Am I Still Covered If My Practice Is Incorporated?

A common question among D.C.s ... Will incorporating affect my risk or malpractice insurance?

Insurance

Am I Still Covered If My Practice Is Incorporated?

Q: My accountant recently advised me to incorporate for tax purposes. Will incorporating affect my risk or malpractice insurance with NCMIC? A: Many doctors don't realize that merely forming a separate entity puts the practice itself at risk for being sued. Read on for ways to mitigate this risk.


At NCMIC, we talk to many doctors when they call our customer service area. The following reflects a common question among D.C.s:

QUESTION:

I am a D.C. with two employees—an administrative assistant and a CA—on staff. My accountant recently advised me to incorporate for tax purposes. Will incorporating affect my malpractice insurance with NCMIC in any way? Do I need to purchase additional coverage?

ANSWER: 

In your situation, let’s say your CA is accused of injuring a patient during a treatment modality and the patient files a lawsuit naming just your corporation. Because you corporation is vicariously liable for the actions of your staff, you would need entity coverage in place to protect the practice against this claim.

Another situation where this could come into play would be if your practice pursues a collection action against a patient, and the disgruntled patient flies a counter-claim against the clinic alleging some sort of malpractice. If your corporation is named in the counter-claim, you would need entity coverage in place to protect the practice against this claim.

While incorporating can affect your coverage, the good news is NCMIC offers a shared limits of liability entity coverage option at no additional premium. So, as the owner of a chiropractic entity, e.g., an LLC, partnership, corporation or other, you can share your limits of liability with your practice entity for no additional charge.

Many doctors don’t realize that merely forming a separate entity puts the practice itself at risk for being sued. Even as a sole practitioner your clinic may be named in a malpractice action if it is set up as a separate entity.

Plaintiff attorneys have access to various resources, such as Secretary of State websites, which can be used to query for entities associated with you and your practice. It is likely that if an entity is found it will be named in any malpractice lawsuit that is filed. If your entity is not named on your policy, NCMIC would not be obligated to provide a defense for the entity. This could potentially cost you thousands of dollars.

To better protect you and your practice please contact NCMIC today at 1-800-247-8043. We will review your policy, analyze your situation and explain your options. 


The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.

The above was derived from an article in NCMIC’s Examiner magazine, a publication for NCMIC policyholders with compelling case studies and practical tips for avoiding a malpractice allegation.