Malpractice Insurance FAQs

February 1, 2021
Learn more about malpractice insurance for optometrists with these 3 frequently asked questions.
Professional liability insurance policy

Whether you are a seasoned doctor of optometry or just beginning your professional career, having the right malpractice insurance is essential. With so many options on the market, selecting coverage can be overwhelming. To ensure your practice receives the right coverage and right limits, Lockton Affinity, AOAExcel’s insurance program administrator, shares three key questions to consider:

Why do I need malpractice insurance?

Malpractice insurance is required by law for those practicing in the field of optometry. Coverage helps protect you and your practice from the stress of handling a claim alone, as well as the high cost of legal fees and judgements. Today, the cost to handle a claim, even one where you prevail, can be very high, jeopardizing your career and your business.

Is all malpractice insurance the same?

Malpractice insurance can be broken into two categories: claims-made and occurrence. Claims-made policies provide coverage only if a claim is filed while the policy is in effect. Occurrence policies will cover an incident that occurs during the policy, even if a claim is filed after the policy expires.

Is my state’s full scope of practice covered by my malpractice insurance policy?

Malpractice insurance policies may contain exclusions that can be left open to interpretation, such as a surgical exclusion. Many common procedures, including removal of a foreign body or a corneal foreign body, may fall within a surgical exclusion. However, Lockton Affinity has partnered with AOAExcel to develop scope of practice coverage with automatic updates to ensure you can always practice at the top of your license.

For more information about Lockton Affinity’s coverage for AOA members, visit www.aoa.org/liabilityinsurance.

The AOA Insurance Alliance is administered by Lockton Affinity, LLC d/b/a Lockton Affinity Insurance Brokers LLC in California #0795478. Coverage is subject to actual policy terms and conditions. Policy benefits are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Coverage may be provided by an excess/surplus lines insurer which is not licensed by or subject to the supervision of the insurance department of your state of residence. Policy coverage forms and rates are not subject to regulation by the insurance department of your state of residence. Excess/Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and therefore insureds are not protected by such funds in the event of the insurer’s insolvency. The American Optometric Association will receive a royalty fee for the licensing of its name and trademarks as part of the insurance program offered to the extent permitted by applicable law.

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Ensure you and your practice are covered by familiarizing yourself with the answers to these five questions about malpractice insurance.