Protect Yourself Against Employee Lawsuits

Physician's Money Digest, August 2007, Volume 14, Issue 8

Physicians already have to worry about protecting themselves against potential lawsuits stemming from patients, but they also have to insure themselves against employee lawsuits. If you're a physician with a private practice, you should have employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) to protect you in such a circumstance. But according to a recent article in the Research Recommendations newsletter, the fine print in an EPLI policy can turn that lawsuit shield into a worthless piece of paper. The newsletter warns that "claims made" policies cover employees' claims that are made during the policy period, and "claims occurred" policies protect you against problems that occurred before the policy took effect, but haven’t surfaced yet. Unless you have both types of coverage, the bullet-proof shield you think you have could leave you exposed and vulnerable. So when shopping for EPLI policies, the newsletter recommends you ask yourself the following questions: Does the policy cover yet-to-befiled claims? Who specifically is covered? Which defense costs are covered (ie, attorney fees, specialists, etc)? Who determines if a case is settled? And never overlook the fine print.