Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the 2016 Winter Issue of Alabama Medicine magazine.
Choosing the right company for your professional liability insurance is one of the most important decisions you make as a physician. With multimillion dollar jury verdicts on the rise again – Alabama has seen eight in the last 36 months alone – professional liability remains a significant threat to Alabama physicians. Yet given today’s financial pressures, it’s tempting to think of only price when considering professional liability insurance; for now is when the urge to cut a corner with a cheaper insurance choice can appear to make sense. But that’s the kind of short-term thinking that gets some insurance companies and, unwittingly, their insureds in trouble. When policies are sold on price alone, those who buy them may be left with a worthless piece of paper and myriad resulting problems.
Lured by low-cost premiums some physicians and physician groups in Alabama have switched insurance companies in recent years only to discover — sometimes mere months into the new relationship — that the new company’s idea of an unbridled defense in the event of a claim or lawsuit pales in comparison to the same promise ProAssurance makes and has consistently delivered to physicians in Alabama for more than 35 years. Dismayed, discouraged and dissatisfied with their new company’s inability to deliver the same quality of claims handling and legal defense, many of these same physicians have decided to return to ProAssurance, sometimes after having been insured by their new companies less than one year.
Founded by Alabama physicians in the 1970s when other insurance companies had left the state, ProAssurance has worked to level the legal playing field over the years and has helped make Alabama a safer and more predictable place to practice medicine. ProAssurance pioneered the aggressive defense of physicians in Alabama with a steadfast resolve to defend good medicine, discourage the filing of non-meritorious claims, and force plaintiff lawyers to think twice before suing a physician for malpractice — a time-tested and proven defense philosophy that has served well the physicians of Alabama. We don’t spare expenses, and we ensure that our defense lawyers have the resources necessary to defend our insured physicians. To date, ProAssurance and its exclusive panel of highly experienced defense lawyers have secured more than 1,300 defense verdicts at trial on behalf of Alabama physicians.
No other medical professional liability insurance company has committed anywhere near the time, effort, and financial resources that ProAssurance has committed to create, support, protect and defend the more favorable environment in which Alabama physicians now practice. What assurances are there other companies would do the same? None; but ProAssurance’s track record in Alabama speaks for itself.
ProAssurance understands the economic realities and challenging health care environment you face every day. The need for financial discipline is, in many ways, more urgent now than ever before — which is why you should seek full value in your professional liability insurance policy, demanding that every dollar you pay for that insurance purchases the full promise of an unfettered defense and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your insurance company is devoted to maintaining the financial strength to be here for you many years from now. You get that with ProAssurance. We don’t compromise the defense of a case for cost-saving reasons; other companies have, and still do — sometimes with catastrophic results. Furthermore, part of our commitment to you is that we will maintain the discipline and stability to do what’s right for you in the long-term.
ProAssurance exists to protect others. Our physician-focused mission is crystallized in the company’s guiding principle Treated Fairly®. Everything we do in Alabama — from our relationship with the Medical Association, to physician involvement on our Claims & Underwriting Committee and Regional Advisory Boards, to our unparalleled track record for successfully defending physicians in lawsuits, including at trial — underscores our Treated Fairly® pledge to you. Your policy will always be priced at a reasonable premium, but we will never risk your future by endangering the financial strength and long-term viability of the very company you trust to protect it.
Contributed by Hayes V. Whiteside, M.D., Medical Director, ProAssurance
ProAssurance-insured physicians and their practice managers may contact Risk Resource for prompt answers to liability questions by calling (205) 877-5015 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. ProAssurance is an official Platinum Partner with the Medical Association.