In life, plenty of events are out of your direct control. In the realm of chiropractic insurance, something that you, the chiropractor, can have direct control over is the consent to settle a lawsuit. If you retain your consent to settle, you retain control over a very important aspect of your chiropractic liability insurance policy and how it can work for you. If you give it up, you could be placing yourself, your reputation, and your entire practice at stake.
What does “consent to settle” mean?
Consent to settle, in general terms, is the ability of a party to settle a lawsuit, foregoing a trial and potential judgment. For chiropractors and other professionals in the healthcare industry, the primary issue at stake is one of control over which cases will go to court and which ones won’t. If an insured gives up the consent to settle, the insurance carrier will determine the fate of any given lawsuit. Since any insurance provider will not have the same interest in your professional reputation as you do, this may lead to disastrous consequences for you as the insured. For example, if you get sued by a client and believe that you are being unjustly accused of wrongdoing, you will want to take the case to court to receive a full trial, potentially vindicating yourself and your reputation. However, if you give up your consent to settle to your insurance provider, that provider has the full ability to make you settle with that client, which can lead to devastating losses, especially to you and your well-earned reputation.
The bottom line
While many chiropractic insurance providers will give you full or “pure” consent to settle, you should go over this topic in depth with your insurance provider to make sure that you are retaining your full rights regarding case settlements. Also, make sure that you understand all the “fine print” that relates to the consent to settle clause. In the event that you want a case to go to court and your insurance company would have you settle, you need to know if there are any fees, penalties, or any other consequences to you as the insured in such a case. Knowledge is power, and in the case of liability insurance, full knowledge and understanding of what your coverage will and will not do for you may mean the difference between your practice’s success or failure.