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After browsing through the forum and doing some google searching, I still feel like I am a little confused regarding malpractice coverage and tail coverage. Please fill in gaps or educate me where my knowledge is incorrect.


Occurence coverage = You are covered for any filed suit on you between the dates of your coverage. E.g. I was covered from 2009-2010 by occurence coverage, a suit was filed in 2012 for an issue that arose in 2009, I am covered with occurence insurance.


Claims made = You are covered for any filed suit if you currently are carrying the policy. E.g. I worked with claims made coverage from 2009-2010. A suit was filed in 2010 while I was working and carrying claims made coverage. I am covered with claims made malpractice insurance. In this instance, I would not be covered if this same suit was filed outside of the 2009-2010 period while I had claims made malpractice insurance.


Claims made with tail coverage = You are covered for any filed suit while you carried the policy and the tail covers any suit filed after the policy ended. E.g. I worked with claims made coverage with a tail from 2009-2010. A suit was filed in 2012 for an issue that arose in 2009. I would be covered by a claims made policy with a tail.


My confusion comes regarding having tail coverage as a new graduate. I have read that you don't need it as there is no past practice to raise concern of a lawsuit and I have read you should push for it in a contract. Thoughts?


I have also been told that if I were to change careers, that it is standard that the next employer would provide tail coverage for my previous employment (this is what I was told regarding a recent contract I was offered). This doesn't make sense to me as I thought the tail coverage was specifically for the period after the stated malpractice insurance that it covers. Wouldn't the case above be an example of nose coverage? and is this actually common practice?


Finally, if you have claims made coverage at one career and then switch careers where you are provided claims made coverage again, is your current second policy going to cover any suits filed during your first career? I.e. You would still need tail coverage for the first job, correct?


Sorry for the wall of text. I think this is a point of confusion for a lot of new graduates and young PAs and I'm sure many of us would thoroughly appreciate a better understanding of these issues if someone could provide them. Thanks so much!

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Your initial assumption is correct. Occurrence-based plans, which are becoming harder to find, covers you during the time window in which the policy was in place, regardless of when the claim is actually filed. Claims – made policies require tail coverage in the event that a claim is filed past the time window that the policy was in effect.

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  • 2 months later...

I realize this is an older thread but the OPs questions weren't answered thoroughly and I'm researching the same questions.  Question is:


I'm a new grad accepting my first job.  Employer is providing a claims-made malpractice insurance.  I asked them to include tail coverage for when I no longer work at their practice.  This is necessary to be fully covered, correct?  The assumption that new grads don't need tail coverage is inaccurate?  Or do I have it backwards?  The way I see it, new grads don't need "nose coverage" since this is our first job.  However, we would want our "tails to be covered" for when we leave our first job, therefore tail coverage is important.  Do I have this right?

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