or to pay a settlement if you "need" to avoid a trial.

PS David Givot's article is a good one. Everyone should read it.

Robert Sullivan said:
I got a policy through NAEMT for $160/year. They cover legal fees too.

The argument against professional liability insurance is that it makes you more of a target for litigation. Most EMS providers don't have enought money to be worth suing, but they would with insurance.

David Givot's Legal Guardian column has something about this on EMS1.com.
This is an interesting abstract of a survey someone did about paramedics having malpractice insurance.
Attachments:
I just got the paperwork for the insurance offered through NAEMT. It is offered through HPSO and is $169/yr for a full time paramedic. They also offer coverage for teaching also I think it was an extra $25. I am going to purchase the policy, if for nothing more than piece of mind.
Earl - could you post the link where you found the information? I spent a bit of time clicking around the NAEMT web site and couldn't find it.

Thanks.
Here is a link to a blog post that would seem to argue the case for insurance.

http://theemtspot.com/2010/03/06/safe-at-home/

http://www.hpso.com/ is the insurance endorsed by NAEMT.  As an EMT-B it is $160, for a Paramedic it would be $177.75.  This is for Pennsylvania, full time, over one year out of school, no professional organization membership.  For those who teach, you would have to call the 800 number they list.

 

Here's a column from that other magazine about what can happen while driving. 

http://www.emsworld.com/article/10711901/risky-business

I have the NAEMT endorsed policy too, but it only covers clinical care.  Besides staying away from Alabama, any ideas on how to get protection for something like this?

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