About ACE USA
ACE USA offers medical malpractice insurance to American physicians and healthcare professionals. ACE USA is the American retail division of the ACE Group, a large, international property and casualty insurance provider based in Switzerland. The ACE Group is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol ACE and is included in the S&P 500 index. Founded in 1985, the ACE Group has more than $78 billion in assets and wrote $19 billion worth of premium in 2009. ACE USA has offices in 18 cities across the United States and serves a wide variety of businesses and individuals.
ACE USA and its parent are highly rated by independent rating agencies. A.M. Best gives ACE USA the rating of â€śA+â€ť (Superior) with a stable outlook; Standard & Poorâ€™s assigns the rating of â€śA+â€ť with a positive outlook. A positive outlook means that the trend seems to indicate that the rating will be upgraded in the near future. Both of these ratings place ACE USA at the top of malpractice insurers based on its financial stability. The ratings are based on healthy reserves, prudent management practices and a good market position in key territories. Many physicians feel more comfortable buying insurance from a highly rated carrier like ACE USA because there is an element of insecurity with insurance from a poorly rated or unrated carrier. These carriers are more likely than are highly rated ones to experience serious financial problems and potentially become insolvent. This can mean a gap in coverage for clients, which can make it hard to obtain insurance from another company later on.
ACE USA writes policies with several provisions that are favorable to physicians. First, policies include a â€śconsent to settleâ€ť clause, which means that the company does not have the right to settle a claim without the physicianâ€™s consent. This is important because without such a clause, an insurance company may settle a claim when a physician would prefer to incur the expense of going to trial and clearing his name. In addition to the consent to settle clause, ACE USA policies include good-quality, free tail coverage for retiring physicians. A tail is the additional coverage that a physician must buy when he is retiring or changing policies after he has held a claims-made policy. Other favorable aspects of ACE USA policies include coverage for a range of employees and defense coverage for administrative investigations (like Medicare audits). Discounts on the premium are available for a claims-free history, risk management education and other areas.
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This write-up for Ace was put together by Michael Matray, the Editor of the Medical Liability Monitor