Liability Insurance Solutions, Inc.

Insuring Your Practice Against Unforeseen Risk

Healthcare Source Insurance (HSI) Edward J. Kuhn

Insurance buying for medical liability requires a certain level of technical sophistication and an independent agent is your best resource for consultation and for presenting insurance options. The insurance marketplace is characterized by large state physicians-owned mutual insurance companies and several commercial, stock insurance companies. The main difference being the physicians owned mutual's main purpose is to provide quality insurance to the member owners at the lowest price as they are not as concerned with making a profit - unlike the stock companies. At the same time, the stock companies have much stronger balance sheets and financial strength, because they are typically part of large financial conglomerates like Berkshire Hathaway, Markel Corporation or Travelers.

The Property and Casualty insurance companies are solid in terms of financial health. Rates have been softened for medical malpractice insurance rates across the country, and more significantly in states where there is tort reform, like California and Texas. As you probably know, insurance is regulated by the state insurance departments and there are differences across state lines.

Now is perhaps the best time to purchase insurance in the last fifteen years. The cycle is now hitting the deep trough. The rates have softened as much as 30% in some specialties. But there are plenty of potential uncertainties on the horizon which could trigger a ride back up the curve towards a hard market. This is one reason why the insurance companies policies are 12-months in duration and not multiple year.

The profile of your practice is still the main underwriting consideration. The more unique your practice or situation, the more likely it is that you may not be able to purchase mainstream coverage from the state physicians owned mutual or standard insurance company due to their rigid underwriting guidelines. That is where we, as solution driven independent insurance agents, can help in customizing a comprehensive and cost effective package addressing not only professional liability insurance, but ancillary coverages such as general liability, business interruption, workers compensation, property, disability income insurance and life insurance for succession planning. Complete product listing and more informational material is available from our website at Liability Insurance Solutions

During a soft market such as this, insurance companies cut rates to maintain market share for profitability thus compensating for the investment revenue being lost in a down bond market. However, the down economy has found the underwriting community to be risk averse. At the agency level, we are developing long term new product ideas like insurance coverage for physicians who may work in a locum tenens capacity, independent contractors and healthcare professionals who may be employed by a hospital, but may want to moonlight. For example, we have developed the industry's first 24/7 online insurance marketplace for daily or "per diem" malpractice insurance (at present, we are only making this available to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, but more specialties are to follow). This insurance is now available at Liability Insurance Solutions

The MLDP has assembled a team of leading medical and legal experts to create a program designed to be a critical resource to A4M members. In the event that a medical practitioner is facing review by a medical review board or similar organization, the MLDP will immediately review your case, recommend initial action and refer your case to a qualified attorney within our program.In addition, medical practitioners can eduate themselves on the latest significant activities of medical review boards in their respective states or across the nation by having access to MLDP's databases of cases and other related resources designed to identify and mitigate risk for physician or medically-based practice groups.