To practice medicine in Florida , physicians must carry $100,000 in malpractice insurance, and if they want hospital staff privileges, they need a minimum of $250,000 in coverage. As an alternative, they can use other pre-arranged secured assets for paying these claims, such as letters of credit and trust accounts.
Frequently, the amounts mentioned above are quite inadequate for paying real-life damages in medical malpractice claims, and some physicians (and nearly all hospitals) carry additional insurance coverage. A legal loophole also exists that permits doctors to go without coverage. If the do, they must post a sign in their office providing this information.
If a hospital is involved when an injury occurs, the injured party may be able to sue the institution for allowing someone on their staff to treat patients without being insured, and this may be their only course of action. In many cases, the doctor has had numerous malpractice claims in the past and can no longer afford the insurance premiums, or the insurance companies are unwilling to underwrite him.
Remember that a reliable doctor wants to have this coverage because it will pay his legal fees if he ever has to contest a legal claim he feels is without merit. Above all, if he does make an error in judgment, the malpractice insurance will benefit the patient he has injured unintentionally.