Purchasing tail coverage

July 10, 2011

The issue of how long you will need tail coverage will turn on the statute of limitations to file a malpractice claim, which is controlled by state law.

Q: I'm retiring and will need to purchase tail coverage from my current insurer. In general, is a 2-year policy sufficient, or should I try to find coverage for longer than that?

A: The issue of how long you will need tail coverage will turn on the statute of limitations to file a malpractice claim, which is controlled by state law. There is usually a limit as to how long after the alleged injury or discovery of it, a case can be brought. While 2 years is that statute in many states, that is not always the case. In addition, if you have treated children, then the statute of limitation often doesn't terminate until the child has become an adult. Your state medical society, as well as your malpractice insurer, should be able to advise you on these issues as a matter of state law.