New insurance coverage approved to help doctors facing criminal charges for performing legal abortions

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September 27, 2022

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Office of Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has approved coverage requested by Physicians Insurance A Mutual of Seattle (Physicians) to reimburse its policyholders for legal fees and expenses incurred in defending against criminal action that stems from the providing direct patient care, including performing abortions.

Abortion is legal in Washington state, but patients from other states can seek treatment here if their state prohibits the procedure.

“My office will do everything in its power to counter attacks on reproductive health and doctors who provide essential care,” Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said. help medical malpractice insurers wherever we can.

The approved policy endorsement provides up to $250,000 of coverage to reimburse a covered provider for legal fees spent to successfully defend against criminal charges involving direct patient care. Under the new coverage, a criminal action is defined as:

  • Criminal proceedings following an arrest or indictment;
  • A formal request for extradition; Where
  • A criminal or regulatory investigation including a medical commission

Physicians is the largest medical malpractice insurer in Washington State with over 50% of the market. This new coverage is optional and will be available from January 1, 2023.




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