All of the top medical malpractice insurance companies prefer to insure those healthcare professionals least likely to have claims. So, most of them offer incentives to place your insurance with them. Generally, medical malpractice insurance rates are based on specialty, location, limits of liability, and actuarial data.
Premium credits are available, and should be mentioned by your agent. These are:
- Five Year Claims-free discounts – These discounts can be significant. Usually a company requires that a physician be claims-free for five years to receive any discount. The longer you remain claims-free, generally the greater the credit. A doctor just getting out of residency may receive a new-to-practice credit, but is usually not eligible for a claims-free discount because he has not had enough experience. Even if you have had a claim, you will probably be eligible for a credit as time goes by and you remain claims-free.
- Board Certification – A board certified physician can often receive discounts. The more board certifications, the greater the discount.
- Society Memberships – Membership in National, Regional, or State Medical Societies can often result in a discount, depending on the insurance company.
- Large Group Discount – A large group is appealing to an insurance company, especially if the group is relatively claims-free. Credits can be negotiated by the agent.
- Shop the Market – A good agent will constantly monitor the very fluid malpractice marketplace for you, getting quotes from various companies well prior to your renewal. He will balance the need to reduce premium with the need to be insured by a quality company with a proven track record of claims defense.
The medical malpractice insurance market is “soft” right now, meaning that credits are available. You should not have to ask for them. They should be offered to you.
John Gracey Backer, CPA
John Gracey Backer, CPA, is the Treasurer of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance for the Healthcare Provider. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 128, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.