As the Medical Professional Liability Industry enters a hard market, carriers are reviewing their premium rates and adjusting them to better prepare for the future. For more information on the changes in the market, please see our previous blog, Why Are My Insurance Premiums Rising?
Due to these changes, most physicians are likely going to see a more significant increase in their professional liability insurance premiums this year during their policy renewal than they have seen in the past decade.
While shopping your policy with different carriers may seem like the most obvious way to help you find savings, there are benefits to staying with your incumbent carrier you should consider prior to moving your business.
One of the first considerations, is how increased coverage necessitates an increase in rates. Under the Code of Virginia § 8.01-581.15, medical malpractice caps exist for all types of claims and there is an annual increase of $50,000 in medical malpractice caps each year until 2031, when the cap will reach $3 million. As of July 1st, 2019 through June 30th, 2020 the can for Virginia is $2.40 million. To offset the increased costs, carriers must change their rates to reflect the increased coverage. You can read more about this state law here. Therefore prior to leaving your carrier, you should consider the increased rate could be due to better coverage for your practice.
The second consideration is the value of a long term relationship with your carrier. It is natural to seek alternatives when receiving an increase at renewal but price is but one factor in evaluating your options. A long term relationship means that if you happen to suffer a significant professional liability claim, your carrier will balance that out against your history of past premiums paid when determining your insurability and future premiums. Conversely, suffering that same loss when you have a much smaller history with your carrier exposes you to potentially much higher premiums, worsening terms and condition or even non-renewal. Physicians with an adverse loss history seeking a new carrier in a hardening market may find that those past premium savings earned when making a change are a mere pittance compared to what may lie ahead.
The final thing you should consider prior to parting with your current carrier, is any physician loyalty programs affiliated with your current policy. If you, or several of your providers, are close to retiring, the extra cost to stay with your carrier could be worth it for the potential rewards. Several of Professional Risk's carriers do offer these programs. We've provided a breakdown of our carriers and their associated programs below.
Please note, you must be covered by the named insurer to receive these specific benefits.
Phyiscian Loyalty Programs
The Doctors Company
The Tribute® Plan
Created in 2007, the Tribute® Plan is meant to reward members for their loyalty to The
Doctors Company and their commitment to practicing good medicine. Eligible
members accumulate a balance representing their share of the loyalty pool. You receive
your award balance when you permanently retire at the age of 55 or older with 5 or
more continuous years of coverage with TDC on your date of retirement. To learn more
about this program, please visit: The Tribute® Plan: Frequently Asked Questions
The Legacy Fund
This financial rewards program was established for Curi's loyal members for their
dedication to good medicine and their continued partnership with the company. As a
rewards member, Curi will annually allocate funds to your individual member savings
account based on the financial performance of the company. The money you
accumulate in this account will be paid to you upon designated events, including
qualified retirement. To learn more about this program, please visit: The Legacy Fund
Mutual Advantage Plan
Professionals advocated created the Mutual Advantage Plan to recognize their
members for their dedication to providing quality care and for their loyalty to the long
-term success and stability of the company. Every year, the Board of Directors
announces the new funds that may be allocated to MAP accounts, and these amounts
are based off a percentage of the participant's premium. To learn more about this
program, please visit: The Mutual Advantage Plan
If you would like more information about any of the above plans or want to speak with your agents about your options to prior to your 2020 policy renewal, please contact us at (800) 318-9930 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.