As your malpractice insurance comes up for renewal, it’s natural to wonder if you might be able to get a better deal, coverage or customer service. But as a doctor of optometry, switching malpractice insurance can seem to be particularly daunting.
Does the new policy fully protect me? Does it protect my future? How do I avoid a lapse in coverage when switching? What if my new insurance company isn’t as good?
All of these questions may override your desire to try a new insurance company. While it may seem overwhelming to switch your insurance policies, sometimes it can be beneficial. If you are considering switching, follow these five steps:
1. Switch Companies at the Right Time
Timing the switch of your insurance is best done in the months and weeks before your policy is set to renew. You’ll get the best comparison of new rates and avoid any early cancellation fees. Watch your mail and email for any renewal information on your existing policy and compare these rates to the rates you are quoted by others.
If you can’t wait to switch, factor in the cost of prorated coverage and surcharges to make sure you’re comfortable with your new deal.
2. Compare Coverage Between Companies
Comparing apples to apples is important when you’re shopping for insurance, since rates for different levels of coverage can vary greatly. It’s important to make sure the price you are quoted is for a comparable level of protection and doesn’t expose you to excessive risk. Be sure to ask for a quote for a level of coverage equal to your current policy for the best price comparison.
You also need to ensure that your state’s scope of practice is fully covered in your malpractice insurance policy. Check out our tips for determining if a policy includes coverage for your state’s scope of practice.
3. Research Rates, Reputation and More
Shopping for insurance most often involves comparing rates from different companies. Price is a huge factor, and probably one of your main reasons for switching, but it’s not the only one you should consider. In fact, there are several factors that may cause rates to vary from company to company.
Make sure to research the company as well as its premium rates. Look for a company with solid financials, a high A.M. Best Company rating and experience in your industry. You want to make sure the insurance company you pick will be able to stand behind its policy if you need to make a claim.
4. Consider Other Insurer Benefits
Choosing an insurance company isn’t just about the rate and coverage they can offer. Some companies cut corners in other important areas. Pay attention to how easy it is to use their website, talk to a representative, get your questions answered and get a quote.
The way your customer service needs are handled while shopping can be an important indicator. Look for a company that offers additional insurer benefits, such as risk management resources, best-in-class customer service and access to insurance expertise.
As a doctor of optometry, you may also look to work with an insurance company that has expertise insuring other doctors of optometry. This can help ensure your risks and scope of practice are
fully covered, among other benefits.
5. Complete the Switch to a New Insurer
Making the switch to a new insurance company not only involves purchasing a new policy, but cancelling your old one, while avoiding any gaps in coverage.
Make sure to check whether your old policy is a “claims made” or “occurrence” policy. For a “claims made” policy, you may need tail coverage to complete your coverage.
Lastly, remember to get confirmation that your old policy has been terminated, especially if you are on an automatic payment plan.
Switching Your Malpractice Insurance
Thinking about switching insurance when it’s time to renew is normal. A lot depends on your choice of coverage, so make sure to do your research.
With Malpractice insurance from Lockton Affinity, you can be sure you’re getting great coverage because our Malpractice coverage is:
- Designed specifically for doctors or optometry
- Automatically adjusted to match your state’s scope of practice
- Portable to meet your needs as your career evolves
- Available as a group policy and more
Contact Lockton Affinity today at (888) 343-1998 to see what our Malpractice insurance will look like for you.