Professional medical indemnity insurance is essential for Orthopaedic surgeons to protect themselves from claims arising from medical negligence or malpractice. However, it is equally important for surgeons to choose the right insurance provider and policy. Shopping around for insurance may seem like a good idea to get the best deal, as you would with your home or car insurance, but it could be detrimental in the long run.

Medical indemnity insurance is a complex and sensitive issue, and surgeons need to ensure they have the right policy must meet their unique requirements. Not all insurance providers are the same, and every policy is different, so it is crucial to review all aspects of the cover you are considering. Your OTSIS broker does exactly this, allowing you to choose wisely.

Moving to the wrong provider or policy can leave you exposed to significant legal and financial risk. You may find yourself under-insured or facing costly legal disputes due to a loophole or inadequate coverage in your policy. Inadvertently providing different information to insurers can also get you in to hot water, which can result in severe legal consequences. An example of this landed on my desk recently, whereby a surgeon moved away for one year because of a cheaper premium. During that year had what insurers classed as a complaint and then moved back, but the surgeon didn’t advise anyone of the complaint. Previous insurer doesn’t want to know about it, as it was a long time after moving and the current says the surgeon should have told them about it in the proposal form. Both are right and are an example of not talking with your broker and assuming that a patient wouldn’t progress their dissatisfaction further.

Having trust in your broker to present an accurate picture to you of the pro’s and con’s of switching policies is vital. Cold calling sales techniques are as you would expect, there to drive high sales figures. Who’s best interest is being considered here? The number of times I have held my head in my hands after hearing so called ‘advice’ from I what I can only class as a call centre broker, is concerning to me and for the whole insurance industry.

A long-term relationship with an insurance provider can bring benefits, such as better coverage, lower premiums, greater flexibility and a more individual service. Surgeons can also benefit from the provider’s experience in handling claims, which can help protect them from a successful lawsuit.

In conclusion, surgeons should discuss any issues they have with the OTSIS broker to avoid the need for shopping around and falling foul of the pitfalls outlined previously. Choosing the right insurance provider and policy is crucial to protect against costly legal disputes and under-insurance. Surgeons must be transparent and truthful with their insurer to ensure they are getting the best possible coverage and service available to them.