Wellness Medical Protection Group
Edward 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 because the market cycle is now hitting the deep trough. There is plenty of capacity and competition. 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.

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 med spas and anti-aging clinics, package liability and property insurance packages for plastic surgeons, defending HIPAA privacy allegations, cyber liability, and compound pharmacies.

The risk 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.

To summarize one’s approach to

  • An insurance quote is always a blend between price and coverage. So always look for the best value.
  • Risk is born by more of what you do, not how well you do it. An OB/GYN will still be a high risk class, no matter the individual performance.
  • 85% of all physicians will have at least one claim in their career, so seek out a good carrier partner.
  • An independent agent is the best way to procure insurance and assist you with your insurance needs because your agendas are aligned - they don’t get paid unless they sell you a policy that is to your satisfaction.

Complete product listing and more informational material is available from our website at www.medispacover.com