The Soft Medical Malpractice Insurance Market

October 30, 2015

The terms hard and soft refer to the increase and fall in prices in various industries. All industries experience changes in their prices, cycles of surplus and demand. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry is cyclical with cycles lasting anywhere from two to ten years: In the insurance industry, the market changed in 2004-2005, and although there are some experts that think the market has already bottomed out and begun to change back to upmarket of increased prices, tougher underwriting and fewer options for medical risks, I don't experience it that way.

Soft market medical malpractice means lower malpractice insurance premiums

We are presently in the ninth year of an unprecedented soft medical malpractice market. The traits of a soft market include lower insurance premiums; relaxed underwriting standards; broader coverage; increased competition for renewals; more carriers writing more policies nationwide. Insurance conditions are favorable for medical groups and individual physicians alike - medical groups can combine their malpractice premiums with important business programs like employment practices liability, directors officers and data breach insurance – to achieve savings.

Try to re market your malpractice insurance to a standard carrier

There are still plenty of standard conventional insurance companies providing solutions for creative and innovative medical practices. There are physicians with open claims and six-figure expenses that are renewing at significant discounts off of published premiums. Integrative medical practices, urgent care clinics inside retail outlets, medical spas, acupuncture primary care and non-FDA approved surgical procedures in late stage clinical trial phases are all finding homes in the standard market.

If you are single specialty surgical medical group , there are significant savings available by properly reviewing the mix of procedures and presenting carefully to your underwriter for companies like The Doctors Company.

Savings still even late in this soft market

Recently we worked with an orthopedic medical group with over 20 orthopedic surgeons. Working with the executive board and the administration of the office, we were asked to target a 20 % reduction from the prior year. Of course, the loss experience has to support a reduction of this size. And, If you don’t advocate carefully to underwriting departments, re considering the mix of procedures, use of technology and improved results, you simply won’t experience the savings possible in this year, in this market.

Bullet points to consider when underwriting a single specialty group

  • Individual surgery, non-surgery,
  • Board Certification
  • Patient referral base,
  • Quality of hospital and surgery centers connected to the group
  • Rehab facilities
  • Control of post-surgical care
  • X ray process and procedures
  • Full time, part time mix of the MD’s
  • Primary care, pain management involvement pre and post op
  • Support within the community (is the group working to be connected to the community)

Clear analysis, understanding and explanation of the medical services

All of these factors can and should be considered in the development of your malpractice premium. The Doctors Insurance Agency has been working in this market for over 25 years and we would like very much to work with you to make sure you are advocated for and represented clearly to your underwriting department.

There might be a better medical malpractice insurance policy for your group: with an ability to accommodate physicians coming and going, easier to administer, costs of tail, different limits or even different carriers for associated physicians, partners and facilities. We are connected to this industry in every way…facilities to holistic medical practices, medispas to telemedicine medical groups. The Doctors’ Insurance Agency has worked hard to advocate and represent our physicians to the right carrier. We work for hours with our underwriters to understand the risk, rate them fairly and clearly document the services provided so there are no gaps or declinations at claim time.