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What the WVSMA's insurance agency can do for you!

The West Virginia Medical Insurance Agency (the Agency) is often confused as being the West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company (the Mutual); we are not the same but have some commonalities.

The Mutual was formed out of Legislation that was endorsed and partially authored by the West Virginia State Medical Association (the Association), which is the sole owner of the Agency. On this basis the Agency represents and recommends the Mutual as the insurance carrier being the most viable to provide medical professional liability insurance protection to the doctors of West Virginia; the Agency's only clients are doctors.

The Agency is a one-stop-insurance-shop for doctors. The basic products and services of the Agency are described in the following:

Products

Medical Professional Liability Insurance

As indicated previously, the Agency recommends the Mutual to its clients; the Mutual writes the largest percentage of the Agency's business. The Mutual's focus is to provide superior claims handling and litigation defense, offer quality risk management programs to not only reduce the number of claims, but also provide premium credits, and conservative underwriting which has allowed the Mutual to prosper (A--Excellent, A.M. Best rating), meet its obligations (pay off a $24 million loan provided by the State of West Virginia to start the company) and offer a secure source of medical professional liability insurance coverage to West Virginia doctors. In addition, the Mutual has returned over $10 million to its policyholders in the form of renewal credits.

The Agency also utilizes the services of the ProAssurance Company to provide coverage for those doctors who have historically maintained insurance with them and desire to continue to do so. In addition, the Agency provides the availability of a hard-to-place (high risk due to claims, Board of Medicine actions, difficult practice characteristics) market for doctors unable to obtain coverage through the standard market.

Workers' Compensation

In February 2008, the Agency entered into a relationship with The Hartford to provide workers' compensation insurance. Generally we have been able to broaden coverage at reduced prices from the previous monopolistic carrier (BrickStreet) which we can also access should our clients so desire. The satisfaction level of clients with our program through The Hartford has not been in doubt. Our book of workers' compensation insurance business continues to grow as our utilization of The Hartford is focused on special products for medical practices.

Business Owner's Insurance

At the same time as our teaming up with The Hartford for workers' compensation insurance, the Agency also began to offer business owner's insurance through The Hartford. Business owner's insurance is a combination of insurance needed by medical practices including: property, general liability, crime, data processing, employee benefit liability, employment practices liability and others. Business interruption is a very essential component when evaluating the recent severe weather storms West Virginians have endured. Again, The Hartford specializes in specific coverages for medical practices, therefore they are a very viable option for our clients. We have seen competitive pricing, broadened and enhanced coverages from The Hartford, but we also offer other options in special need situations.

Employee Group Benefits

The Agency has partnered with John Snodgrass of Benefit Design Services in Huntington, due to the very specific expertise needed for these coverages: health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance. Furthermore, through this relationship, we can design benefit programs or just improve upon them, as client's needs are met. Representing numerous benefit companies, including BC/BS, CareLink, Assurant, Delta, UNUM, Dearborn National, and others gives us a wide range of choices to utilize or interconnect to provide quality group benefit programs.

Disability Insurance

In August 2011, the Agency entered into an agreement with Union Central (now Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation) to provide an individual disability insurance plan that features a 15% premium credit for members of the WVSMA. This feature has now been expanded to members of the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians (WVAFP), members of the West Virginia Medical Group Managers Association (WVMGMA) and members of the West Virginia Health Care Office Managers Association (OMA).

Our disability plan features a distinct definition of disability and provides multiple enhancements needed by medical practitioners. Also we offer overhead expense coverage uniquely designed to prevent the loss of a practice due to the doctor's disability.

Services

Agent-of-Choice

Beginning in September 2012, the Agency became the agent-of-choice of the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians (WVAFP).

Premium Financing

The Agency has always maintained independent premium financing options for its doctor clients choosing quality service, lower finance rates, and no-Agency service fee features.

Reduced Premiums

Striving to maintain quality insurance protection at the best possible price has been a goal of the Agency. The Agency has found numerous misclassified/ misrated doctors who have achieved refunds and/or lower premiums as a result of its findings. Historically, 40% of the Agency's first year clients see premium reductions.

Utilization of Premium Credits

With the bulk of its business being written by the Mutual and the Mutual utilization of premium credits, the Agency strives to make sure its Mutual clients achieve the maximum available CARE/Risk Management premium credits. In 2011, 93.7% of the Agency's Mutual clients achieved 8% (out of 10%) or more in premium credits, due to the Agency's efficient system of maintaining records on credits needed and achieved.

Experience/Expertise

Steve Brown, agency manager, and Robin Saddoris, account manager, offer a wealth of experience to meet the needs of doctors throughout the State. While Steve Brown travels the State personalizing the Agency's business relationships; Robin staffs the office and handles the technical side of the transactions. Steve and Robin combined offer experience and expertise in the medical professional liability insurance arena that is readily available to meet the expectations of their clients.

For additional information on how the West Virginia Medical Insurance Agency can best assist you in achieving the quality insurance product you desire at affordable prices, contact Steve Brown, Agency Manager, to set up an appointment to discuss what we can do for you.
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Title Annotation:NEWS: WV Medical Insurance Agency
Author:Brown, Steve
Publication:West Virginia Medical Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1U5WV
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Words:994
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