COVID-19 and Malpractice Insurance Changes

Please check out this Guest Post from Ed Khun – WMPG Insurance Group.  Ed is a Malpractice Insurance expert – see the below article he wrote for us here about COVID and what you need to know about malpractice.


WMPG BLOG 1 (November 2020) – Ed Khun

Coming out of COVID 19 and reopening for business will present new challenges for all involved, but in particular, risk management and new loss perils that can threaten your business. A new focus on your protection is required. The
insurance markets have been making adjustments, as a result, characterized by:

* Slower quote and service request turnaround due to underwriters working from home and away from the hub of business
* More required documentation, including new supplemental forms for COVID 19 and Telemedicine. Procedure training certificates and informed patient consent forms are still the centers of your defense.
* Upward pressure on premiums across every sector of the insurance industry, referred to as a “hard market,” and attributed to “rising social inflation costs.”
* There are new restrictions on coverage like sub-limits of liability for stem cells and COVID 19. But also new expanded coverage
for telemedicine.

These adjustments are the very nature of the type of “non-admitted” insurance policies that are predominate in the
med spa industry. It allows the insurance companies to be able to make adjustments to policies and premiums as the
market conditions change. Lately, they have been getting tighter with coverage restrictions and raising premiums to
cover newly developed losses. This all will occur at your policy renewal.

The best way to address these inevitable changes and be proactive is to anticipate this and plan your upcoming insurance renewal in advance with all this in mind and be ready. Keep in mind these problems are systemic and will impact all the insurance companies that could offer you alternatives. So work with your incumbent carrier, where you are already a known quantity. You could also be looking to add a new procedure or treatment to your practice that may require coverage enhancement to accommodate all the changes.

Work closely with your agent on your renewal plan. It’s the job of the agent to be up on the latest market trends and
forecasts in order to be able to make your coverage as suitable as possible.

Your renewal plan should include:

* Allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to work on the renewal process. At least 45 days before the renewal
date is time to be in contact with your agent. Be thorough and complete in disclosing all the material changes to
your practice, and updates on the quantifiable measure used to gauge your activity from one year to the next, like revenues and number of procedures.
* Work with your incumbent insurance carrier to see what their renewal terms will be. See if they have made any
changes to your terms and conditions, in addition to changes in annual premium. Any surprises could lead to a
justification to seek out alternative quotes. But the alternative quotes are hard to procure because of time and
other constraints.
* Decide with your agent where you now fall in the value mix between price and coverage, and how this quote
stands up against alternatives in the general market.
* Make your decisions now since once the renewal is bound, the contract is set and can only be changed by
endorsement. Coverage is almost never moved mid-term for just price alone. There has to be a significant
change in coverage that need to justify a new policy.