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Compare MedPro’s Consent Provision for Physicians and Surgeons to the following consent exceptions included in most healthcare liability insurance companies’ policies.
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If your policy’s consent clause contains language similar to any of the below phrases, you do not have the strongest consent authority available today in the professional liability insurance industry; therefore, your reputation and assets may be exposed.
Common Exceptions in Consent to Settle Provisions
- Unreasonable. Sample policy language: “You have consent authority…unless we deem you unreasonable in withholding your consent.” Ask your carrier how they define “unreasonable.”
- Hammer clause. Sample policy language: “If you refuse to consent to a settlement and elect to contest or continue to contest a claim, our liability for loss shall not exceed the amount for which we could have settled such claim had you consented, plus claim expenses incurred prior to the time we made such recommendation.” Ask your carrier whether your policy includes a hammer clause.
- Board approval. Sample policy language: “You have consent authority… as long as our physician review panel or board agrees with you that your performance met the standard of care. If we disagree, the board assumes consent authority on your behalf.” Ask if your carrier has a physician board approval process.
- Binding arbitration. Sample policy language: “You have consent authority… unless we disagree, at which time we submit your refusal to consent to binding arbitration.” Ask your carrier whether your refusal to settle could be overturned by an arbitrator.
- No longer insured by the company. Sample policy language: “You have consent authority… unless you are no longer insured at the time settlement or trial occurs.” Other policies similarly state: “You have consent authority… unless you no longer have an active policy with the company at the time of settlement.” Ask your carrier what happens to your consent authority if you are no longer insured by them at the time of settlement or trial.
- Moved out of state. Sample policy language: “You have consent authority… unless you have moved out of state prior to the time of settlement or trial.” Ask your carrier whether or not your policy includes a relocation exception.
- License suspended. Sample policy language: “You have consent authority… unless your professional license has been suspended, revoked or surrendered at any time during the claim process.” Ask your carrier whether this exception would apply even if you had a valid and active license at the time healthcare service was provided.
- Deceased or incompetent. Sample policy language: “You have consent authority… unless you are deceased or deemed incompetent.” Ask your carrier whether this could deprive your estate of the ability to fight the malpractice claim on your behalf, thereby potentially costing your heirs valuable inheritance they otherwise might have received.