Malpractice Vs. Professional Liability for Healthcare Professionals

What’s the difference between Professional Liability vs. Malpractice Insurance? These types of coverage deal with dissatisfied patients but in different ways.

Why Do Healthcare Professionals Need Insurance?

Healthcare professionals need insurance for these primary reasons:

  • Meet legal obligations – Each state determines legal requirements for healthcare professionals licensed in the state.
  • Pay for lawsuits – Doctors get sued by patients all the time, but having the right insurance pays legal costs, including settlements.
  • Good image with patients – Having insurance in place makes patients feel comfortable that their doctor adheres to professional standards.

Since any doctor can get sued by an unhappy patient, it’s important to have insurance to pay legal costs instead of paying out of pocket.

What Is Malpractice Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance falls under the category of Errors & Omissions (E&O) liability insurance. It was actually developed for the healthcare industry and has since spread to other fields. Malpractice insurance covers losses associated with a human body that lead to lawsuits. The primary reason healthcare professionals should carry malpractice insurance is due to the high rate of medical errors.

What Is Professional Liability Insurance?

Professional Liability is another type of E&O insurance. What sets it apart from Malpractice insurance is that it focuses on financial loss rather than physical loss. An example of Professional Liability vs. Malpractice Insurance is when a consultant gives bad advice to a patient that leads to financial loss, it can become a Professional Liability lawsuit. However, if a surgeon removes the wrong body part, it would be a Malpractice case.

What Should You Get as a Healthcare Professional?

Different insurance plans exist for different positions in the healthcare industry. Not all healthcare jobs pose physical risks to patients, but the ones involved directly with the physical care of patients potentially do. As with all professions, the higher the risk, the more coverage is needed.


Doctors and surgeons should carry Medical Malpractice coverage. There are several ways doctors can make mistakes, such as diagnosing a disease incorrectly or failing to identify a medical problem.


Just like doctors, dentists can misunderstand and extract something from the body that should have been left alone. A dentist can extract the wrong tooth, which can make a patient so unhappy they file a malpractice lawsuit.

Medical Directors

A variety of health-conscious businesses hire medical directors that should carry malpractice insurance. Health spas, walk-in clinics, and chiropractors often hire medical directors, who specifically need to carry Medical Director Liability insurance.

Nurse Practitioners

Part of what’s attracting the growth of nurse practitioners is that less schooling is needed to become one compared to the career path of a physician. Nurse practitioners should carry out Medical Malpractice, but if they serve as consultants to professionals, they may just need Professional Liability coverage.

Massage Therapists

It’s still possible to get sued despite not prescribing medication or performing surgery. Some massage therapists use oil or hot stones in their therapy, which can potentially injure a patient. It’s essential for massage therapists to carry Medical Malpractice insurance.

Get the Right Coverage with J Archer Insurance Group

Understanding Professional Liability vs. Malpractice Insurance is key for healthcare professionals to get the right insurance coverage. Contact us today at J. Archer Insurance Group and tell us about your medical practice. We will help build the right plan for your protection against cases involving physical and financial loss.

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