Get ready for everyone's favorite answer: It depends.
Truthfully, the answer to this question could easily differ depending on what type of umbrella insurance you're discussing (personal vs. business), as well as variations within the business policy itself.
Let's walk through several examples to help you understand when umbrella insurance does cover medical malpractice and when it clearly does not.
In reviewing several of our carriers' insurance contracts, one thing becomes very clear: the answer is an overwhelming no. In fact, this exclusion states it very clearly......
What We Do Not Cover- Exclusions......
...........personal injury or property damage arising out of the rendering or failing to render professional services.
According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, "medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management." (http://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice).
I think most of us can agree that doctors, hospitals, etc. are in the business of rendering professional services. So the failing to render such services would fall within the scope of the above exclusion.
Another way to think about is this: personal insurance policies are designed to cover personal exposures, which includes personal liability. Personal policies exclude business liability. Period. The reason is simple: business policies exist to properly address business exposures. So the best way to address business liability is with a business liability policy (also referred to as a Commercial General Liability policy).
So that leads nicely into part two of this discussion....
A regular commercial general liability policy also excludes professional liability- and medical malpractice qualifies as professional liability. So you would need a medical malpractice policy and supplement with the business umbrella. But keep in mind that not just any business umbrella will do. It'll need to be a policy that includes professional liability.
So, once you have the medical malpractice policy in place, you can seek an umbrella policy to provide limits of liability beyond what the medical malpractice policy provides (which is how umbrella policies are designed to work). The umbrella policy may be available with the same company that writes the medical malpractice OR it could be with a different company altogether. That varies by insurance company.
The takeaway here is that you should never look to a personal umbrella insurance policy for coverage for medical malpractice. A business umbrella policy is going to be your best option to find coverage. And again, not just ANY business umbrella insurance policy will do- a policy that does not have the professional liability exclusion is what you're looking for.
Questions or need additional information? Please contact our office at (937) 592-4871 or visit our website. You can also request an umbrella insurance quote on our website.