Tail insurance coverage is essential for doctorstail coverage insurance

what is tail insurance for doctors?

Medical tail insurance is an essential insurance add-on for professionals, particularly in the medical and legal fields. It provides extended protection for claims made after a claims-made policy has ended. This means that if a doctor retires, changes jobs, or switches insurance companies, they are still protected against claims from incidents that occurred while the original policy was active.

If you are covered by an occurrence type policy, you do not need tail coverage. Your policy will cover you for any claims made against events that occurred during the insurance period.

why do I need tail malpractice insurance?

Most medical malpractice claims are filed more than 12 months after the medical incident occurred. When you cancel or don’t renew a claims-made policy you could be at risk. You need tail insurance coverage to protect against future lawsuits stemming from incidents that happened before the policy expired. This is known as your prior acts period.

Quick Quote – Tail coverage insurance

why is tail insurance important for doctors and other medical professionals?

When you have a claims-made insurance policy, the only obligation your insurance provider has, is to pay claims that were filed while you were practicing medicine during the effective policy period. But former patients can bring claims against you years after the alleged malpractice incident, long after your effective policy period has ended. 

  • Continued Protection: Without tail coverage, medical professionals and facilities could be left unprotected from lawsuits or claims related to past medical services, which could result in significant financial loss.
  • Legal Compliance: Many states and medical boards require continuous coverage for a specified period after a medical professional stops practicing or changes insurance providers.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that potential claims are covered even after the original policy ends can provide significant peace of mind. It allows medical professionals and administrators to focus on patient care and operational management.

how much does tail insurance cost?

The tail insurance cost for medical professionals and facilities can vary widely based on several factors:

  1. Length of Coverage: Longer tail coverage terms generally cost more, but the cost per year reduces. For example, a one-year tail coverage policy will be 100% of the cost of your previous insurance policy. Two years may cost 175%, the third year may add another 50-75% and so on.
  2. Medical Specialty: High-risk specialties, such as surgeons or anesthesiologists, may face higher premiums compared to lower-risk professions.
  3. Claims History: Professionals and facilities with a history of multiple claims will usually see higher premiums.
  4. The type of Tail Coverage: There are two types of tail coverage: Extending reporting period coverage or stand alone policies. Extending reporting period coverage is typically added to your final professional liability insurance, when you renew it. Stand alone tail coverage policies on the other hand are taken out on or before the expiry date of your insurance coverage.

how long do I need tail coverage for?

Typically, doctors will take tail coverage for three years, but it depends on your state’s statute of limitations. Some states require medical professionals to have perpetual coverage, some states don’t require tail coverage at all.

The most common period of tail coverage is 36 months. Sometimes it is longer, but we rarely see tail coverage policies of less than 24 months.

are there alternatives to tail coverage insurance?

Tail coverage is important for peace of mind, but it is not usually mandatory for healthcare providers. Here are two alternatives to taking tail insurance coverage:

  • Prior-acts coverage: This is similar to tail coverage, but it is normally bundled with a new general or professional liability policy when a doctor changes insurance providers. Prior-acts coverage will have a specific retroactive date that occurrences are covered from.
  • Going bare: This essentially means taking the risk choosing not to take any form of tail coverage. In many states this is not an option for retiring doctors and it is always a risk in this increasingly litigious society.

other types of insurance we can help you with

Business Owners Policy 9BOP) for physicians in Florida

Business Owners Policy

A comprehensive insurance package designed for surgeons with small to medium-sized businesses, providing a blend of liability protection and property insurance.

A physician checks medical records, protected by cyber security insurance

Cyber Liability Insurance

Covers you against financial losses associated with data breaches, cyber attacks, and other incidents. Insurers will usually help  fix vulnerabilities as part of this policy.

Commercial auto insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance

This is relevant for surgeons who use a vehicle for your practice-related tasks. This insurance covers you against auto accidents, theft, and other vehicle-related incidents.

why medical professionals love to work with us

“Westwood Insurance Group, with Dale and Liz are a pleasure to work with in helping solve for my insured’s insurance needs. Very responsive and eager to help! They are competent and trusted!” – Greg Cullom

“I have worked with Michael and the team for the past two years and found them to be ethical, competent, attentive and to deeply value their relationships with both agents and underwriters. It is always a pleasure to deal with them” –
Michael Barker

“Laura has been a great contact for us over at the Westwood Insurance Group. She is extremely communicative and responsive. Their quick turnaround on last minute items is appreciated as well.” – Hayley Shryock

Contact Michael Richards now

Michael Richards, President, Westwood Insurance Group

Michael specializes in insurance for physicians. You can call him or one of the team on the number below or fill out the form and he will get your message directly:

traditional insurance products

Westwood have fostered exceptional relationships with underwriters and we go to great lengths to keep abreast of their latest products, changes in requirements and restrictions, including having weekly calls with the carriers, which you can see here, by joining our insurance insider group.

    Insurance products at Westwood Insurance Group

    You can find more information on the Insurance Products main page.

    If you have any questions on the different policies, check out our Insurance FAQ’s

    alternative structures

    Westwood President, Michael Richards has extensive experience in setting up alternative structures for larger clients. Here are some examples:


    If you think your client could be large and stable enough to benefit from starting or participating in a captive or has a special need for another alternative structure, contact Michael Richards now by phone: 855 351 7487.