50a U.S. Code Rule - Professional liability protection
This section applies to a servicemember who—
(1) after July 31, 1990, is ordered to active duty (other than for training) pursuant to sections 688, 12301 (a), 12301 (g), 12302, 12304, 12306, or 12307 of title 10, United States Code, or who is ordered to active duty under section 12301(d) of such title during a period when members are on active duty pursuant to any of the preceding sections; and
(2) immediately before receiving the order to active duty—
(A) was engaged in the furnishing of health-care or legal services or other services determined by the Secretary of Defense to be professional services; and
(b) Suspension of coverage
Coverage of a servicemember referred to in subsection (a) by a professional liability insurance policy shall be suspended by the insurance carrier in accordance with this subsection upon receipt of a written request from the servicemember by the insurance carrier.
(2) Premiums for suspended contracts
A professional liability insurance carrier—
(A) may not require that premiums be paid by or on behalf of a servicemember for any professional liability insurance coverage suspended pursuant to paragraph (1); and
(3) Nonliability of carrier during suspension
A professional liability insurance carrier shall not be liable with respect to any claim that is based on professional conduct (including any failure to take any action in a professional capacity) of a servicemember that occurs during a period of suspension of that servicemember’s professional liability insurance under this subsection.
(4) Certain claims considered to arise before suspension
For the purposes of paragraph (3), a claim based upon the failure of a professional to make adequate provision for a patient, client, or other person to receive professional services or other assistance during the period of the professional’s active duty service shall be considered to be based on an action or failure to take action before the beginning of the period of the suspension of professional liability insurance under this subsection, except in a case in which professional services were provided after the date of the beginning of such period.
(c) Reinstatement of coverage
(1) Reinstatement required
Professional liability insurance coverage suspended in the case of any servicemember pursuant to subsection (b) shall be reinstated by the insurance carrier on the date on which that servicemember transmits to the insurance carrier a written request for reinstatement.
(2) Time and premium for reinstatement
The request of a servicemember for reinstatement shall be effective only if the servicemember transmits the request to the insurance carrier within 30 days after the date on which the servicemember is released from active duty. The insurance carrier shall notify the servicemember of the due date for payment of the premium of such insurance. Such premium shall be paid by the servicemember within 30 days after receipt of that notice.
(3) Period of reinstated coverage
The period for which professional liability insurance coverage shall be reinstated for a servicemember under this subsection may not be less than the balance of the period for which coverage would have continued under the insurance policy if the coverage had not been suspended.
(d) Increase in premium
(1) Limitation on premium increases
An insurance carrier may not increase the amount of the premium charged for professional liability insurance coverage of any servicemember for the minimum period of the reinstatement of such coverage required under subsection (c)(3) to an amount greater than the amount chargeable for such coverage for such period before the suspension.
(e) Continuation of coverage of unaffected persons
This section does not—
(1) require a suspension of professional liability insurance protection for any person who is not a person referred to in subsection (a) and who is covered by the same professional liability insurance as a person referred to in such subsection; or
(f) Stay of civil or administrative actions
(1) Stay of actions
A civil or administrative action for damages on the basis of the alleged professional negligence or other professional liability of a servicemember whose professional liability insurance coverage has been suspended under subsection (b) shall be stayed until the end of the period of the suspension if—
(B) the action is based on an act or omission that occurred before the date on which the suspension became effective; and
(2) Date of commencement of action
Whenever a civil or administrative action for damages is stayed under paragraph (1) in the case of any servicemember, the action shall have been deemed to have been filed on the date on which the professional liability insurance coverage of the servicemember is reinstated under subsection (c).
(g) Effect of suspension upon limitations period
In the case of a civil or administrative action for which a stay could have been granted under subsection (f) by reason of the suspension of professional liability insurance coverage of the defendant under this section, the period of the suspension of the coverage shall be excluded from the computation of any statutory period of limitation on the commencement of such action.
(h) Death during period of suspension
If a servicemember whose professional liability insurance coverage is suspended under subsection (b) dies during the period of the suspension—
(1) the requirement for the grant or continuance of a stay in any civil or administrative action against such servicemember under subsection (f)(1) shall terminate on the date of the death of such servicemember; and
(2) the carrier of the professional liability insurance so suspended shall be liable for any claim for damages for professional negligence or other professional liability of the deceased servicemember in the same manner and to the same extent as such carrier would be liable if the servicemember had died while covered by such insurance but before the claim was filed.
Source(Oct. 17, 1940, ch. 888, title VII, § 703, as added Pub. L. 108–189, § 1,Dec. 19, 2003, 117 Stat. 2862.)