WELLNESS CENTER & MED SPA INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE ON THE RISE: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING & HOW WILL IT IMPACT MY PRACTICE?
You might be a start-up just entering the exciting world of Integrative Medicine or may have several years of experience in the industry with historically no insurance claims made. Unfortunately, the insurance market works by calculating the average, based on the sum of all practices. In other words, the integrative medicine market receives risk scores based on the average by key categories of their policyholders collectively, rather than the individual practice or policy holder themselves.
Six Key Categories Impacting Your Insurance Policy Premium:
1) Years of practice:
The magic number is five years. This is enough time to provide history in the eyes of the insurance carriers for a good standing account.
How many and how much? One of the most impactful claims rating factor is your claims history. Underwriters heavily consider how many claims you have had during your experience and how impactful they are. Was the claim closed? Was there a large settlement or jury verdict?
3) Service Type Risk:
Services such as Stem Cell Therapy & PRP are impacting the ENTIRE industry and most importantly the providers practicing properly. There have been many claims and lawsuits filed for these categories, not long after gaining exposure and increased interest in the market. Some insurance carriers are opting to offer significantly increased premiums, offering reduced limits of liability or even excluding coverage for these services all together.
4) Procedure Volume to Personnel Ratio:
High volume of procedures and limited staffing is perceived as a greater risk for potential error that can result in a valid claim.
5) Training & Expertise:
Providers are requiring formal training, certifications, accreditations and education as coverage policy is not only reviewed based on the business practice but the expertise level for the service that is being provided. Investing in the proper education can result in better business practices, mitigating risk and avoiding premium increases. If you would like to receive information on our credible partners offering training & certification courses, connect with us and receive a partner discount.
6) Business & Professional Liability Licensing:
Is your license in good standing or are there any pending or outstanding issues? This category is heavily weighted for the underwriters risk assessment of your practice.
PREMIUM INCREASES: WMPG CURRENT SNAPSHOT & 2020 OUTLOOK
At the Wellness Medical Protection Group, we continue to service thousands of providers across the United States for a vast variety of liability coverage for professional services. Here are our observations:
SIX WMPG CRITICAL MARKET OBSERVATIONS TO KNOW
1) Increase in Demand
There is an increase in claims for the medical malpractice class overall
2) Increase in Minimum Premiums
Increase in minimum premiums and base rates as companies make business changes and adjustments, especially for certain procedures. There is an overall increase in minimum premiums and base rates for medical malpractice as a whole.
3) A Rise in Renewal Pricing
Average renewal pricing is increasing. These increases are ranging from 20% to 50% depending on the service type
4) The Underwriting Process
Rigid underwriting process with insurance carriers and a decrease in limits of liability for procedures, especially Stem Cell Therapy
5) Exclusions in Coverage for Procedures
Claims coverage exclusions for no evidence of certified procedure training
6) Exclusions in Coverage for Patients
Claims coverage exclusions for no evidence of signed patient consent forms
MARKETS LEAVING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Many insurance carriers are opting to limit their exposure to medical malpractice by omitting coverage for high risk services. Others are opting to leave the market altogether. As a result, underwriters for many carriers are taking their time during reviewing each application. When an application is incomplete, they are putting it in a large incomplete pile that may delay the renewal of the policy.
FOUR STEPS TO CONSIDER WITH YOUR INSURANCE APPLICATION
1: Fill out the application in its entirety.
The carriers are heavily focusing on training & expertise for services, personnel to service ratio, the volume of procedures and the total revenue produced from all services. Make sure this information is listed on the application!
2: Be Proactive.
Assess your practice 90 days before your policy is renewed. It’s good to start early so you don’t end up trying to find coverage last minute! Speak to one of our highly-specialized Agents to successfully assist you in your new application or renewal. We can help guide you through the process and ensure you are getting placed at the top of the compliant stack of applications.
3: Assess your current policy!
Compare it to your practice as it stands today. Your application becomes a part of the policy, this is a great place to look to compare past and present. Let us help you review your current policy and spend five minutes of your time with one of our highly-specialized Agents to run through a few questions. Identify any exposure and find a solution.
4: Be honest!
Developing a rapport with your insurance carrier as a trustworthy client will make the underwriting process more seamless. Underwriters who identify any findings that are not disclosed, may determine to decline a new insurance policy or renewal.
MY INSURANCE POLICY PREMIUM IS HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR, NOW WHAT?
Your immediate instinct is to have your WMPG agent shop the policy right away. Our agency is contracted with all of the major A rated surplus line carriers in the market. We have the ability to look at alternative carriers, compare & contrast policy coverage vs. pricing and any exclusions.
In some instances, this may not be the way to go! For example, a practice may have been in business for years with a healthy track record and minimal to no claims and they decide to have their WMPG agent switch carriers for them. Starting over with a new carrier means no premium history.
Let’s look at the math:
Assume the medical practice ABC Wellness has been with a carrier for six years and the insurance policy premiums respectively are:
Year One: $11,000
Year Two: $11,250
Year Three: $11,250
Year Four: $11,500
Year Five: $11,750
Year Six: $12,000
With minimal to no claims, the WMPG agent can position a statement of premium credit history to the carrier and remind the underwriter of ABC Wellness track record.
With a new carrier, the historical track record doesn’t exist because the new carrier did not benefit from the premium payments. You may be saving money, but starting over may have its risks.
CASE BY CASE, WMPG AGENTS ARE READY:
Our agents are equipped with combined experience of over 30 years, exclusively in integrative medicine, wellness practice, and medical spa surplus line insurance. We are ready to stand by you and work with you, each step of the way.
In some instances, establishing a new policy or renewing will be very seamless, and immediate changes will be minimal. Regardless, every client is unique in their practice operations. Our agents treat each opportunity, on a case by case basis by considering the following:
1) Assess Your Practice
Assessing your practice and coverage requirements
Recommending practice documentation or additional training course recommendations.
3) Investigation and Assessment
Investigating any current policies for coverage types and any exclusions or potential pitfalls.
4) Customize Your Policy
Customizing your practice policy, targeting the top carriers related to your practice services, and acquiring the most competitive quotes for your coverage requirements.
Schedule a consult with a WMPG agent and let us worry about all of your insurance needs. Regardless of what is happening in the market, we understand you and your practice. We know how busy your days already are and look forward to taking on any of your insurance needs or challenges so you do not have to.