ProAssurance Reports Preliminary Loss Estimate of $37 Million in Healthcare Professional Liability

January 22, 2020 by matray

ProAssurance Corp. today reported a preliminary estimate of $37 million of adverse development in our prior accident year loss reserves in the fourth quarter of 2019 in our Specialty Property & Casualty segment. This adverse development is in response to deteriorating loss experience, driven by a large national healthcare account written since 2016.


In addition, the ProAssrance expects to book, in the quarter, a current accident year net loss ratio for the Specialty Property & Casualty segment between 134% and 148%. This also reflects deteriorating loss experience related to the previously noted national healthcare account and, to a lesser extent, in the healthcare professional liability excess and surplus lines of business. This business includes custom physicians, healthcare facilities, correctional healthcare, and long-term care policies. Loss estimates for the company’s core physicians, podiatric, chiropractic, legal professional liability and medical technology liability businesses will be in line with expectations.


The adverse development in prior accident years and the higher current accident year net loss ratio in the fourth quarter will result in a full-year 2019 net loss ratio between 105% and 109% for the Specialty Property & Casualty segment.


“As we have observed and discussed over the past 18 months, results in the medical professional liability line are deteriorating,” said ProAssurance president and chief executive officer Edward L. Rand, Jr. “Following our usual year-end review of updated loss data with internal and external actuaries, management concluded that additional reserves were needed in our Specialty Property & Casualty segment, particularly in regard to a single large national healthcare account that has experienced losses far exceeding the assumptions made when the account was underwritten. Since the middle of 2019, new leadership in the Specialty P&C segment has executed a comprehensive underwriting strategy in response to emerging loss trends and changing conditions in healthcare professional liability. This includes organizational structure enhancements, recruitment of additional talent in Specialty underwriting, tightening of underwriting criteria, terms and conditions and price strengthening. We are encouraged by our progress, and believe this strategy has positioned the company for future success.”


As previously announced, ProAssurance will report full results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2019 after the close of normal New York Stock Exchange trading on Thursday, February 20, 2020. ProAssurance will conduct a conference call at 10:00 AM ET on Friday, February 21, 2020 to discuss the results, and other items of interest to investors participating in the call.

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The Hilb Group Strengthens Medical Professional Liability Program with Acquisition of BR Vital Brokerage

January 22, 2020 by matray

The Hilb Group announced the acquisition of New York-based BR Vital Brokerage. The transaction became effective January 1, 2020.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, BR Vital Brokerage is an independent brokerage primarily providing property and casualty insurance with a specialty in providing liability coverage to medical professionals. Steven Bykovsky, owner of BR Vital Brokerage, will continue to lead BR Vital Brokerage’s associates out of their existing location in Brooklyn.

"We are looking forward to the added capabilities we will have as part of The Hilb Group," said Bykovsky. "Access to a national network and pool of resources will help us provide clients with better, more expansive service than ever before." " BR Vital Brokerage’s specialty focus goes a long way toward strengthening both our program offerings and presence in the Tri-State region," said Ricky Spiro, The Hilb Group CEO. "We look forward to welcoming Steven and his associates to THG's team."

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Coverys European Holdings Launched with Senior Appointments

January 13, 2020 by matray

Coverys, a provider of medical professional liability insurance, announced the formal launch of Coverys European Holdings Limited (CEH), an agency platform and network that will invest in and collaborate with managing general agencies in Continental Europe and the United Kingdom (UK), specializing in the professional lines sector.

CEH will be led by a management team headed by Steven Spano as CEO and Doug Robare, who has been appointed as chief underwriting officer, supported by the resources available within Coverys UK, and with the full engagement of Coverys.

The new business will target non-competing MGAs across Europe with complementary portfolios in the professional lines sector. CEH is developing infrastructure and technology across the business to help improve MGA performance and reduce operating costs.

Spano, who worked as UK country manager at Generali Group, also served as chief financial officer for Generali UK and as chief financial officer of Travelers Managing agency at Lloyd’s. Robare, who previously served as global head of financial lines at Generali Group and as head of financial lines and professional liability at Aviva, began his career at AIG Europe.

“Coverys European Holdings marks another key milestone in the Coverys international growth strategy,” said Philippe Sloan, director of underwriting for the Coverys Managing Agency and a director of CEH. “Steven and Doug are the ideal candidates to launch a business which will set itself apart through its focus on exceptional underwriting. We will empower MGA’s across Europe and the UK by providing them with the pricing and infrastructure capabilities and support to grow as we enter a hardening market. This is an exciting time for Coverys and we are certain CEH will make an immediate and clear impact in our target markets.”

“There is a clear gap in the market for a new approach to bring together MGA businesses with a common interest,” said Steven Spano, chief executive officer of Coverys European Holdings. “The Coverys philosophy is based on investing in specialist underwriting expertise. Through this new venture, CEH will enable skilled underwriters to participate in a network that allows them to leverage new avenues for distribution and to offer a broader suite of products, with the immediate focus being in the professional lines space.”

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CMIC Promotes Michelle M. Ursini to Vice President of Business Development & Marketing and Garrett P. Cronin to Vice President of Member Services & Underwriting at CMIC Group

January 8, 2020 by matray

CMIC Group announced that Michelle M. Ursini, previously the director of business development and marketing, has been promoted to the role of vice president of business development and marketing. Additionally, Garrett P. Cronin, previously the director of member services and underwriting, has been promoted to the role of vice president of underwriting and member services.

Ursini came to the CMIC in 2016 and has more than 15 years of experience in the professional liability insurance industry. She leads the company’s business development and marketing efforts, enhancing CMIC’s market presence and brand recognition throughout the company’s footprint.

“Shelly’s broad knowledge on the industry has positively impacted the company,” said Stephen J. Gallant, chief executive officer of CMIC Group. “Her past broker and carrier experience have been a tremendous asset.”

Cronin has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. Through his role at CMIC, he oversees a variety of initiatives within the member services and underwriting department, including the integration of a new internal data system. He also manages the company’s rate reviews and filings, reinsurance contracts and ancillary product development.

“Garrett continues to evaluate our coverage options to enhance our product offerings for our policyholders,” Gallant said. “We look forward to his leadership as we continue to grow the company.”

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Pinnacle Actuaries Resources Names Timothy C. Mosler Principal and Consulting Actuary

January 7, 2020 by matray

Actuarial consulting firm Pinnacle Actuarial Resources announced that Tim Mosler has been named a principal and consulting actuary.

Mosler joined Pinnacle in 2014 and has been in the property/casualty insurance industry since 1996. He has been a consultant since 2001, specializing in the areas of medical professional liability, workers’ compensation, general liability and commercial automobile insurance. His clients include insurance companies, captives, health systems, self-insurance funds and government risk pools.

“Pinnacle is pleased to welcome Tim Mosler to our principal group,” said Joe Herbers, Pinnacle managing principal. “Since joining Pinnacle, Tim has driven superior service for clients and demonstrated commitment to our firm values of teamwork, professionalism, eminence and development of our people. He will continue to be an outstanding representative of Pinnacle and help grow our influence and prominence within the profession.”

Mosler previously served as director and consulting actuary and a member of Pinnacle’s executive team. He currently leads Pinnacle’s research function, which keeps the firm ahead of major trends, directions and innovations in the insurance industry and actuarial profession.

“I’m honored to be invited to join Pinnacle’s exceptional group of principals,” Mosler said. “The firm and its principal group have a tremendous industry reputation, built on integrity, quality of work and dedication to our clients. I’ll work to contribute to that legacy and advance the firm’s sterling reputation within the insurance and actuarial communities.”

Mosler has been active in the actuarial profession, serving on numerous Casualty Actuarial Society and American Academy of Actuaries committees, including the CAS Exam and E-Forum committees and the CAS Member Advisory Panel since 2007. He has presented at numerous industry forums and panels and shared his thought leadership in various publications. He will continue to be based in the firm’s Atlanta, Georgia, office.

“Tim is a great professional and will be an asset to the firm in his new role as principal,” Herbers said. “I’ve been fortunate to work alongside Tim for several years, and witness his professionalism and technical expertise first-hand. Pinnacle has been fortunate to have him as a leader and our clients will continue to benefit from his skills, knowledge and experience.”

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Physicians Protector Plan Launches PracticePRO and PracticePRO+ Insurance Products in Texas

December 18, 2019 by matray

The Physicians Protector Plan (a division of B&B Protector Plans, Inc.) is now writing medical professional liability coverage for physicians in the state of Texas. Underwritten by Aspen American Insurance Co., the Physicians Protector Plan offers two unique insurance products designed specifically for today's physician practice.

PracticePRO is a medical professional and cyber liability insurance product that features comprehensive professional and cyber liability coverages, risk management benefits as well as interest free payment plan options.

PracticePRO+ is a professional package policy created specifically for independent physician practices. PracticePRO+ replaces multiple insurance policies with the ease and convenience of one policy. PracticePRO+ policies are completely customizable to the needs of the physician practice and can include:

• Medical Professional Liability
• Cyber Liability
• Commercial General Liability
• Commercial Property
• Employment Practices Liability
• ERISA Fiduciary & Employee Benefits Liability

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AM Best Affirms the Credit Ratings of MLMIC Insurance Company

December 17, 2019 by matray

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of MLMIC Insurance Company (MLMIC) (New York, NY). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect MLMIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also benefit from the financial support provided by MLMIC’s direct parent company, National Indemnity Company, which is ultimately owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

AM Best categorizes MLMIC’s risk-adjusted capitalization as strongest, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) and it’s expected it to remain at a similar level going forward. The balance sheet strength assessment also considers the company’s track record of positive reserve development, as well as the strong financial flexibility its publicly traded ultimate parent, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., can provide.

MLMIC has generated an adequate level of operating results historically, supported by modest underwriting profits and investment returns. Underwriting results have consistently benefited from reserve releases on prior accident years. Going forward, AM Best does not expect any material change in the company’s operating performance.

MLMIC’s insurance portfolio is concentrated in the medical malpractice line of business. The company underwrites risks only within New York state, which is one of the nation’s most challenging markets for medical professional liability. However, management has been able to operate successfully through underwriting cycles while maintaining MLMIC’s leading market position within New York. In addition, risk management capabilities have proven appropriate for the risk profile of the company.

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A.M. Best Places Credit Ratings of NORCAL Group’s Members Under Review With Negative Implications

December 10, 2019 by matray

A.M. Best has placed under review with negative implications the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a” of the members of NORCAL Group (NORCAL). (See below for a detailed listing of the companies.)

The under review status follows NORCAL’s third-quarter 2019 results, which included $30 million of adverse loss reserve development, significantly deviating from projections. These reserve charges predominantly impact accident years 2016 through 2018, and reflect significantly higher claim settlements following operational process changes initiated by the group in 2017, which is also causing an increase in the 2019 accident-year loss ratio relative to expectations.

Following the reserve increases and the resultant decline in policyholders’ surplus, NORCAL’s risk-adjusted capitalization declined but remained in the strongest category. However, these actions raise questions regarding internal controls and oversight of operational processes, as well as price adequacy, underwriting practices and the potential for future reserve strengthening. A review of full-year 2019 results, including the associated reserve analysis, as well as a number of management’s operational and strategic initiatives, is necessary to provide AM Best with sufficient information to resolve the under review status. The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a” have been placed under review with negative implications for the following members of NORCAL Group:

• NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company
• NORCAL Specialty Insurance Company
• Medicus Insurance Company
• FD Insurance Company
• Preferred Physicians Medical Risk Retention Group, a Mutual Insurance Company

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ProAssurance Declares Quarterly Dividend, Announces Annual Shareholder Meeting Date

December 10, 2019 by matray

The Board of Directors of ProAssurance Corp. declared a cash dividend of $0.31 per common share, payable on Jan. 14, 2020, to shareholders who own our stock as of Dec. 27, 2019.

“The dividend declared today reflects our ongoing commitment to our customers and shareholders,” said Edward L. Rand, Jr., president and chief executive officer. “It is our responsibility and privilege to be good stewards of the trust they’ve placed in us, as we maintain a disciplined capital management strategy that protects the integrity of our balance sheet. That discipline becomes ever more important as the property & casualty insurance market faces an evolving claims environment, which will test companies unprepared for the challenges ahead. Our view of claims severity in the broader healthcare professional liability market, and the potential for strategic opportunities therein, has led our Board to conclude that we should maintain a higher level of capital.”

ProAssurance’s dividend policy anticipates a total annual dividend of $1.24 per share, to be paid in equal quarterly installments. However, any decision to pay future cash dividends will be subject to the Board’s final determination after a comprehensive review of the company’s financial performance, future expectations and other factors deemed relevant by the Board.

The ProAssurance Board also set May 20, 2020, as the date of the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held at its headquarters in Birmingham, Ala. The record date for the meeting is March 27, 2020.

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Hub International Acquires Nebraska-based SilverStone Group

December 5, 2019 by matray

Hub International Ltd. announced that it has acquired SilverStone Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. With SilverStone, the company creates a new regional hub to be called Hub Great Plains, which will include and cover existing operations in Omaha, Neb.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and St. Paul, Minn.

Headquartered in Omaha, Neb., with additional offices in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, S.D., SilverStone specializes in insurance and surety, risk management, employee benefit services, retirement plans, wealth management and estate planning. SilverStone was founded in 1945 and has more than 4,600 employer clients and more than 3,700 individual clients, located across the United States and around the world.

“Hub remains bullish on the growth we are experiencing, and it’s opening new M&A opportunities for us with various product, distribution and geographic channels. The differentiating value we can deliver to the staff of our new partners has helped us to attract larger firms such as SilverStone,” said Marc Cohen, Hub’s president and chief executive officer. “Those that have joined Hub brought us talent, leadership, expertise, specialization and new geographies.”

According to Hub, it has completed 66 acquisitions in 2018, accounting for more than $200 million in additional revenue over the past year. To date, Hub has completed 60 deals in 2019.

“SilverStone’s employees and clients will immediately have full access to a broad range of resources, tools and specialists that are part of Hub’s value and differentiating proposal,” Cohen said. “We have invested significantly to meet the needs and priorities of our clients and look forward to sharing those with SilverStone. As is the case with all of our individual Hub offices, we eagerly anticipate becoming an even bigger part of this community.”

The Hub Great Plains leadership team will include Mr. Nelson as president, Todd Rogge as CFO/COO, Grant Matthies as chief sales officer, Brett Sesker as group benefits practice leader, Jeff Sharp as wealth management practice leader, Glen Gahan as retirement practice leader and John Sutton as managing director - Dakota Territories. The leadership team will work with Trey Biggs, Hub president of U.S. West.

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