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Berkshire Hathaway unit acquiring med mal insurer

Berkshire Hathaway unit acquiring med mal insurer

New York-based Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co. on Monday said it is being acquired by a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. unit.

MLMIC Vice President Edward Amsler said the deal will be valued at about $1.8 billion, which was its policyholder surplus as of Dec. 31, 2015.

Berkshire unit National Indemnity Co. will acquire MLMIC pending regulatory and policyholder approval, following completion of MLMIC's conversion to a stock company from a mutual company, MMLIC said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in 2017's third quarter.

“MLMIC is a gem of a company that has protected New York's physicians, midlevel providers, hospitals and dentists like no other for over 40 years,” Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffet said in a statement. “We welcome the chance to add them to the Berkshire Hathaway family and enhance their capacity to serve these and other policyholders for many years to come.”

MLMIC President Dr. Robert Menotti said in the statement, “MLMIC has always had strong standing and stability within the challenging New York insurance market, and the arrangement with Berkshire Hathaway will bring policyholders further peace of mind, knowing MLMIC will be able to offer an even higher level of financial security. In addition, MLMIC will be able to expand its offerings, with more customized policy limits, risk-sharing features and services to groups, facilities and other large accounts.”

In a Q&A on its website, the company said MLMIC's affiliation with Berkshire will ensure the continuity of its business and enhance its competitiveness. It said also it will become a member of a group that includes other insurers that specialize in providing liability insurance coverage to health care providers, which will enhance its financial strength and provide it with greater resources to back its obligations to policyholders. It said this will also provide it with increased flexibility to support the growth of existing product lines.

In 2011, Berkshire Hathaway unit Medical Protective Co. acquired MLMIC health care professional liability insurer unit Princeton Insurance Co. for an undisclosed amount.

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