Medico-legal cases are common in the Indian medical community. Studies show that there has been a 110% rise in such incidents between 2015 and 2016. Majority of these cases (approximately 90%) were reported against healthcare providers like hospitals and nursing homes. 60% to 66% of the incidents were filed for incidents where the organisation performed a certain medical procedure without proper consent of the patient.
Reports show that only 10% to 15% of such cases were genuine incidents of error or negligence, whereas 30% cases were lodged because a patient’s recovery did not meet the expectation, and 20% cases were filed because the patient did not understand the technical details of a case or excessive anxiety.
Medico-legal cases have a profound effect on a doctor’s career. Doctors often suffer the consequences even if the case is lodged against a healthcare service provider. In most such cases, doctors face severe financial and professional backlashes and are left to defend themselves. That’s why professional indemnity insurance in India has become so important for anyone from the medical industry.
What is Indemnity Insurance?
Indemnity insurance is an insurance policy that covers medical professionals against financial setbacks incurred during a medico-legal case. It provides monetary support for legal costs and claim settlements for such a scenario. It is an ideal financial tool to protect professionals against any liability of damage.
Indemnity insurance for doctors in India protects an individual from false allegations and safeguards his or her savings and finances during a legal row. Indemnity insurance has become extremely popular amongst doctors; a recent study shows that doctors in India pay around 10% of their annual income as a premium for such policies.
Indemnity insurance protects a professional against a wide range of scenarios. These include –
- Any harm caused by unintentional errors or omissions.
- Coverage against any financial damage or loss occurred to a patient due to unwilling negligence.
- Coverage against any loss occurred to the patient because of negligence incurred by employees or partners.
- Cost of defending themselves in the court.
Certain areas may not be covered by professional indemnity insurance in India. Here is a list of possible scenarios.
- Exemplary damages and cases lodged against any criminal act, fines, punitive damages, penalties, etc.
- Any harm caused by wilful neglect or deliberate act against a patient. Intentional non-compliance is also excluded from this coverage.
- Any medical procedure performed under the influence of alcohol or narcotic.
- Loss of goodwill.
A medical professional should carefully consider the extent of coverage of professional indemnity insurance in India before selecting a particular policy. It will allow them to choose the best professional indemnity insurance policy for doctors.
Benefits of Indemnity Insurance
There are several benefits of indemnity insurance policies. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Financial Support – Indemnity insurances provide the necessary financial backing to pay for a legal row. A professional can hire the best legal support in case of an unforeseen incident. It will increase the chances of winning the case as well as minimise any losses.
- Protects Against Risks – It can be difficult to apprehend exactly how much money will be required during a court case. Indemnity insurance covers against such unplanned expenses.
Several financial institutions offer such policies to eligible professionals. NBFCs like Bajaj Finserv offer some of the best coverage and least exemptions along with several other features and benefits with their professional indemnity insurance in India. They also offer Doctors Loan to professionals in the medical sector.
The protection provided against financial and professional aspects of a medical practitioner makes indemnity insurances a must-have financial tool for doctors in India. Doctors can protect themselves against any backlash with the help of such an insurance policy.