Non Standard Medical Malpractice Risks are on the rise

November 16, 2012

There are occasions when a physician’s application may be denied by a standard medical malpractice insurer. This can be for many reasons, : to name just a few of them: Perhaps, you are practicing outside of the scope of your practice (according to the American board of medical specialties); you’ve had just one too many claims according to the actuarial tables projecting and documenting the average frequency in a given specialty, you may have had a large ‘shock loss’ which puts your loss to earned premium ratio out of the norm, and off of the books.

Billing Errors, or allegations of up coding:

Perhaps, you’re in the middle of an administrative legal action (which is to say, something that does not involve the practice of medicine). Maybe you are the ongoing subject of an investigation into your billing codes.

There are more reasons for being non renewed from your standard medical malpractice insurer than ever before; the standard carriers in California (and, we provide solutions in many states outside of California: consider (MIEC, Medical Protective, Norcal Mutual Insurance and the Doctors’ Company as the companies in Northern California providing most of the physicians with medical malpractice insurance And, when you are non-renewed, or your medical malpractice insurance is cancelled. You are thrown into this world of shopping for the best fit, the most competitive and/or the most accurate fit given your services and loss history.

The reasons used to be that you had claims, too much paid out over too little time; or, your number and amount was just over the expected loss ratios for Norcal and/or The Doctors’ Company, so you went out to the market to seek an alternative.

The non-renewal by your current medical malpractice insurance company:

Often, these decisions are made just after November 1st, with an expected non-renewal date of January 1st, termination of your existing policy.
Whether you have been engaged in medical services outside of the normal expected list of procedures according to conventional specialties, or whether you are engaging in something just a bit innovative (Telemedicine, Robotics, Emergency, Acute Care or urgent care family practice/ practicing in a mall (like some innovative nurses have presented practices in Wal-Mart or Drug Stores), we can help you place this coverage by working primarily with our Doctors’ Company subsidiary, Professional Underwriters Liability Insurance Company. We have other companies, to whom we refer these many risks.

Finding the right fit to your non-medical service business:

Our goal, is to quickly present your application to the companies, which we know specialize, understand and have interest in binding your business. We need to provide you with peace of mind that you can practice, and that if you are named in a claim, the defense team and the underwriters are perfectly clear and understand what you are doing.

Practicing Aesthetics is probably the most common reason for a non-renewal:

Recently, we helped a Pediatrician who had invested in a series of skin spa’s, skin resurfacing, laser hair removal centers. They perform injectable and resurfacing, laser and other therapies, the standard companies sometimes will have difficulty with the and /or Botox, procedures, the medical malpractice company is likely to question whether the physician will be caught up in more claims due to these new procedures. Whenever a physician is named for a claim that is not consistent with the ideas of their medical specialty, it can permanently knock them out of the standard market for insurance. And, this nonstandard market for insurance is growing. With more doctors having to struggle to represent their billing practices, maintain good employer / employee relations in their offices, and sit on various boards as directors. There is a high demand for these creative surplus lines policies which are designed to cover the ‘nonstandard’ and even non renewed risks.

According to Crittenden’s’ Medical Insurance newsletter, the changing definition of non-standard will push more of the truly nonstandard risks in to the surplus lines markets. Nonstandard markets will bolder underwriting practices as this definition continues to change. We have relationships with companies such as: James River, Markel, Catlin, Kinsale, General Star and Lloyd’s depending on the type of non-standard, medical services you are providing.

Despite a lingering large supply of medical malpractice companies willing to bind coverage for many different types of procedures, there is a slight ‘hardening’ of the market taking place which will bring more of these standard physicians into these markets. We are willing to do our best to place you in the right company.

Physician groups or staffing agencies are contracting with hospitals or healthcare facilities to place physicians. These entities will push for groups to carry limits of between 3 Million and higher, which will also fuel more need for creative solutions. Medical facilities are not as likely to continue providing all of the insurance for each physician on their staff, which means that there may be a need to find a standard insurance, malpractice insurer to pick up your entire practice, medical director, aesthetic, or independent telemed work included.

These companies mentioned above can work together to bring the solutions necessary to help you and, by extension your medical group grow and survive in this time of merger and apprehension.