AM Best Revises Outlooks to Positive for California Healthcare Insurance Company, Inc., A Risk Retention Group
June 21, 2021
AM Best revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) of California Healthcare Insurance (CHI) Company, Inc., A Risk Retention Group.
The Credit Ratings reflect CHI’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The positive outlooks reflect favorable trends in CHI’s performance relative to similarly assessed peers in the medical professional liability (MPL) insurance industry. Underwriting results have been consistently profitable and exhibited low volatility despite broader deterioration across the MPL market. Premium rebates are distributed to insureds based on CHI’s financial performance, at the discretion of the board of directors. Rebates have proven to be an effective policyholder retention tool, through rewarding member-owners for loyalty and favorable loss experience. Since rebates effectively reduce reported net premiums written and earned, AM Best considers the company’s operating performance before and after rebates, both of which support the revised outlooks. CHI’s business profile continues to be limited, primarily due to product and geographic concentration in professional liability insurance for independent hospitals and other health care entities throughout California.
AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Members of MedPro Group
June 15, 2021
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa+” of the members of MedPro Group (MedPro). These Credit Ratings (ratings) apply to The Medical Protective Company (Fort Wayne, IN) and its affiliates: Princeton Insurance Company (Princeton, NJ); PLICO, Inc. (Oklahoma City, OK); Wellfleet Insurance Company (Fort Wayne, IN); and Wellfleet New York Insurance Company (Flushing, NY); as well as MedPro’s two reinsured affiliates, MedPro RRG Risk Retention Group and AttPro RRG Reciprocal Risk Retention Group (both domiciled in the District of Columbia). The outlook of these ratings remains stable.
The ratings reflect MedPro’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The ratings also acknowledge MedPro’s strongest risk-adjusted capitalization, long-term profitable operating performance and the leading market position it maintains in the medical professional liability (MPL) sector. Additionally, the ratings consider the group’s substantial distribution capabilities, prudent claims-handling philosophy and culture of maintaining a margin of safety. Furthermore, the ratings benefit from the explicit and implicit financial support provided by its affiliate, National Indemnity Company, and MedPro’s ultimate parent, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. [NYSE: BRK A and BRK B], which includes reinsurance programs, investment opportunities and capital support.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the inherent challenges associated with being a predominately monoline MPL insurer, particularly as they relate to price competition, changing market dynamics, potential changes in legislation (i.e., tort reform), increasing loss cost trends and regulatory risk. At the same time, AM Best recognizes the organization’s strong management team, broad premium base and jurisdictional diversity, which have resulted in MedPro outperforming its peers over the longer term.
In 2020, the group has experienced balance sheet volatility due to equity market devaluations related to COVID-19. The group’s large allocation in common stocks exposes them to significant volatility. However, the group is well-positioned to accept this risk due to their low underwriting leverage and the investment managers’ historical trend of success in volatile markets. AM Best also conducted stress tests on the group’s risk-adjusted capitalization, which incorporate multiple assumptions related to the market impact of COVID-19. MedPro performed well under all stressed scenarios, and management believes the impact of COVID-19 will be manageable.
Downward rating pressure may result from a material decrease in risk-adjusted capitalization. Downward rating pressure also may result should the group’s relationship with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. or National Indemnity Company change, which also would result in a diminution of the business profile.
Integris Group Promotes James “Jay” Votta to Vice President of Actuarial Services
June 14, 2021
Integris Group, formerly CMIC, announced today that James “Jay” Votta has been promoted to vice president of actuarial services. He joined Integris Group in July of 2020.
“Jay’s expertise in both actuarial services as well as in the Property & Casualty industry will be tremendously beneficial in continuing the company’s legacy of financial stability,” said Michael Conneely, Integris Group chief financial officer. “Through his new role, I am confident his skills and knowledge will enable us to continue to expand our product offerings and services to members, and also extend the company’s reach from our current footprint.”
Prior to joining the Integris Group, he was a partner with Ernst & Young and the appointed actuary for a variety of leading companies in the insurance and reinsurance industries.
Cooperative of American Physicians Announces Retirement of Cindy Belcher; Hammon Acuna Promoted to Chief Operating Officer; Alyson Lewis Elevated to President and Chief Operating Officer of CAPIC
June 4, 2021
The Cooperative of American Physicians (CAP) announced the retirement of its chief operating officer Cindy Belcher, effective August 6, 2021. Belcher is stepping down from her role after two decades of building the CAP business development and membership services functions, along with her oversight of various operations departments of the company.
According to CAP, Belcher was instrumental in overseeing and evolving its membership development, membership services and practice management services functions, along with the company’s marketing and communications, underwriting and human resources departments. She also held executive management responsibility for CAP Physicians Insurance Agency, Inc., supplying the full line of insurance products beyond the company’s professional liability protection and CAPAssurance, a Risk Purchasing Group.
“Cindy has been an incredible force in the development of CAP, CAPAssurance, CAPIC and CAP Physicians Insurance Agency,” said Sarah E. Scher, JD, CAP chief executive officer. “She has led the growth and achievement of excellence in these business units. She will be dearly missed, and we wish her much happiness and success in retirement.”
Hammon Acuna, currently CAP senior vice president and chief membership officer, will assume Belcher’s portfolio as CAP’s new chief operating officer. He will also have responsibility for the company’s Risk Management & Patient Safety department. Acuna has been managing CAP business development and membership services functions since 2015.
Alyson Lewis, JD, CPCU, currently CAP senior vice president and chief underwriting officer, was promoted to CAPIC president and chief operating officer. She will continue to be responsible for overseeing the underwriting functions of the entire CAP enterprise and will now assume full executive responsibility for all CAPAssurance business development.
“Hammon and Alyson are established leaders in our organization and in general,” Scher said. “As CAP veterans with proven track records of success, we are confident they will apply their demonstrable executive skill sets and deep medical professional liability industry knowledge to lead CAP to continued growth and excellence in achieving our mission to support health care providers with the best products and services.”
Medical Liability Monitor presents a very timely webinar… Post-Pandemic Telehealth: How the Extraordinary Increase in Telemedicine During the Pandemic Will Alter the Current MPL Insurance Landscape
May 25, 2021
DATE: Tuesday, June 8, 2021
TIME: 2 p.m. EDT; 1 p.m. CDT; 12 p.m. MDT; 11 a.m. PDT
PLACE: Your computer
COST: $147 through 6/2/21; $197 thereafter. Registration includes access for up to five participants in multiple locations.
REGISTER NOW: tinyurl.com/2x28wbrb
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a sudden, significant increase of telemedicine. It’s not going away. So, what does it mean for the medical professional liability industry?
MPL insurers have to consider how much — and what kind of — coverage they will provide to their telemedicine practitioners. But how should they underwrite telemedicine risks with little historic claims data available? What kind of risk management resources can they offer to get ahead of expanding telemedicine risks? What kinds of claims are anticipated? And how can MPL insurers help their insureds stay within ever-changing regulatory requirements?
Get answers to these questions and more when you register to attend “Post-Pandemic Telehealth: How the Extraordinary Increase in Telemedicine During the Pandemic Will Alter the Current MPL Insurance Landscape” on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. We’ve put together an incredible panel of insurance experts from The Doctors Company, CNA, and CFC Underwriting, along with a healthcare legal expert from Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP.
We’ll analyze the available claims history for telemedicine and provide our best assessment of what you can expect regarding claims going forward. You’ll come away with a roadmap to help you establish the best possible insurance product for the telehealth segment — and tips from experts on how to price it.
Here is just some of the information you'll get during this in-depth 90-minute webinar:
1. The challenges associated with underwriting telemedicine.
2. How to put together an insurance product for the telehealth segment.
3. What past telemedicine claims have looked like and what they can tell you about the makeup of future claims.
4. Legal ramifications of working with patients this way.
5. Risk-reduction techniques for telehealth practitioners.
6. How you can help your insureds stay within the state-by-state patchwork of regulations and lawsuits.
7. The types of exposure and how to address them using different kinds of insurance coverage, including med-mal, cyber, E&O, privacy, technology, and more.
8. The benefits of covering physicians who do a lot of telemedicine — and how to price the risk.
9. How to deal with licensing and regulatory concerns.
10. The clinical and operational standards of care that telehealth practitioners need to follow.
11. How the rapid adoption of telemedicine during the pandemic created new challenges and risks for traditional MPL insurance.
12. The potential risks involved with the predicted increase in remote monitoring — and what you can do to minimize those risks.
…and much more!
REGISTER NOW: tinyurl.com/2x28wbrb
MLMIC Insurance Company Announces New CEO
May 13, 2021
MLMIC Insurance Co. announced yesterday that Michael J. Schoppmann, Esq., assumed the role of its chief executive officer and vice chair, effective May 12, 2021.
Schoppmann previously served as MLMIC’s president and chief operating officer and has a long history of representing healthcare providers in New York and nationally. According to MLMIC, he was instrumental in the transition of MLMIC from a mutual insurance company to a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family.
Also announced yesterday, Edward J. Amsler, Esq., MLMIC’s immediate past CEO, has been named chairman of the MLMIC Board of Directors. He will work with Mr. Schoppmann on strategic planning. Timothy Krieg, Esq., has been appointed chief operating officer and will oversee MLMIC’s daily operations.
“Mike’s background, reputation and drive will be extremely valuable to MLMIC as it continues to serve and attract policyholders in this increasingly competitive environment,” Amsler said. “I look forward to continuing to work with Mike — and all of our leadership team — to develop and deliver exceptional medical professional liability insurance products and services in New York.”
Bill Passolt to Receive 2021 MPL Association Award of Excellence in Honor of Peter Sweetland
May 10, 2021
The Medical Professional Liability (MPL) Association today announced that William C. Passolt of OMS National Insurance Company (OMSNIC) will be the recipient of the 2021 Award of Excellence in Honor of Peter Sweetland. Passolt is being honored for his outstanding contributions and longtime dedication to the MPL insurance community, the MPL Association and healthcare professionals. The MPL Association is the international organization representing the medical professional liability insurance community.
Passolt is president and CEO of both OMSNIC and its subsidiary, Fortress Insurance Co. He joined OMSNIC in 1992 as its vice president of finance. Prior to joining the company, he was a senior manager with Arthur Andersen LLP. Passolt is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He has served as a director of the OMS Foundation since 2015 and as a director of the Eastman Dental Center Foundation since 2013. In 2019, Passolt was made an honorary fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the highest honor awarded to a nonmember.
Over the past 20 years, Passolt has served in various leadership roles at the MPL Association, including Section Chair of the Technology, Human Resources, and Finance Workshop and Leadership Forum. He has participated in the MPL Conference Committee, CEO Section, and the Regional Member Roundtable. In 2011 and 2016, Passolt received the Leadership Award from the PIAA (now the MPL Association).
“We are extremely pleased to honor Bill for his exceptional dedication to the MPL industry and this Association. His unwavering support and active commitment to the Association exemplifies the spirit of this award," said Brian K. Atchinson, president and CEO of the MPL Association. "We are grateful for his service.”
“Bill has shown a significant commitment to advancing the interests of policyholders at OMSNIC,” said Dr. James Q. Swift, chair of the MPL Association Board of Directors and director and chair of OMSNIC. “He has successfully led OMSNIC while preserving its mission of serving and protecting oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dental professionals enabling them to provide safe patient care.”
The MPL Association Award of Excellence in Honor of Peter Sweetland, established in 1993 by MPL Association’s Board of Directors, was created in honor of the late Peter Sweetland, one of the MPL Association’s chief architects and most fervent supporters. The award recognizes an individual who has provided exemplary service to the industry and to the MPL Association, and who epitomizes the high ideals and ethics for which Peter Sweetland stood.
ProAssurance Completes NORCAL Transaction
May 6, 2021
ProAssurance Corp. announced its acquisition of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Co. was completed May 5, 2021. NORCAL’s members approved the transaction at a special meeting on April 26.
Under terms of a previously announced agreement, NORCAL became part of ProAssurance following its demutualization. Through its tender offer to NORCAL policyholders who elected to receive stock in the conversion of NORCAL Mutual, ProAssurance has acquired over 98% of the stock of NORCAL Insurance Co., the successor to NORCAL Mutual. The base consideration for the transaction at closing is $441 million.
“The completion of the NORCAL transaction marks a significant milestone in our Mission to Protect Others,” said Ned Rand, ProAssurance Corp. president and chief executive officer. “NORCAL is one of the leading writers of medical professional liability insurance in the country. We believe their contributions to our customers and culture will expand our product capabilities with broader geographic scale and efficiencies and will support a true nationwide platform to deliver value to our customers and stakeholders. We are delighted to welcome NORCAL’s employees and policyholders to our family.”
Sandra Beretta, MD, immediate past chairperson of NORCAL’s Board of Directors, said, “I am delighted that NORCAL is now officially partners with such an impressive organization. NORCAL has been a stable, long-time participant in the medical professional liability insurance marketplace, and the combination with ProAssurance will bring policyholders further confidence, knowing NORCAL will be able to offer them an even higher level of financial security and service.”
“ProAssurance’s financial strength, diverse risk transfer capabilities, success in integrating acquisitions, and — most importantly — its focus on policyholder success were the key factors in the decision to join with them,” she continued. “NORCAL has protected physicians and other healthcare professionals for more than four decades. As part of the ProAssurance family, NORCAL has increased its ability to serve its policyholders for many years to come.”
Policyholders who elected to receive NORCAL stock and tender it to ProAssurance will receive their allocated share of the converted company’s equity in cash, and are eligible for a share of Contingent Consideration in an amount of up to approximately $83 million depending upon development of NORCAL’s ultimate net losses between Dec. 31, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2023. ProAssurance is funding the transaction with $248 million of cash on hand, and NORCAL will pay $2 million to policyholders who elected to receive the discounted cash option for their allocated share of the converted equity. The remainder of the base consideration, approximately $191 million, is in the form of contribution certificates issued to certain NORCAL policyholders in the conversion of NORCAL Mutual, and those instruments are an obligation of NORCAL Insurance Co. Base consideration and maximum contingent consideration are subject to non-material change as the equity allocation is reviewed and finalized post close.
Curi Announces New Chief Operating Officer for Insurance Solutions Business
April 28, 2021
Curi today announced the appointment of Brad Diericx to chief operating officer of the company’s Insurance Solutions business. In this new role, Diericx will lead the core elements of Curi’s long-standing insurance business, including its medical professional liability offering. Diericx joins Curi from HDI Global, the German international insurance group, where he served most recently as president and chief financial officer of U.S. operations. With more than 26 years of experience in the insurance space, Diericx will be focused on maintaining and growing the company’s insurance footprint and portfolio.
“We are excited to have a seasoned leader like Brad at the helm of our insurance business,” said Robert Schaaf, MD, Curi board chairman. “Brad’s experience in the insurance space makes him uniquely qualified to serve Curi’s members and member practices — all while maintaining focus on the financial discipline that has underpinned Curi’s insurance success for decades.”
“With Brad, we are gaining a strategically creative and talented individual who will be sharply focused on providing extraordinary service to our members,” said Jason Sandner, incoming Curi CEO. “I am thrilled to have him join our talented Insurance Solutions team and know he will play an integral role in delivering on our enterprise-wide mission of helping physicians in medicine, business, and life.”
“I have watched Curi’s growth from afar for many years and am proud to be joining this team at such a pivotal time for both Curi and the physician community at large,” said Diericx. “Physicians and their practices are facing more challenges than ever before, and I look forward to working with the Insurance Solutions team to ensure we’re continuing to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of those we serve.”
AM Best to Host Webinar on the State of the Medical Professional Liability Market
April 19, 2021
AM Best will host a complimentary webinar exploring the state of the medical professional liability (MPL) insurance market on Thursday, May 13, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). AM Best analytic personnel and insurance industry leaders will examine MPL insurers’ underwriting and operating results, pandemic-related challenges in the healthcare industry, and regulatory and industry developments.
AM Best has a negative market segment outlook on the MPL insurance market, as explained in AM Best’s annual report on MPL insurers. This segment could be facing one of its most difficult periods in the last decade or more, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, the panel will discuss the present day and potential future impacts of the pandemic on MPL insurers.
Register now at www.ambest.com/webinars/MPLI21.
· Sharon Marks, associate director, AM Best;
· David Blades, associate director, AM Best;
· Brian Atchinson, president & chief executive officer, MPL Association;
· Timothy J. Kenesey, president & chief executive officer, MedPro Group;
· William J. McDonough, president & chief executive officer, Constellation.
Attendees can submit questions during registration or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will be streamed in video and audio formats, and playback will be available to registered viewers shortly after the event.