Medical and COVID Testing Laboratory Liability

December 01, 2020

Months before anyone had heard of COVID-19, the Phnom Penh lab had begun using a new system, introduced by researchers from the San Francisco-based Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, to answer questions about the genetic makeup of pathogens. This system consisted essentially of a commercial gene sequencer and sophisticated cloud-based software called IDseq, which identifies a virus or other pathogen from its genetic sequence. The Cambodian group was one of 11 international infectious disease laboratories using the technology to study diseases like dengue and malaria. But in late January, the Cambodian scientists turned their attention to sequencing the novel coronavirus that had recently landed at their door.

If you are opening or currently run a lab and are adding Covid testing to your lab procedures, we can help you obtain the proper Diagnostic Laboratory Professional Liability Insurance.

The Doctors Insurance Agency provides professional and general liability insurance. This coverage includes all of those medical professionals and lab technicians working on behalf of the lab, including the lab director. This includes all types of blood and tissue labs, genomic testing, Covid testing, and any other work traditional innovative or clinical in nature.

Most of the premium is developed in providing the professional liability. However, depending on the equipment in the lab (and the cost/value), the general and property liability can develop a premium similar to the professional liability.

Because of the wide range of services and types of lab work and value of equipment, premiums can be as low as 2500 or as high as 20,000.

The only way to start the process of developing a proposal or an estimate is to complete a short application that includes key information for underwriters to review:

  • the type of lab services provided,
  • the estimated number of labs that you will run,
  • the state or states in which you perform this work,
  • and the projected annual revenue.

Include any health care providers that need to be covered by this policy.

Physicians are often recruited as independent contractors to provide lab services or as oversight for the lab's many technical professionals monitors and managers. The lab policies can be written to include that medical director oversight. Further to this, administrative supervisory liability insurance inclusion policies can specifically state that the medical doctors are performing lab diagnosis as well as consultations for patients on behalf of the laboratory. In this situation, the physician's own medical malpractice policy may not apply to this work. There are many nuances that need to be described and worked out between the different insurance carriers.

Often it is best if the lab owners obtain a medical professional liability policy and general liability policy that includes the ability to name medical doctors and other credentialed laboratory professionals for all the work they perform on their behalf. Additionally, the general liability policy needs to have the capability of adding the landlords, banks, property owners, and any other lenders as additional insureds.

The flexibility of the specialty Medical Professional Liability Insurance carrier can determine whether your lab policy will allow you the coverage necessary for you to grow. A single policy can also be extended to additional lab locations as you grow and scale your business.

Those labs that bring their own medical professionals and laboratory professionals, whether they are PhDs, technicians or medical doctors, also need this coverage. These policies can cover them all.

The Doctors Insurance Agency has been working in this space for years, and has expert levels of understanding about which carriers are current, competitive and committed to laboratory professional liability insurance.