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Monthly Archives: November 2015

How Florida Physicians and Surgeons can Find Maximum Credits on their Medical Malpractice Insurance

Most Florida physicians and surgeons do not know of the many credits they can receive on their medical malpractice insurance. Sometimes, they are not told by their agent. Sometimes, the agent fails to ask the proper questions. Sometimes, medical malpractice insurance companies have to be prodded to provide maximum credits. A Florida physician who deals directly with a medical malpractice insurance company without an agent is often hurting his chances of securing the best premium available.

The following are examples of credits often available for physician and surgeon medical malpractice insurance:

Loss Free Credit — Available if the physician or surgeon has not had a claim in 3, 5, 10 or even 20 years. Credits vary, but can be as much as 25% of the premium, especially if there is competition from other medical malpractice insurance carriers.

New-To-Practice Credit – Physicians and surgeons who are just beginning their practice have very little exposure to claims. The first year premium discount is often as much as 50%. Premium credits diminish over time and, normally after two to five years, are no longer available as the physician is no longer new to practice.

Risk Management Credit – Some companies offer credits for taking an approved risk management course. Sometimes there is a charge for taking the course. Sometimes it is offered at no charge. Credits are normally 5% of the premium and are good for a few years, at which time the course must be taken again. Courses are offered live or on-line. We highly recommend that a Florida physician or surgeon take a risk management course to reduce the likelihood of having a claim. Remember, claims are awful, no matter who is at fault and no matter the outcome.

Board Certification Discount – This discount is available to physicians and surgeons who successfully complete their board certification. Different medical malpractice insurance carriers give different credits. Some carriers require board certification as a prerequisite to insuring the physician or surgeon.

Part-Time Credit – A physician or surgeon may receive a sizeable credit on malpractice insurance for working reduced hours, depending on the company. Credits range from 25% to 50% for physicians or surgeons working 20 hours or less per week.

Large Group Credit – Physicians and surgeons who work as part of a larger group may receive premium credits simply for being part of a group. Competitive pressures force many companies to apply significant credits to take a large group from a competitor.

Society Credits – Some medical malpractice insurance companies offer credits to groups of similar specialty physicians. There can also be credits for belonging to a national, state, county or local medical society.

Discretionary Credits – Most medical malpractice carriers can apply discretionary credits depending on how badly they wish to secure a piece of business.

It is important that you ask about receiving maximum credits. We have seen many cases where a physician or surgeon, simply by asking, has been able to reduce the cost of his malpractice policy, especially if he is in a good bargaining position with a clean record and a preferred specialty. At Gracey-Backer, Inc., we specialize in securing the highest quality medical malpractice insurance for our physician and surgeon clients for the best price. We have been serving the physicians and surgeons of Florida since 1925. Our team of professionals works tirelessly so you, the Florida physician and surgeon, can focus on what you do best.

Barbara Gracey Backer

Barbara Gracey Backer is the Vice-President of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Professional and Personal Insurance. She may be contacted at 800-272-6055 X118 or at

The Personal Umbrella Policy—Do You Have Enough Protection?

What is a Personal Umbrella Policy?
A personal umbrella policy provides an added layer of liability coverage over that of your home, watercraft, and auto policies.

What limits can I purchase?
Limits for the personal umbrella policy begin at $1 million and can go up to $50 million and higher.

How much does a personal umbrella policy cost?
The personal umbrella policy is one of the least expensive policies on the market today. Costs vary according to underlying exposures, but can be purchased for as little as $250 per year.

How is legal defense covered on the personal umbrella policy?
Most personal umbrella policies pay for legal defense outside the policy limits to negotiate on behalf of the insured.

I am not wealthy. Do I still need a personal umbrella policy?
You do not have to be a millionaire to have need for a personal umbrella policy. Now, more than ever, we are all threatened by risks that affect our financial assets and lifestyle. Personal liability lawsuits can run in the multi-million dollar range. If you drive a car, walk on the street, or have people into your home, whether it is rented or owned, you need a personal umbrella policy to protect you. As we have seen from recent headlines, even if someone is on your property illegally, you could still be responsible if they are injured.
I have my automobile insurance with company X and my homeowners insurance with company Y.

Where do I purchase my personal umbrella policy?
A personal umbrella policy can be purchased on a stand-alone basis.

Be sure to check the requirements on your personal umbrella policy for underlying limits of liability. You want to be sure you are not over insured and, at the same time, that there is not a gap in coverage.

Remember that no one ever regretted having too much insurance at the time of a loss.

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

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