ProAssurance Medical Malpractice Claims

ProAssurance, headquartered in Alabama, insures professionals, including doctors, dentists, healthcare facilities and lawyers. It writes insurance primarily through its subsidiaries, including:

  • ProAssurance Indemnity Company, Inc.
  • ProAssurance Casualty Company
  • ProAssurance National Capital Insurance Company
  • ProAssurance Wisconsin Insurance Company
  • Podiatry Insurance Company of America (PICA)
  • ProAssurance Specialty Insurance Company, Inc. (Excess & Surplus Lines)

Underwriting for attorneys is done through LawyerCare in the midwest, Managing General Agency Partners in the eastern and western United States, and Georgia Lawyers Insurance Program in Georgia.

In 2010, the company had net income of $231.6 million. In addition to routine malpractice insurance for health care providers, it also provides specialty services to obstetricians and gynecologists where those doctors are implicated in birth injury or cerebral palsy cases.

Background (claims defense, underwriting)

ProAssurance was formed in 1975 and now has approximately 700 employees and 22 offices in 48 states and the District of Columbia. They provide insurance coverage, and claims defense services when claims are made against their insureds. Additionally, they provide educational seminars and materials to help their clients avoid malpractice.

Competition

ProAssurance is the fourth largest writer of medical professional liability insurance in the United States. Its main competitors include:

  • Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company
  • Medical Protective (Berkshire Hathaway)
  • Doctors Company
  • Lexington (AIG)
  • Continental Casualty (CAN)
  • Physicians Reciprocal Insurance
  • ISMIE
  • ProMutual
  • MAG Mutual
Litigation

ProAssurance claims that they take a record number of cases to trial every year. They are probably right although it is unclear why this is something to brag about. Certainly, ProAssurance does allow its insured doctors to exert a great deal of control over whether their case is allowed to settle. In some cases, this can backfire.

  • In 2011, a Prince George’s County, Maryland jury concluded that a ProAssurance-insured radiologist was negligent, rendering a verdict of $1.2 million. ProAssurance made no offer for settlement.
  • In 2010, a Fairfax, Virginia jury compensated a plaintiff in the amount of $2,933,500.00 for a wrongful death medical malpractice action. ProAssurance made no offer for settlement.
  • In 2009, the D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed a $21 million verdict against a ProAssurance insured. ProAssurance refused to settle the case, though another involved health care provider (insured by another company) settled before trial.
  • In 2009, the Maryland Court of Appeals reinstated a $13 million verdict against a health care provider insured by ProAssurance.
  • In 2008, a Prince George’s County, Maryland jury found for the plaintiff in a failure to diagnose lung cancer/wrongful death case where the insurance company, ProAssurance, made no settlement offers. The jury awarded nearly $700,000.

Despite these kinds of case, ProAssurance takes many of their cases to trial, and refuse to settle meritorious cases. The upshot is that most ProAssurance cases will have to go to trial.

Dealing with ProAssurance on Injury Settlement Claims

As indicated, it is almost invariably fruitless to attempt to negotiate with ProAssurance before filing a lawsuit or after filing a lawsuit. In general, these cases go to trial.

Free Maryland Malpractice Claim Consultation

If you live in the Baltimore Washington area and believe you have been a victim of medical negligence in Maryland, call 800-553-8082 or get a free online medical malpractice consultation.