You Get What You Pay For With Malpractice Insurance

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
You Get What You Pay For With Malpractice Insurance

Understanding Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Coverage

We were recently asked by a potential insured why another malpractice provider offered her a lower rate than what we offered her at ChiroFutures and she wondered why she would get a cheaper rate with this other company.

The first thing to understand is that if all you want is to fulfill your legal requirement to have malpractice coverage and that the actual coverage you get is not important to you then going with a cheaper policy might be the way for you to go.

As long as you understand that the policy is CHEAPER for a reason and make sure you understand what that reason is BEFORE you purchase it - i.e. why is it cheaper?

You definitely don't want to find out why it was cheaper after you have a claim. You may find out that you do not have any coverage for that claim and be shown the fine print in the policy for the first time.

There are policies being sold to chiropractors by supposedly respected members of the profession that are known as "bare bones" policies and they contain numerous legal loopholes in them allowing the insurer to deny your claim. Personally, I beleive its unethical to even be selling these policies to anyone - but they do it anyway.

Its also important to understand that a malpractice provider or broker might be selling several different policies from several different insurance companies. This means that two chiropractors could be insured by the same exact malpractice provider but have completely different policies with completely different coverages.

So just because one chiropractor says "I have insurance with XYZ company" this does not mean that you have the same policy he does - even though you are also with XYZ company.

Make sense?

It also means that a malpractice provider or broker might have an incentive to put you into a particular one of their policies as opposed to another because the broker is making more money by doing so - even if it actually costs you less money for the policy. That broker might be getting an added financial bonus for pushing a particular policy on you.

We do not do that at ChiroFutures - we sell one policy which you can get as claims made or occurance.

We are also very proud of the language in our policy and anyone doing a side to side comparison of our policy to anyone else's - especially one of the bare bones policies - can read the difference and see the difference in VALUE.

Here are some other things to ask and look for when comparing any chiropractic malpractice coverage.

  • What is the financial strength of the carrier (e.g. AM Best rating and financial size/capacity of the carrier to handle claims).
  • Does the policy have a hammer clause or consent to settle?
  • Are defense costs for suit/claim (e.g. allegation of a fracture rib) inside or outside the policy limits?
  • What coverages are provided for board, HIPAA, sexual misconduct allegations by patients, billing error with insurance, etc. (is it all under a combined single limit or separate limits; is it defense only or also any damages, penalties and fines, etc.)? Are higher limits offered as an option?
  • Are any other coverages available/optional (e.g. cyber, animal, dual-license, etc.) and what is the quality of those coverages?
  • What is the definition of professional services (i.e. services performed within the scope of state chiropractic license, but also teaching CE or being a faculty member of an accredited chiropractic school, etc.)?
  • Does the policy talk about defending vicarious liability?
  • Does the program provide any other benefits (e.g. members portal with helpful information, consultations with expert chiropractors on risk management, and so on)?
  • Does the malpractice company insure chiropractors who prescribe drugs? While its hard to believe most, if not all of them do. At ChiroFutures - we do not insure chiropractors who prescribe drugs.
  • Last but not least, what is the malpractice companies message/mission?

This last one is an especially easy one for us at ChiroFutures.

ChiroFutures Co-Founders – Anthony Carrino, DC, FICPA and Matthew McCoy DC, MPH, both chiropractors for over 28 years, have unmatched experience serving as consultants and expert witnesses defending chiropractors in malpractice cases and regulatory board actions throughout their careers. In our combined careers, we have developed insight from the toughest malpractice cases. We have had the experience of working with chiropractors hand in hand through the nightmares that occur when patients are unhappy. ChiroFutures commitment is to share our seasoned experience with you. This will assure that you are not only protected by a financially strong carrier and broad coverages, but can grow a busy practice full of happy patients.

McCoy & Carrino are both deeply immersed in protecting and defending the practice of lifetime, subluxation, family wellness chiropractic. Both have been members and supporters of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) since its founding by Larry Webster DC. In fact, both McCoy and Carrino were students of Dr. Websters in the 80's. Dr. Carrino has served as the ICPA President and has been on the ICPA Board since the ICPA was founded by Dr. Webster.

ChiroFutures is committed to research exploring the role of vertebral subluxation in health and wellness and works closely with the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation in support of their research agenda. Dr. McCoy publishes several peer reviewed research journals focused on vertebral subluxation and he serves on the Board of Trustees of Sherman College of Chiropractic.

Both Carrino and McCoy are actively involved in the politics of chiropractic on state, national and international levels with a keen eye toward protecting the right to practice chiropractic in a lifetime, subluxation, family wellness model. Whether one is aware of it or not, this model of practice is under an increasing threat.

In addition to their support of the ICPA, both of them individually and through their combined work support numerous chiropractic trade organizations on a state and national level, provide scholarships to students, and funding for research and political action. 

Beyond the experience and dedication of our co-founders to the support of the chiropractic profession its also important to note the reputation of the rest of our team including our Underwriter and Program Administrator.

Our underwriter is Great Divide Insurance Company, a subsidiary company of Nautilus Insurance Company, is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, Inc. Our carrier has built a reputation as a strong underwriting company and a respected industry leader. The vision at Nautilus/Great Divide Insurance is to achieve superior underwriting results leading to a stable, consistent and financially secure company for its policyholders. Great Divide and Nautilus are proud member companies of W. R. Berkley Corporation, recognized as one of the most respected names in the property casualty insurance industry. W. R. Berkley Corporation, founded in 1967, is one of the nation’s premier commercial lines property casualty insurance providers. Each of the operating units in the Berkley group participates in a niche market requiring specialized knowledge about a territory or product. It has been uniquely successful in meeting the needs of its various constituencies. Over the past 42 years, the Company has achieved an outstanding record of consistently providing insurance products and services that meet the needs of its customers.

Our Program Administrator, Sonoran National Insurance Group, combines more than 150 years of experience in the insurance industry and is licensed in all 50 states. The Sonoran team includes specialists in chiropractic malpractice underwriting, operations management and policyholder service.

Teresa Quale, CPCU, CIC is the Executive Director. She understands that the Chiropractic profession is unique in healthcare. “Securing insurance is about peace of mind, and it’s about people – your people and our people working together to protect what’s important to you and your practice” says Ms. Quale. Sonoran is dedicated to taking away the worry and other obstacles that can hinder you in your practice. As the program manager, they will deliver your policy protection accurately, efficiently and with a smile.

There may be other questions you have as well, but this gives you a starting point to ask intelligent questions about your policy coverage instead of just looking at the cost - which could be the biggest mistake you make in your practice career.

Contact us today to discuss your malpractice and risk management needs.



ChiroFutures Malpractice Program