Almost all physicians maintain some form of medical professional liability insurance (MPLI), commonly known as “malpractice insurance.” For most physicians, this is a requirement for attaining privileges at hospitals and other facilities. Even physicians who practice exclusively within their own offices carry MPLI as a way to protect their practices and personal assets.

Unfortunately, the reality of the current litigation environment is that most physicians, over the course of their professional lifetimes, will need to use their insurance coverage. Because of the wide variety of policies and coverage combinations available, physicians (and sometimes their lawyers) often have difficulty understanding the complexities of their own policies.

Be it a personal policy, a group policy or a policy provided by one’s employer, it is the responsibility of the physician to read the actual policy and its accompanying documents, without which one cannot comply with its provisions. If provisions within the policy are...

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