Policyholder Services

Will OMIC insure a physician who unintentionally transmits the small pox virus to patients after becoming vaccinated for the disease?

The risk of passing the virus to someone else as a result of being inoculated is thought to be extremely low. Also, in order for the patient to be successful in winning a claim, they would generally need to show that the physician was somehow negligent or willful in transmission of the disease. To minimize the risk of transmission, the physician undergoing immunization should seek advice from the medical professionals who are administering the vaccination to determine what precautions, if any, the doctor should take. Then, s/he should follow those recommendations.

In the unlikely event that the doctor is named in a claim and has followed the recommended precautions, OMIC may extend coverage, depending upon how the complaint is drafted (i.e. what theories of liability are alleged) and specific facts connected with those theories of liability. For example, coverage would be triggered if the patient alleged a duty to the patient with regard to professional services rendered, that there was a breach of the standard of care with regard to the duty, proximately causing an injury, and that the patient incurred damages as a result. However, some allegations might be excluded under the policy or be covered only to the extent of a conditional defense. Other insurance policies, such as general liability, might offer coverage for certain theories of liability alleged in the complaint. In addition, there may be federal legislation that offers protection from liability.

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