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Question for the midwives about malpractice insurance - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmieV View Post
It's hard for this to inspire the wholehearted trust it would take for me to feel ok putting not just mine buy my children's future on the line. Midwifery is a demanding field for families anyway, I can't imagine missing 3 Christmas mornings in a row and then losing their college savings too.

I also don't understand how trusting clients is reconciled with the idea (fact?) that more of them tend to sue if you have insurance. If you trust that they won't sue because of a relationship you've established, why should that change if you have insurance? I ask that not adversarily, but truly...do you think the relationship you have changes just by holding insurance?
If you want to be a midwife, you might have to put their financial future on the line anyway. Lawsuits are rare for homebirth midwives and big judgements even rarer, but most malpractice insurance policies have caps -- some of them have caps that are pretty low. When the practice I worked for was asked to get malpractice insurance by our landlord, we looked into it and found that the only policy available to us was for $250000 per occurance. The premium for that was $20,000 per year. I know that there are cheaper, better policies available in other states, but even the usual $1milliion policy wouldn't cover every possible judgement against you. A judge could find a bigger settlement.

The reason why clients might be more likely to sue if you carry malpractice is that they will feel that they aren't hurting you as much personally. Also, if someone else is sued related to a birth that you are part of, the likelihood of your being named a co-defendant is higher if you have malpractice.

For me, it boils down to value -- a policy that costs thousands of dollars per year to protect my almost non-existent assets against a lawsuit is not a good value. I'd rather stick all of that money in a ROTH IRA and call it a "legal defense fund" and use it to retire to a little beach shack in Belize after my midwifery career is over than to give it to the insurance co.. Insurance companies are for-profit entities, in general. If they don't take in more than they pay out, then they would cease to exist. I understand their worth, but for me and my individual situation, the math doesn't work out.
post #22 of 29
I must re-iterate that my biggest issue with malpractice insurance is the extremely conservative protocols that will likely risk out so many of my clients.

Things that seem like normal client choice (certain prenatal tests, etc) could be against your malpractice insurance protocols and impact your practice.

This, to me, is a huge liability as a midwife. I am concerned with protecting my clients' choices to birth how they want. Malpractice insurance severely handicaps that ability to offer birthing freedom.

I think Stacia's idea of investments is much easier to deal with ethically for me than standard malpractice insurance.
post #23 of 29
To protect your assets set up a corporation that owns each valuable item under it's own LLC. That way if your sued they are limited to what they can after of your own personal items.

I think speaking with a lawyer regarding this issue will help you to get a clearer picture of what could happen.

I hope it all works out for you.
Jess
post #24 of 29
I practiced as a CNM in a hospital setting (two different practices--only about 18 months in each). I worked for a private practice (physician owned) for one job, and I worked in a hospital based clinic (hospital owned; the physicians were also employees) for the other job. In both jobs, my malpractice insurance was covered as part of my benefits package.

When I left both jobs, I chose not to purchase tail coverage (mainly because of cost). Because of the statute of limitation on birth injuries, I could still be held liable for problems that arose during my practice. I have to choose not to think about it, honestly.

Oh, I'm in Georgia. The first year you are practicing, the cost was about $4000/year, going up to about $10,000/year after 5 years.
post #25 of 29
not a midwife

OP--you say that people are talking about trust between themselves and their clients, but I don't think it's exactly trust that is being talked about. It's that if a woman feels empowered, makes a large number of the decisions with full honest-to-god informed consent that she is more likely to own the outcome, whatever it may be. It's not that she trusts the midwife, it's that she has trusted herself.

Not that this is 100% or anything, I'm just saying.
post #26 of 29
AmieV, did you read Baby Catcher? I did, and it certainly didn't make me feel very good about malpractice insurance.

I feel that carrying malpractice is like painting a big red bullseye on yourself. A client who would never dream of suing you out of house and home could be convinced that malpractice insurance means a lawsuit won't hurt you personally.

In Florida, the licensed midwives must have malpractice insurance. It is extremely expensive. That whole deal is one of the reasons I don't want to practice in Florida.
post #27 of 29
In Florida the cost of insurance depends on which county you are in. I'm in Alachua County and my insurance is $2200 for the next year. That is for 1-12 births. for each birth after that I think you add $120 or something like that.

I hate paying that but we are required. And compared to insurance elsewhere and other professions, it's not that much. I heard someone mention that insurance would cost them $30,000. I'll be lucky if I make that much money in a year.
post #28 of 29
People who choose home births and midwives are more cogniscent of the fact that birth is unpredictable and has its own risks; therefore, I would assume that most, not all of these people would not be likely to sue.

That was true of me as a homebirth mother 4x and client of the midwife I felt comfortable with.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post

For me, it boils down to value -- a policy that costs thousands of dollars per year to protect my almost non-existent assets against a lawsuit is not a good value. I'd rather stick all of that money in a ROTH IRA and call it a "legal defense fund" and use it to retire to a little beach shack in Belize after my midwifery career is over than to give it to the insurance co.. Insurance companies are for-profit entities, in general. If they don't take in more than they pay out, then they would cease to exist. I understand their worth, but for me and my individual situation, the math doesn't work out.
: not a midwife here, but being in a similar postion, thinking ahead at all involved in starting a practice, i have to say i agree with this statement.

Quote:
from pamamidwife
I must re-iterate that my biggest issue with malpractice insurance is the extremely conservative protocols that will likely risk out so many of my clients.
and this one too
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