The insurance industry is considered “cyclical”, where pricing and underwriting fluctuate between hard and soft and this includes medical professional liability insurance. For physicians who have been practicing 15 years or more, you may recall the “hard” market around 2005 where premiums rose by double digits for several years in a row and some carriers chose to leave the marketplace. Around 2007 the cycle shifted again, and the market began to “soften”. This trend continued until roughly 2019 and throughout this period many physician practices enjoyed lower premiums and experienced more flexible underwriting practices. These unique conditions also allowed more unique exposures to be covered easily.
However, these lower premiums combined with a steady rise in claims severity and a spike in large verdicts, have caused some medical professional liability carriers to see an increase in expenses and a reduction in profitability. In lieu of these changes, several carriers have reduced their available credits and taken small rate increases. Physician practices may have already started to feel these effects, even if minimal, in their previous renewals. And all of this was prior to the COVID-19 crisis.
The ongoing shift in the market coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, is putting a financial strain on many practices, especially smaller ones. While it is possible the pandemic will lead to an increase in claims, the full impact of COVID-19 on the medical professional liability insurance industry remains uncertain. However, it is obvious that the healthcare industry will be dealing with the ramifications of the pandemic for years to come.
Fortunately, Professional Risk is a proud corporate partner with the Medical Society of Northern Virginia (MSNVA) and in 2007 we created the MSNVA Risk Purchasing Group (RPG). Members of the MSNVA RPG, are eligible for additional discounts through our insurance carrier partner, Curi. As a group, the MSNVA RPG has seen fewer premium increases keeping clients' premium more stable in the changing market. The MSNVA RPG gives members access to the following resources:
Discounts for members of Curi
20% Membership discount
Up to 30% in preferred physician discounts
Discounts on risk management resources
eMDTM - Data breach coverage
MedefenseTM PLUS regulatory coverage
Education on emerging healthcare issues
Risk management toolkits
For additional information on the changing medical professional liability market or to inquire about joining the MSNVA RPG, please contact your Professional Risk Associates agent today to learn more.