Just as the cultural and scenic landscape of America shifts as one crosses state lines, so too does the state of medical malpractice insurance. Today we examine Indiana, and see what kinds of coverage a doctor needs in the Hoosier state as it relates to medical malpractice insurance. While it is important for a doctor to familiarize himself with the distinctions of medical malpractice laws that differ between states, in this article, we will consider two rather broad circumstances that make the overall climate of practicing medicine in Indiana an affordable endeavor as it pertains to insurance premiums: Indiana’s “soft” market for insurance providers, and the state’s Patient Compensation Fund.
The most important thing for a physician to note is that Indiana is currently in a “soft” market for medical malpractice insurance carriers. This is fantastic news for doctors as it means fierce competition among medical malpractice insurance companies, each of which (including DDI) is striving to provide their clients with the best possible prices. A doctor looking to renew his existing medical malpractice insurance policy or start a new one in Indiana is in a great position to shop around for the lowest possible premiums.
By creating the Patient Compensation Fund and setting caps on monetary damages, the state looks to be safeguarding the interests of both doctors and their patients.
The second most important thing to talk about is the Patient Compensation Fund, but before we get into that, we need to get a couple specifics out of the way. For one, Indiana medical law does not require its health-care providers to have their own commercial insurance. However, physicians who don’t have their own private commercial insurance will be unable to find work at hospitals and will have a harder time retaining patients because the various health insurance reimbursement companies require that a provider have medical malpractice insurance. A doctor that is bare is always at risk of potential litigation. And, most importantly for the intents and purposes of this article, a doctor must purchase commercial medical malpractice insurance, such as a policy from DDI, in order to enroll into the state’s Patient Compensation Fund. Now, a physician who is covered by their own insurance policy AND enrolled in the PCF is, at most, responsible for $250,000 per act of medical malpractice, and $750,000 in annual aggregate. The state’s Patient Compensation Fund (PCF) pays any excess, not to exceed $1,000,000 out of the state’s pocket, for a total of $1,250,000 per act of medical malpractice. This cap extends to both economic (concrete financial costs) and non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering). While these numbers may sound high, the fact that there is a $1.25 million cap actually keeps insurance premiums lower in Indiana than in many other states which do not have caps on damages of any kind. In addition, physicians pay lower premiums in Indiana due to the fact that their own exposure for allegations of medical malpractice cannot ever exceed $250,000 dollars per claim.
By creating the Patient Compensation Fund and setting caps on monetary damages, the state looks to be safeguarding the interests of both doctors and their patients. Combine that fact with the “soft” market in the fiercely competitive medical malpractice insurance industry, and you have a climate which is particularly friendly to physicians already practicing in Indiana, as well as new doctors looking to establish themselves. Get a no-hassle, free quote from the only medical malpractice insurance company run “by physicians, for physicians” and see what we can do for you.