Forensic Coverage - Professional Risk Management Services

Forensic coverage

At PRMS, we have long appreciated the fact that psychiatry, more than any other specialty, interacts regularly with government entities, particularly the courts. Every day, psychiatrists are called on to evaluate patients’ claims for disability, assess criminal defendants’ competency to stand  trial or their state of mind at the time of a criminal offense, provide input at a judge’s request in child custody disputes, speak to the fitness for duty of public safety officers and airline pilots, and so forth.  Many psychiatrists specialize in this kind of practice, while others get involved sporadically. Regardless, forensic practice, broadly defined as rendering medical services outside the traditional doctor-patient relationship, is common in psychiatry.

Many medical malpractice insurance carriers do not automatically provide coverage for forensic practice. The doctor must request the coverage, and there may be an additional premium charged. Other carriers don’t cover it at all. Rest assured, however, that coverage provided through PRMS and The Psychiatrists’ Program, incorporates forensic practice, including the psychiatrist’s role as an “expert” in medical malpractice cases, as part of the practice of psychiatry.

PRMS has a long-standing commitment to forensic practitioners. Many years ago, we endowed the American Psychiatric Association’s annual Manfred S. Guttmacher Award, which is given for exceptional work in the literature of forensic psychiatry.

Furthermore, our VP for Risk Management, Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD, has presented forensic risk management at meetings of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and the American Psychiatric Association. She has also written extensively on forensic practice, including authoring a chapter in “Risks of Harm to the Forensic Expert: the Legal Perspective,” in Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychiatry: Minimizing Harm by Robert L. Sadoff.  Our risk management department has several publications targeted to forensic practice.

Assess your own practice. How much forensic work are you doing? If you’re not insured through PRMS, do you have the coverage you need? Let us know if we can help.

Categories: PRMS Blog

4300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203
(800) 245-3333  |

Professional Risk Management Services® © 2024

Actual terms, coverages, conditions and exclusions may vary by state and are subject to underwriting. Insurance coverage provided by
Fair American Insurance and Reinsurance Company (FAIRCO), New York, NY (NAIC 35157). FAIRCO is an authorized carrier in California, ID number 3715-7.
PRMS, The Psychiatrists' Program and the PRMS Owl are registered Trademarks of Transatlantic Holdings, Inc., a parent company of FAIRCO.