Incidental Medical Malpractice



Typically, incidental malpractice liability coverage comes with your standard general liability policy instead of as separate policy coverage. However, it is important that you read and understand what is covered and excluded in your particular policy, as they can vary by state and insurer.

The coverage is included within the “Who Is An Insured” section of the policy. In other words, this means that by exception, the coverage applies to the vicarious liability of the employer unless a professional liability endorsement is attached. This endorsement would have to preclude the vicarious liability of an employed professional.

Coverage applies to injury arising out of the rendering of, or failure to render, the following services during the policy period:

     • Medical, surgical, dental, X-ray or nursing service/ treatment or the
     furnishing of food or beverages in connection with these services

     • The furnishing or dispensing of drugs or medical, dental or surgical
     supplies or appliances

      The coverage does not apply to:

          ◦ Expenses incurred by the insured for first aid given to others
          at the time of the accident.

          ◦ The “Supplementary Payments” provision and the “Insured’s Duties
          in the Event of Occurrence, Claim or Suit” condition. Both are amended

          ◦ Any insured engaged in the business or occupation of providing
          professional medical services.

          ◦ Injury caused by any indemnitee if such indemnitee is engaged
          in the business or occupation of providing professional medical services.

Nonprofit and faith-based organizations, especially those that work closely with children, often have medical malpractice liabilities. For instance, if you hold any type of health clinic or offer vaccinations or screenings, you have this exposure. Your organization is at risk if your staff or volunteers ever administer first aid, even as simple as cleaning and bandaging a small wound. If any further injury arises as a result of the medical care your organization provides, you are at risk for medical malpractice lawsuits. Incidental medical malpractice coverage can protect your organization from these liabilities.

This type of medical malpractice insurance is intended for those who have a medical exposure for operations that are incidental, but not the major function of their business. It was not designed to protect clinics, hospitals or health care service providers simply because their medical exposure is directly related to their job.

Originally, incidental medical malpractice coverage had to be inferred by exception to medical professional liability exclusionary endorsements. This was largely eliminated when incidental medical malpractice insurance was first introduced to standard general liability policies in 1976.

Its purpose is to protect those offering medical services by an entity not engaged primarily in the offering of such services, such as educational facilities or not-for-profit organizations like yours.