Can ProAssurance Help You?
ProAssurance Corporation, a holding company for healthcare liability insurance companies, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol PRA. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, AL, where it was founded in 1976 as Medical Assurance. In 2001, Medical Assurance acquired Professional Group, Inc. and formed ProAssurance. ProAssurance Group provides a secure and stable source for medical professional liability insurance and is now the third-largest medical professional liability insurer in the U.S., following the acquisition of NORCAL Group.
ProAssurance and its subsidiaries have been given the financial strength rating of “A” by Fitch Ratings. AM Best rates ProAssurance group “A” (Excellent), and also rates all of the other subsidiaries at either “A” or “A-.” The outlook for all ratings is stable, meaning that any change is unlikely in the near future. These high financial strength ratings are based on ProAssurance’s strong reserves, growth and market position. Many physicians prefer to be insured by a highly rated company such as ProAssurance, because the rating offers a measure of security. Insurance companies that are rated poorly or are unrated are more likely to experience financial problems, possibly becoming insolvent and unable to provide coverage of claims. The additional coverage that physicians must buy when they are ending a policy, closing a practice, or retiring is called “tail” without which can create a gap in coverage that can make it difficult to obtain other insurance in the future.
Generally, most ProAssurance policies are claims-made. A claims-made policy covers only claims that are filed between the effective date and the expiration date of the policy. An occurrence policy, however, covers incidents that occur in the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed. This distinction means that physicians must maintain perpetual coverage if they have a claims-made policy. Even when taking an extended vacation or retiring from practice, a physician must have coverage in place because a claim may be filed regarding an earlier incident. ProAssurance has some limited options for occurrence coverage available.
If a medical liability insurance policy has a “Consent-to-Settle” clause, the insurance company must obtain the insured physician’s consent before reaching a settlement in a malpractice case. If a policy does not have a consent-to-settle clause, some state laws allow the insurance company to settle the case on behalf of the physician without their consent. This can be harmful to the physician, because going to trial might exonerate them of blame, but a paid settlement is a negative on a physician’s record. ProAssurance includes a consent-to-settle clause on policies where state regulations and the legal environment allow, and it is the company’s stance to litigate cases that it views as frivolous, rather than settling to expedite the process or save money.
On May 5, 2021 NORCAL Group joined ProAssurance Group.
With similar values and a shared commitment to putting policyholders first, uniting the expertise of these two leading providers of medical professional liability insurance was a smart decision. NORCAL insureds continue to have access to a full spectrum of medical liability insurance solutions, claims support, and risk management resources.
Request your free ProAssurance Medical Malpractice Insurance Quote today.