“I have been practicing for years without incident and always act within my scope of practice. It won’t happen to me”
- The times have changed. The public & legal systems expect more from today’s healthcare professionals.
- A claim can have devastating financial implications, even if the claim is frivolous (which many are).
- Most MRTs faced with a claim never thought it would happen to them.
- You may not even remember the incident or think that it would result in a claim. Claims can be the result of your demeanour, a cultural misunderstanding, among other situations that you may not think would result in a claim.
- You just never know when a claim could happen, so protect yourself!
“I don’t need personal PLI because I’m covered by my employer’s policy.”
- A personal PLI policy is mobile and “follows” you wherever you work or volunteer in Canada.
- Most employer policies will only cover the settlement for damages for malpractice. They may not cover legal defense before a regulatory disciplinary committee or criminal defense costs.
- If you are fired from your job due to an incident, your employer’s coverage may no longer apply.
- If you give any advice or treatment outside of your employment, your employer’s policy will not cover you.
- Your employer’s insurance has a shared limit of liability for all employees. If a large number of employees are named in a claim, there may not be enough funds to ensure you are covered.
- Your employer’s insurance may be subject to a large deductible, greater than your total defense and settlement costs.
- If your employer is not jointly named in the claim, they may not be motivated to cover you.
- Self-insured health care facilities could exhaust their claims reserves.
- Smaller independently owned facilities often don’t carry PLI for their employees.
“I can get just as good PLI coverage elsewhere for less.”
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Individual MRTs may find PLI coverage elsewhere for less; however, they should take care to fully understand what coverage they need, what is being offered and what the potential or hidden limitations are on the policy. Many policies don’t cover legal expenses for a regulatory disciplinary committee hearing, and more than 50% of claims are to a regulator as they cost nothing for the claimant to file. Even if the claim is without merit, you will likely still require legal counsel to respond to the claim.