Calculating premiums based on your personal risk profile might not sound ground-breaking, but many of our competitors simply group you into a category and charge a set price.
Obviously, within any specialty there will be some doctors who have higher risk profiles than others.
Find out how much a personalised Medical Malpractice Insurance policy will save you.
Howden bases your unique premium on:
- Your specialty
- Patient numbers
- Patient profiles
- Hours worked
- Claim history
- Your desired policy limit
That's why we can offer you a fairer price than many of our competitors, with a price indication in under one minute.
Occurrence-based cover – the gold standard of Medical Malpractice Insurance
Being covered at the time the incident occurred is what’s important. Cover that ends when the policy payments do can turn into a nightmare, especially as many claims have a gestation period of several years.
Your Howden policy provides cover on an occurrence basis
There is no deadline for making claims and no complicated reporting requirements. Even doctors who are long-retired retain their right to make a claim (under Singapore law, the maximum allowed period between an incident and a claim is up to 24 years).
Occurrence-based is the gold standard
What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance cover?
Insurance policies for the medical profession vary greatly in the breadth of cover they provide. The top ten benefits that doctors need from their insurance, all provided under your Howden policy, are:
1. Medical malpractice cover
Your Howden policy covers all elements of a malpractice claim, from the initial costs of defending the claim, amounts offered in settlement, award of damages and/or costs.
2. Cover for clinics and support staff
The legal entity that you created to house your practice and the support staff serving your patients can come under fire. Your Howden policy extends cover to your clinic and support staff, at no extra cost, so in the event of a claim against them cover will be available.
3. Legal representation
The quality of legal representation can be the difference between upholding your good reputation or having it tarnished. Your Howden policy covers the costs of getting a competent lawyer experienced in similar challenge. Our expert medico-legal advice in Singapore is provided by a panel of the most experienced firms.
4. SMC disciplinary inquiries
An adverse finding by the Singapore Medical Council’s Disciplinary Tribunal can be just as damaging for your reputation as a malpractice claim. Your Howden policy covers the cost of legal representation at SMC inquiries, to ensure that your interests are protected.
5. Good Samaritan acts
If you need to get involved in an emergency, your insurance should be with you, standing strong, giving you the confidence to act fast. Your Howden policy covers Good Samaritan acts.
6. Libel and slander
Defending allegations of libel and slander arising from your professional practice can be expensive. Your Howden policy includes costs of defence against libel and slander.
8. Mental Injury
Cover for claims alleging physical injury is not enough. Claims alleging mental injury must also be covered. In 2016, the Singapore High Court awarded over S$8 million to a woman injured by material falling from a building site. She suffered no serious physical injury but suffered from severe post-traumatic stress syndrome. Your Howden policy provides cover for claims involving mental injury.
9. Coroner’s Inquests
A properly prepared statement for a Coroner’s Inquest is a pre-emptive defence against later claims. Cover for the costs of preparing statements for the coroner, and legal representation if needed at an inquest, is provided by your Howden policy. Policies for the medical profession are complex and nuanced – it’s wise to engage a specialist broker to cut through complications, before they become problems.
10. Public Liability Cover
Your classic ‘slips and trips’ insurance, public liability cover will protect your business if someone is injured in an accident on your premises and subsequently claims against you.
Who provides the cover?
To ensure that you receive the best possible support, Howden has established partnerships with some of the world’s leading providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance underwriting and risk management services.
Your Howden policy is placed with underwriters at Lloyd’s, which gives clients the security and reassurance associated with the world’s largest specialist insurance and reinsurance market.
Lloyd's currently enjoys an A+ rating from Standard & Poor's, AA- from Fitch and A from A.M. Best
Claims handling expertise and management is provided by The Medical Professional Liability Company (The MPLC). MPLC brings a proven track record and a global reputation for quality.
With over 70 years’ combined experience in medical professional liability insurance among the senior management team, MPLC are able to draw on a wealth of international knowledge and medico-legal expertise. This includes partnerships with worldwide legal experts, providing doctors with a 24-hour legal helpline and an unrivalled claims handling procedure.
Risk management expertise and support is provided by MedPro Group (MedPro), a Berkshire Hathaway company. With over $1 billion in annual premium and more than 200,000 clients, MedPro is the American national leader in customized insurance, claims and patient safety & risk solutions for physicians, surgeons, dentists and other healthcare professionals, as well as hospitals, senior care and other healthcare facilities.
MedPro was America’s first provider of healthcare indemnity insurance, established in 1899
MedPro has defended over 400,000 claims and actively engages a multi-specialty network of physician leaders who serve on their Specialty Advisory Boards. Howden leverages this relationship to bring our clients over 100 years of insight into reducing risk through improved patient safety as well as successfully defending claims when negative outcomes do occur.
Frequently asked questions about medical insurance
- What is occurrence-based insurance?
Occurrence-based insurance provides cover for all claims that arise from treatment provided to patients during the policy year. Once you take out an occurrence-based insurance policy, any future claims that might arise from treatment you provide during the policy period are covered, irrespective of how long it might take for the claim to materialise. There is also no time limitation for bringing claims under an occurrence-based insurance policy, which means there is no need to purchase run-off or “tail” cover. Therefore, it is considered the gold standard of insurance cover for doctors.
Your Howden insurance policy provides occurrence-based cover.
- How does occurrence-based insurance differ from claims-made insurance?
Claims-made insurance provides cover for all claims that are brought against the doctor during the policy year, and which are also reported to the insurer prior to the end of the policy year. Such policies also require that doctors notify the insurer of facts or circumstances that might give rise to a claim. Under a claims-made policy, it is necessary for cover to be in place at the time the claim is first brought, which is why a doctor who ceases practice must continue to purchase so-called run-off or tail insurance.
Under the terms of a claims-made insurance policy, a failure to report claims and circumstances within the policy year where they first arise usually entitles the insurer to deny coverage.
- How does the Howden policy differ from MPS membership?
Your Howden insurance policy is a legal contract, and its terms are therefore enforceable under law. MPS, on the other hand, offers discretionary cover which, as the name implies, means that the acceptance of any claim made by a member is subject to their discretion. MPS has no legal obligation to provide assistance to a member.
- How many doctors in Singapore have already moved from MPS to an insurance policy?
According to a report in The Straits Times on August 17, 2017, over 9,000 of Singapore’s doctors have already transferred from MPS membership into insurance protection.
- How do I switch from MPS to a Howden policy?
To switch to a Howden policy, you simply complete the online application form and then accept the quotation provided, effective from the date that your MPS membership expires. We do not recommend that you allow your Howden policy to overlap with prior coverage, as this can cause problems with claim notifications.
We understand that MPS is requiring members to give as much as two-months’ notice of membership non-renewal, and so we encourage you to obtain a quotation for your Howden policy as early as possible.
- What are the risks of switching?
Whenever you move from one provider to another, it is critical to ensure that no coverage gap is created. When you move from MPS to a Howden policy, you are switching from one occurrence-based provider to another. Your Howden policy will cover all claims arising from treatment provided on or after the switching date, and MPS will continue to cover claims arising from treatment prior to the switching date.
- What is my Limit of Indemnity?
The Limit of Indemnity means the total amount available for any one policy year to cover your liability for losses and defence costs for any single claim or claims arising from treatment provided during that policy year.
- Is there an excess under my Howden policy?
No, each claim under your Howden policy is covered from the very first dollar.
- How secure is my Howden policy?
Your Howden policy is underwritten by Lloyd’s Underwriters, with a Standard & Poor’s rating of A+
- Will my premium reflect my good claims history?
Yes. Your claims history is one of the elements of your individual risk profile and will directly affect the premium that you pay. However, claims history is only one of many factors considered. Doctors with a claim or claims in their history are not automatically considered high-risk but may be asked to provide extra information so that a proper assessment of their risk profile can be made.
- Am I covered for work overseas?
Your Howden policy is designed specifically for doctors practising in Singapore, and cover for work undertaken overseas is not automatically included. However, it is possible for the policy to be extended to provide cover outside Singapore where a doctor’s specific circumstances require. Please contact the Howden representatives for more information.