Medical malpractice insurance premiums can vary significantly between carriers. Medical malpractice insurers establish rates based on medical specialties within a particular state and geographical region – usually by county. Various discounts may be applied based on particular characteristics of the policyholders, such as claim histories, participation in risk-management programs, or membership in particular medical societies or associations. Although California Attending Physicians specializes in preferred and standard risks, we have multiple alternatives for the non standard market.
An insurance company that is licensed and regulated by a State Department of Insurance is known as an “admitted” carrier in that State. Because the company is “admitted” its policy holders are protected by the admitting State’s “Guarantee fund.” This fund affords policyholders some protection against the insurance company becoming “insolvent.” Check with your state’s Department of Insurance for details of it’s guarantee fund and for a list of the malpractice insurers which are “admitted”.
Often, a physician simply cannot obtain coverage from an admitted carrier because of past claims history, licensing issues, or high-risk procedures in the doctor’s practice. For example: In some States – Bariatric Surgeons will be declined coverage from every admitted carrier in that State.
Excess & Surplus Lines (non-admitted) Carriers usually become the best option for so called “higher-risk” practitioners. An E & S carrier is not regulated by the State’s Department of Insurance and therefore, is not subject to the “guarantee” fund. However, your State’s Department of Insurance must approve the Excess & Surplus Lines Company for it to be a viable option for you.
A.M. Best Ratings
The financial strength of your insurance company is a very important consideration. AM Best is the most widely used company to evaluate the financial health of insurance carriers. If possible, an AM Best rating of “A-” or better is desirable for the carrier you choose for your professional liability coverage.