Mandatory MMI – Filling the Gap or Fulfilling the Need?
Professional indemnity is intended to offer the confidence for trained experts to do their best work without worry of accidental repercussions. For example, a doctor attempting a risky treatment should not be influenced by the potential for the patient to blame him even though all the necessary precautions had been taken.
Without the professional insurance cover, the doctor continues to run the risk of suffering personally should the patient turn against him. However, with professional indemnity insurance in place, the doctor can proceed with confidence knowing that all safety precautions have been observed. While the risk of the patient turning nasty would continue to exist, there would be an entire process supporting the doctor to address and resolve any repercussion.
This is the most valuable contribution of professional indemnity insurance and is the reason why many industries support having such coverage across their workforce. The medical profession is a good example of this and malpractice insurance is a very common product across healthcare anywhere in the world. In fact, professional indemnity for the medical field is often mandatory – including Malaysia.
Due to the complex nature of insurance, enforcement of professional indemnity is routinely done by tying it together with the licensing process. In most countries, a medical professional must be licensed by an authorised body in order to treat patients. This licensing effort is to ensure that all medical professionals in the country exercise their expertise in a consistent and universal manner. And to account for the potential disruption from medical malpractice claims, professional indemnity becomes a mandatory condition for licensing to be successful.
Working Through Mandated Professional Indemnity
Making sure that an individual is getting the right insurance coverage is difficult in itself even when that individual is personally vested in doing it right. However, for mandated professional indemnity situations, this is further complicated due to the simple fact that the person is motivated only to find the easiest way to complete the process rather than securing the best coverage.
This attitude eventually boils down to choosing the first cheap option that the individual can find quickly. Unfortunately, insurance usually involves more factors than its price, hence, the cheap or easy option might be unsuitable for the needs and circumstances in reality. To make matters worse – in cases of specialized fields like healthcare that exist in a broader context, the cheap and quick option might in fact be an insurance product that is missing key components.
Ultimately, the wrong fit would invalidate the professional licensing to begin with, or – at best – barely fulfil the requirements to support the licensing. Any skeletal coverage though will be insufficient to protect the doctor’s unique circumstances – e.g. high-risk medical intervention that is excluded from the coverage or be situated in an affluent community where frivolous complaints are more frequent than normally expected, which would easily surpass the claim limits.
Right Choice vs Convenient Choice
There are many benefits to making professional indemnity compulsory for everyone practicing in the industry. It has the effect of bringing down premium costs and providing standardised protection for the industry as a whole. However, insurance by its very nature is best used as an individualised product that is customised to the unique needs of the individual.
All professionals must therefore work towards getting the appropriate coverage for themselves regardless of the compulsory requirements as set out by the governing body (which is typically at the basic level required to suit the industry average).
Even though this might cost more than the bare requirements, it is better to pay a little more for something that is needed and works when needed, than to pay less for something that is essentially not going to be useful when a claims situation arises. Doctor Shield is exclusively built to provide comprehensive protection at highly competitive premium rates for medical professionals in Malaysia.
Our policies are underwritten by CHUBB, the world’s largest publicly traded Property and casualty Insurer. Doctor Shield is a convenient way to buy customised medical professional indemnity insurance at competitive premiums.
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