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New entrants in professional liability market help balance insurer exits

medical malpractice

Some major insurers have left the medical malpractice insurance market, although new players are replacing their capacity to a large extent, experts say.

Med mal insurance experts say new entrants include Bowhead Specialty Underwriters Inc., CapSpecialty Inc., Munich Reinsurance Co., Underwriters Inc. and Vantage Group Holdings Ltd. 

They say those that have left recently are CNA Financial Corp., Hallmark Financial Services Inc., QBE Insurance Group Ltd. and Zurich Insurance Group. 

Bruce Dymtrow, CNA senior vice president, healthcare, said in a statement that the insurer “will take a pause with respect to offering hospital professional liability insurance due to the frequency of high-severity claims experienced by this sector of the industry.” He said CNA will continue to offer fronting and alternative risk solutions to hospitals and health care systems. 

Paula Sullivan, Chicago-based senior vice president at Marsh LLC., said, “What is most important when looking at the new markets is we have very experienced underwriters, some coming from the existing markets, who understand the business.” In addition, they are coming into the market with a clean slate, she said.

Dennis Cook, president of IronHealth, a Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. subsidiary, said, “Overall, it’s about a wash,” with the new markets that have come in replacing the departing insurers’ capacity. 

John Livatino, Chicago-based focus group leader for U.S. miscellaneous medical and life sciences at Beazley PLC, said the new entrants will replace capacity “to a certain extent,” but “I don’t know if they’re jumping in that deep. Most of the new entries seem to be competing in smaller to medium risks,” rather than larger, complex risks, he said.










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