Nearly 6,900 of Florida’s actively licensed doctors do not carry malpractice insurance. This new trend is colloquially called “going bare” or self-insuring. Meaning the doctor alone, rather than an insurance company, is responsible for any fees or awards resulting from being sued for malpractice. Going bare can be dangerous and expensive for those patients who are injured by doctors who commit medical malpractice.
Doctors interviewed say they have dropped their coverage because it got too expensive. In Florida, doctors self-report whether they carry medical malpractice insurance. The Florida Department of Health does not verify whether they are telling the truth. Nor does it verify if doctors without insurance have other funds available to pay claims that arise. Now, patients who have been harmed by doctors without malpractice insurance have less recourse, and it can leave their families struggling to pay medical bills.
It would be better if doctors were required to inform their patients if they do not have malpractice insurance — either by telling the patient or by posting signs in their waiting rooms. If you are unsure, we recommend you ask the doctor. And you should think twice about going to a doctor who doesn’t carry malpractice insurance. Not only does it protect the doctor, but it protects their patients and ensures compensation for any injuries caused by medical malpractice.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.